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Spy photos show Mercedes' big new GLS three-row SUV

Greg Rasa

It may be a holiday here in the states, but in Germany, it's another workday for our hard-working spy photographers, who have gotten a first look at the next Mercedes-Benz GLS.

Benz's all-new big SUV is expected to debut in 2019 as a seven-seater with plenty of room even in the third row, intended to compete directly against the BMW X7.

The new GLS will be based on Mercedes' MHA platform and is expected to drop a lot of poundage compared to the current GLS' curb weight that in full AMG guise approaches three tons.

The MHA platform should be flexible enough to accommodate several Mercedes models in a range from four-cylinder to eight-cylinder power, rear- or all-wheel drive, and hybridization. For the U.S. version of the GLS, expect anything from diesel and gas power to a hybrid. That includes an AMG version with a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, instead of the 577-horsepower 5.5-liter bi-turbo in the current version, but that's in keeping with the overall weight reduction planned for the GLS.

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