Mercedes-AMG GLS 63: 600bhp seven-seater spotted

The new Mercedes-Benz GLS is set to get the full-fat AMG treatment, and new spy images show the performance-spec large SUV is well into its development phase. 

The largest SUV in the German car maker’s lineup was only unveiled in standard form last month, but already prototypes of the hot version have been seen with relatively little disguise.

The main tells that this is no ordinary GLS include the traditional quad tailpipes, vertical-slatted grille with chunkier lower air intakes, and larger front wheels needed to fit around bigger brakes. 

Like its siblings, the GLC 63 and forthcoming GLE 63, the GLS 63 will make use of AMG’s 4.0-litre twin turbocharged V8 engine. The same unit makes 503bhp in the GLC and up to 604bhp in the E63 saloon and estate, though the current SUV range topper, the G-Class, makes do with 577bhp in 63 form. It’s not yet clear whether the GLS will breach the 600bhp barrier, but it’s likely.

Either way, expect a 0-60mph time of under four seconds and a limited top speed of 155mph. A unique chassis and steering tune will also feature, though we’ve yet to establish if Mercedes-AMG will fit the GLS 63’s four-wheel drive system with a ‘drift mode’ feature. 

Before the GLS63 arrives in early 2020, though, the seven-seater will gain a half-fat ’53 AMG’ variant, making use of a hybridised straight six. That unit in the CLS coupe puts out 429bhp, so expect similar for the GLS.