Maybach’s version of the GLS is the most expensive and most luxurious member of Mercedes-Benz’s SUV range. If it’s not upscale enough, give German tuner Brabus a ring. It unveiled the GLS-based 800 with a massively powerful engine and an even more opulent interior.
Brabus is known for focusing on wringing every last ounce of performance out of Mercedes-Benz engines. It tuned the twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V8 in the GLS to 800 horsepower — hence the name — and a whopping 700 pound-feet of torque. The eight cylinder spins the big SUV’s four wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission and a permanent all-wheel-drive system. Hitting 60 mph from a stop takes 4.5 seconds, which is about half a second quicker than the regular-production GLS, and the top speed is electronically limited to 186 mph.
The engine exhales through a redesigned, valve-controlled exhaust system that lets the V8 either scream or whisper depending on the profile selected. And, the 800 rides on a suspension system that has been lowered by about an inch in the name of both agility and stability.
While the exterior treatment is relatively subtle, the changes are largely limited to blacked-out trim pieces, a body kit that reduces lift at high speeds, and 24-inch alloy wheels, the interior is anything but. It’s draped in quilted Leonis Orange leather upholstery and it gains carbon fiber accents on the steering wheel, the dashboard, and the center console. Brabus retained Maybach’s individual rear seats; they’re heated, ventilated, power-adjustable, and they’re complemented by matching pillows. Some might not like the idea of feeling like they’re traveling in a pumpkin, and that’s fine. Brabus notes buyers can customize numerous details, including the type of trim and the color of the upholstery.
Pricing for the Brabus 800 hasn’t been revealed, and it will ultimately depend on the options selected. However, keep in mind that Mercedes-Maybach charges $160,500 for the standard GLS, a figure that makes it over twice as expensive as the Mercedes-Benz-branded model.