A reader from Motor Trend recently caught a Mercedes-Benz GL test mule while on vacation in Foley, Alabama. He speculates it could be an AMG version of Benz’s three-row SUV and his photos make a convincing case.
The white test mule is wearing a bit of camouflage, but the reader points out the large, 21-inch rims and cross-drilled brake rotors. The rims aren’t much of a shocker since 21s are standard fare on the current GL550. The drilled rotors, however, are intriguing and could be a hint of what’s under the hood. If a GL AMG is indeed on the horizon, expect it to get the same M157, twin-turbocharged, 5.5-liter V-8 rated at over 500 hp.
These photos also give us another peek at the visual changes on the way for Benz’s biggest SUV. The new front fascia will feature reshaped headlights and a revised grille with the two-bar design that has rolled out on recent models. Out back, the taillights appear more horizontal and closely mimic those on the all-new 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML.
We also expect big changes under the hood, as the current gas-powered GLs still use the automakers older, naturally aspirated engines. The GL450 is rumored to ditch its 4.6-liter V-8 in favor of Benz’s ubiquitous 3.5-liter, direct-injected V-6. The range-topping GL550 will likely lose its 5.5-liter V-8 and get the more powerful and fuel-efficient 4.6-liter, twin-turbo, V-8 engine, which is tuned to produce 402 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque in the ML550. The GL320 Bluetec will likely carry over its 3.0-liter, turbocharged V-6 diesel engine.
Source: Motor Trend