LA Auto Show 2019

Look out Bentley, the 2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 is coming for your Bentayga customers

Mercedes has introduced a new, high-end SUV that should make Bentley shake in their boots.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

For when a $126,000 Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 just won't do, there's a new, even higher priced and more luxurious model for buyers to consider, the 2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600.

The model takes the look and feel of a high-class sedan and combines it with the family and celebrity hauling capability of a three-row SUV. At the front of the SUV is a grille featuring fine, vertical chrome struts. Chrome extends around the sides of the vehicle highlighting the side windows. There are also chrome sill panels.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS The model features a fresh take on the signature Mercedes-Maybach grille. Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

GLS 600 rides on the buyer's choice of 22- or 23-inch wheels. The SUV's tailpipe trim features a small cross rib to remind those sitting in L.A. traffic that they're sitting behind any not just any SUV. A two-tone paint job is available in eight different combinations.

Mercedes has given the SUV electronically extending running boards that deploy in about one second. However, should this be too quick for the owner, the timing can be controlled via the car's MBUX infotainment system.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS engine Mercedes has developed a new 4.0-liter V8 engine to power the model. Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The SUV is propelled by a newly developed 4.0-liter V8 engine that achieves 550 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque. It features a 48-volt EQ Boost system, which helps propel the SUV at the start making it more fuel efficient. The system also gives the SUV extra oomph temporarily by way of an additional 184 pound-feet of torque and up to 21 horsepower. That boost gets it from zero to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds.

The GLS 600 comes standard with all-wheel drive.

Inside the cabin, there are high-quality appointments at every turn. The dashboard is finished in Nappa leather but if that's not good enough, richer materials are available. Chrome-lock louvres sit inside the air vents while the leather-lined instrument panel keeps luxury in front of the driver. The model features the buyer's choice of high-gloss or open-pore wood trim elements.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 The luxurious auto features the latest in Mercedes-Benz infotainment technology.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Interior upholstery is available in Nappa Magma Grey/Black or Nappa Mahogany Brown/Macchiato Beige combinations. The same color combinations are also available with the standard Designo Leather package. A Crystal White/Silver Grey Pearl color option will be available in the future.

Drivers can choose from Sport, Progressive, Discreet, or Maybach Classic display modes for the instrument cluster, which is divided into three separate zones. The model features rose instrument bezels.

A 12.3-inch infotainment display is standard. A touchpad in the center console controls many of the vehicle's creature comforts and convenience features. The console features two leather-covered grab handles, climate controlled cup holders, and a handset with a Maybach emblem.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 The SUV was built for those who have a chauffeur.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

There is a panoramic sunroof with an opaque blind. The SUV also has a standard Burmester High-End 3D Surround Sound System with 27 high performance speakers and 24 separate amplifier channels.

LED lights are integrated into the door panels and in the middle of the rear seat. They surround the 7-inch MBUX rear tablet, which can control of many of the vehicle's interior functions, and the panoramic roof.

Mercedes has designed the GLS to be comfortable and practical as either a people-hauler or an office space. Its cabin features some of the finest creature comforts money can buy in a SUV. Digital devices are integrated into every seat in the Executive Rear thanks to high-resolution touch screen displays.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 The SUV has a finely appointed interior with seats that specialize in comfort.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The SUV seats four of five, depending on how the buyer configures it. Four-seat models have a fixed console between the rear seats. The car's long wheelbase allows for gobs of legroom and a true chauffeured vehicle experience.

There is a standard massage system for the rear Executive seats and the two front seats. It delivers to ten pressure points in each backrest, which can be combined with heating elements for the Mercedes version of a hot stone massage. Front seats have an additional four pressure points for additional massaging possibilities.

With all the refinement, Mercedes hasn't neglected the ride or drive quality of the model, equipping it with the latest in curve control, drive mode, and a chauffeur mode that features flat acceleration curve, transmission tuning for fewer shifts, a second-gear start, and no stop-start functionality.

Mercedes equips the model with a long list of standard safety and driver assistance technology including:

  • Active Distance Assist Distronic
  • Active Speed Limit Assist
  • Traffic Sign Assist
  • Route-based speed adjustment
  • Active Steering Assist with Active Lane Change Assist and "emergency corridor" functions
  • Evasive Steering Assist
  • Active Lane Keeping Assist
  • Active Blind Spot Assist with exit warning
  • Active Brake Assist with turning maneuver function and cross-traffic function
  • Pre-Safe Plus

The Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 is made exclusively in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, home of the University of Alabama. It is expected to go on sale at the end of 2020 and cost around $200,000 though pricing has yet to be confirmed.

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Volkswagen has chosen a name for its new SUV.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The forthcoming new Volkswagen SUV will be called the Taos after the town in New Mexico. The name was chosen to specifically appeal to North American customers, who are the target market for the SUV, which Will slot below the Tiguan in the VW lineup.

“We're thrilled to announce the name for the newest member of the Volkswagen family," said Hein Schafer, Senior Vice President for Product Marketing and Strategy, Volkswagen of America, Inc. "It was important to choose a name that really embodied the nature of the car and the town of Taos, New Mexico was a perfect fit. It's a small city that offers big things—from outdoor adventure to arts and design and great cuisine."

Taos New Mexico Taos, New Mexico is the namesake for a forthcoming Volkswagen model.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

"We are excited that Volkswagen has named their sport utility vehicle after the town of Taos," said Taos Mayor Dan Barrone. "It's a great opportunity for our community to share its rich history and culture alongside Volkswagen with its unique and rich history and culture."

Taos, New Mexico is a thriving small town of 6,000 people. It has a 400-year history and a 1,000-year-old Native American community just a few miles from the center fo town. Artists and skiers flock to the city, which is noted for its stunning landscapes.

Incidentally, Taos was also home to John Muir, an engineer turned mechanic, and author of "How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Manual of Step-by-Step procedures for the Compleat Idiot." First published in 1969, and illustrated by local artist Peter Aschwanden, this counter-culture guide to Volkswagen repairs quickly developed a popular following. The book, started in Muir's Taos shop, has helped keep countless VW models running, from Beetles and Buses to Type 3 and Type 4 models.

Volkswagen promises that the new Taos “will offer great value, excellent fuel economy, and great packaging, as well as advanced infotainment and driver-assistance features”.

The 2022 Volkswagen Taos will be revealed on October 13.

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The 2022 Hyundai Tucson takes what you know about the model and kicks it up more than just one notch.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai sells more Tucsons than any other model, and not just in the U.S. The global best-seller has been reborn with striking new looks and high-tech innovation that, on the surface, squarely put it at odds with the budget-conscious most of the models it competes against.

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson will be sold in short- and long wheelbase models worldwide.

Designers continues the Sensuous Sportiness language first put forth in the 2020 Hyundai Sonata and continued in the 2021 Hyundai Elantra in the new Tucson. At its front are Parametic Hidden Headlights that incorporate the daytime running lights and their housing into the grille of the vehicle. Here, it's realized as a "T" shape the that is similar to the new fascia on the refreshed Hyundai Santa Fe. The automaker says that the lights are only visible when they are illuminated.

2022 Hyundai Tucson Numerous creases are featured on the body of the car.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The crease-heavy body styling continues from the hood and down the sides of the compact SUV giving the model looks beyond your typical jellybean-shaped mommy hauler.

At the rear, a body-width taillight incorporates half-hidden triangular shapes that are only visible when lit. The Hyundai logo has been moved from its traditional place and and is now integrated into the rear glass. In turn, the wiper is now hidden under the car's spoiler.

Hyundai will sell the gasoline-powered versions of the model in seven paint colors: White Cream, Phantom Black, Shimmering Silver, Nocturne Gray, Amazon Gray, Flame Red, and Intense Blue, six of which are new for Tucson. Hybrid and plug-in hybrid models offer the following four colors: White Cream, Phantom Black, Shimmering Silver, and Intense Blue, three of which are new for Tucson.

2022 Hyundai Tucson Hyundai's new Tucson design is sleek yet sharp.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The Tucson will be powered by a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine. It achieves 187 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque. These figures give the engine more horsepower than either of the two engines in the 2020 model and 31 pound-feet more torque than that year's base 2.0-liter four-cylinder.

A more powerful turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder will be available. That same 1.6-liter engine is also able to be matched with hybrid (HEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology. Each engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The 1.6-liter hybrid engine alone achieves 178 horsepower. When coupled with the battery and elector motor, the overall output increases to 227 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, far surpassing anything offered in the last-gen Tucson.

Hyundai will employ its first-in-class E-Handling technology for HEV and PHEV models. All-wheel drive is available on the Tucson and comes with a number of drive modes: Eco, Comfort, Smart, Sport, Mud, Sand and Snow (not available in all markets).

2022 Hyundai Tucson The car features very distinct design lines.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The roster of safety technology on the Tucson is impressive. It includes: highway driving assist, forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, lane following assist, blind spot view monitor, blind-spot collision warning, surround view monitor, reverse parking collision-avoidance assist, remote smart parking assist, high beam assist, and driver attention warning. Blind spot collision avoidance assist with rear cross-traffic alert and assist, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, and safe exit warning are also available.

Hyundai designers strived to give the 2022 Tucson a serene and spacious interior. Like in the Nissan Ariya, the model was crafted to seamlessly blend space, technology, and information. The layered waterfall effect of the dashboard combines traditional horizontal lines with curves to draw the eye upward and downward without the feeling of space segregation. This space is marked by twin silver garnish lines that flow from the center fascia to the rear doors. Sixty-four color ambient mood lighting is adjustable in 10 levels of brightness.

2022 Hyundai Tucson Angular taillights are a unique design highlight.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The center stack houses twin 10.25-inch touch screens with split-screen and multi-tasking capabilities in the top Tucson trim level. A multi-air ventilation system and a hoodless digital gauge cluster are also present. An 8.0-inch infotainment screen is standard and features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto technology. A Bose Premium audio system is available.

Hyundai has given the Tucson its Digital Key technology, which uses an app to turn a user's smartphone into a smart key. This technology also debuted on the 2020 Sonata.

The company's car-to-home functionality allows customers to control smart home appliances from their car. Similarly, Tucson's new Multi-Command function allows customers to "warm-up the car"— including heating system, heated steering wheel and seat warmers—with a single voice command while at home.

2022 Hyundai Tucson A wraparound dashboard gives the model a sense of spaciousness.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The Tucson is the first Hyundai vehicle to have the company's new air conditioning technology.

Hyundai engineers have designed the Tucson's second-row seats to feature fold-and-dive functionality. This allows for 38.7 cubic feet of cargo space. This is about the same amount as the cavernous Honda CR-V.

The first deliveries of the Tucson will happen in Korea in September. The U.S. will have to wait until the first half of 2021 for the model.

Hyundai has plans to introduce a Tucson N Line model globally at a date to be announced.

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