Mercedes-Benz continues to expand its footprint in the luxury utility market with the new GLS Grand Edition for 2018, making its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Featuring a new, more luxurious interior and “edition-exclusive” components, the new iteration will be available for both the GLS450 4MATIC and GLS550 4MATIC SUVs.
The Grand Edition features exclusive interior and exterior elements, including a Porcelain/Espresso Brown interior and designo Nappa leather seats with exclusive diamond quilting and special Budapest-design piping.
The interior is finished with an open pore brown ash trim with light stripes and a Nappa leather dashboard, the German maker notes. The Grand edition also comes with ambient lighting and Espresso Brown velour floor mats.
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The elegant exterior of the Grand Edition on the GLS450 4MATIC features 20-inch, 10-spoke two-tone wheels and an advanced LED Intelligent Light System. The GLS550 4MATIC is standard equipped with 21-inch wheels and Active LED headlamps. Both models are finished with the special “Grand Edition” badging.
The GLS450 4MATIC comes with a 3.0-liter V6 that puts out 362 horsepower and 367 foot-pounds of torque. Meanwhile the GLS550 4MATIC comes with a 4.7-liter V8 producing 449 hp and 516 ft-lb of torque.
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The Grand Edition is a $6,000 upgrade on the GLS450 4MATIC and a $3,200 option on the GLS550 4MATIC. Mercedes executives say the new models will be available in showrooms at the end of the summer.
Daimler’s plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, produces the GLS as well as GLE and GLE Coupe for Mercedes. The company is pumping $1 billion into the plant, adding 600 new jobs to ensure the site can produce electrified versions of the new utility vehicles in the future.
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The investment will finance the company’s strategic plans to produce EQ-branded SUV models Mercedes-Benz U.S. International that are expected to the latest technology needed for automated driving, said Daimler AG officials, noting the investment follow a $1.3 billion investment in 2015 for expanding the Tuscaloosa plant.