The new Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 will start at a shade under R3-million when it launches in South Africa.

Revealed in November 2019 and billed as the “ultimate” variant in the Stuttgart-based firm’s flagship SUV range, the new GLS600 4Matic will kick off at R2 939 800. For the record, the standard (non-Maybach) GLS400d now starts at R1 854 600, while the GLS580 now comes in from R2 044 560. The Mercedes-AMG GLS63, meanwhile, is a little more expensive than the Maybach at R3 178 120.

The poshest GLS yet is powered by a version of the brand’s familiar twin-turbo 4,0-litre V8, “developed exclusively for Maybach” and here offering 410 kW and 730 N.m. It drives all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission.

The powerplant is combined with the brand’s 48 V system, which allows 16 kW and 250 N.m to be briefly added (something the firm calls “EQ Boost”). Mercedes-Maybach says the sprint (or should that be "waft"?) from zero to 100 km/h is completed in 4,9 seconds, while top speed comes in at 250 km/h.

Interestingly, the range of options for the Maybach-badged GLS isn’t as extensive as you might expect, with many of the usual packages either fitted as standard or offered at no extra cost. However, there are a few options worth mentioning, such as the Designo leather package (R277 100), a champagne flute holder (R41 500) for rear passengers, two individual rear seats (for R30 500 rather than the standard three-seat rear arrangement) and E-Active body control (R118 300).

As a reminder, the GLS600 measures 5 205 mm long, 2 030 mm wide and 1 838 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 3 135 mm. This results in claimed rear legroom of 1 103 mm, in which the calf supports for both outer rear seats can be extended. If the front passenger seat is moved into the “chauffeur position”, legroom expands to a claimed 1 340 mm.

While the vehicle still features the Mercedes-Benz star atop its bonnet, it also gains a unique Maybach grille, extra chrome highlights around the side windows as well as chrome inserts in the side-sill panels. The 22-inch wheels were developed exclusively for this model, while the tailpipe trim is also model-specific.