Car Industry

Mercedes debuts Grand Edition GLS-Class at the Detroit Auto Show

The biggest Benz SUV gets borderline-crass levels of leather and wood to move further upmarket.

Mercedes-Benz

When you have reached the point where Range Rovers, Escalades and Q7s make you feel like a prole, Mercedes-Benz will sell you the GLS Grand Edition.

Full-size luxury SUVs are getting more opulent every day, and Mercedes-Benz has decided that it simply won't be outdone by Detroit, Solihull or Ingolstadt. The GLS is, for the un-moneyed and uninitiated, a seven-passenger unibody SUV that occupies the same relative place in Mercedes' SUV lineup that the S-Class does in the car line, except that it's built in Alabama and had nowhere near as nice of an interior, until now.

The interior of the GLS Grand Edition is draped in finest Nappa leather and open-pore wood. 

Mercedes-Benz

The Grand Edition takes a GLS450 or GLS550, either of which was a perfectly acceptable place to spend time, and slathers it in designer Nappa leather that covers the seats along with extra-fancy diamond quilting and something called "Budapest piping." The dashboard gets beautiful open-pore ash wood with light striping and yet more Nappa leather. The Grand Edition also gets standard Espresso Brown velour floor mats. Bonus!

Outside, the changes amount to 20-inch wheels for the GLS450 and 21-inch wheels for GLS550 and intelligent LED lighting for both. Oh, and "Grand Edition" badges, so that you can make the other parents at your child's overpriced preschool feel appropriately plebeian.

The GLS450 4Matic comes with 20-inch 10-spoke two-tone wheels and Grand Edition badging.

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes hasn't released any information on pricing, but hey, this is Stuttgart's finest that we're talking about, so expect for it to demand a decent chunk of change over the price of the standard GLS.

The Grand Edition GLS will be on display in the Mercedes-Benz booth at the Detroit Auto Show, so feel free to go and check it out if you hunger for the more elegant things in life.