This is Mercedes-Benz’s newest and most spectacular SUV—a full-size luxury war wagon with a 603-horsepower chip on its tailored shoulder and a toothy, Killjoy-the-clown grille that will alarm anyone who finds it leering in the rearview mirror. Best to pull aside and let the big Benz rocket by, or it might flatten you. Just for fun.
Imagine an all-wheel-drive S-Class sedan on stilts with two more seats and sufficient aggression to spank nearly any sports car in a blast off the line. But if all that latent belligerence gets to you, simply allow the onboard aromatherapy spritzer to soothe it away. All this and more—much, much more, from heated door panels to acres of luscious leather and crisp digital graphics—can be ours for close to $150,000, well-equipped (as they say).
“Awesome” and “brilliant” are overused, but not here. The driver of this juggernaut need fear no evil, for she wields the biggest, baddest, deluxe-est SUV of them all.
But wait—SUVs are themselves evil now. They are reckoned to be the second-largest contributors to global CO2 emissions after the electric-power industry. That makes the fuelish GLS63 a chunk of today’s comet, speeding toward earth to snuff out birds, fish, amphibians, polar bears and us in the sixth mass-extinction event.
Just a handful of these costly brutes will ever be sold, making their specific carbon output statistically insignificant. But here’s another thought: What if Mercedes-Benz applied its technology—the astonishing expertise that went into making a two-ton, three-row ute behave like a hot-ass roadster—to building clean vehicles instead? It so happens they’re doing that too. Stay tuned.
As a driver, I am gobsmacked by the GLS63. As a responsible citizen . . . well, I’m gobsmacked there, too.
Silvio Calabi has been reviewing cars since Ronald Reagan removed the solar panels from the White House. He lives in Camden.