2016 Mercedes-Benz GLS revealed in leaked images

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Images of the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLS have been leaked online a few weeks ahead of the luxury flagship SUV’s unveiling at the Los Angeles auto show. The images – scanned from an official Mercedes-Benz brochure and uploaded to French forum World Scoop – reveal the exterior styling of the GLS, the renamed and heavily revised successor to the hulking GL. The new nomenclature follows the size-smaller ML SUV’s recent switch to the GLE badge, and reflects the GLS’s positioning at the pointy end of the range, aligning it with the S-Class limousine. The Mercedes-Benz GLS will debut in around two weeks’ time in Los Angeles before going on sale in Australia around April/May next year. As the images reveal, the GLS inherits a number of curvier lines and more elegant design elements from the GLE and S-Class, focusing particularly on the headlights, tail-lights, grille and front and rear bumpers. Interior changes will likewise draw from those two models, with particular attention set to be paid to the infotainment system and dashboard design. Australia’s GLS line-up is expected to mirror that currently offered with GL badges, though with powertrain enhancements to match those already available in the GLE. Replacing the GL350 BlueTec will be the GLS350d. The current car’s 190kW/620Nm 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine will carry over, and a new nine-speed automatic transmission will take the place of the outgoing seven-speed unit. The GL500 will make way for the GLS500. Its powertrain will carry over unchanged, pairing its twin-turbocharged 320kW/700Nm 4.7-litre V8 petrol engine with a seven-speed auto. The flagship GL63 AMG will be rebranded Mercedes-AMG GLS63. Its twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8 is set to gain 20kW, hiking its monstrous outputs to 430kW and 760Nm. It too will stick with its seven-speed auto. The range could be joined in time by a plug-in hybrid variant, dubbed GLS500e. That car would team a 245kW V6 petrol engine with an 85kW electric motor for combined outputs of 325kW and 650Nm and a super-frugal official combined cycle fuel consumption rating, likely around 4.0 litres per 100 kilometres. More details on the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLS are set to be revealed in the coming days. Stay tuned.