BMW and Mercedes seem to always be caught up playing a game of "anything you can do, I can do better", so shortly after BMW's über-luxury brand Rolls-Royce announced it's extending the range down-market, Maybach is following suite.

The confirmation of the "baby Maybach" came from the very top: DaimlerChyrsler chairman Dr. Dieter Zetsche, who verified the new limo would be ready within four years, though the definitive decision has not yet been made over whether the new car will carry the three-pointed star (extending the Mercedes range up-market) or the double-M (broadening the Maybach range down-market). The smart money's on the Maybach, though, as the S-Class has always been Mercedes' range-topping luxury sedan.

Like BMW, whose line-up has a huge gap between the $120k 760Li and the $330k RR Phantom, Mercedes-Benz has nothing to cover the $200k-range left vacant in between the $140k S600 and the $335k Maybach 57. Currently, Bentley (owned by their mutual rival VW/Audi group) has the field to itself with the $165k Continental Flying Spur and $220k Arnage sedans.

The awkward Maybach range hasn't been quite the success DaimlerChrysler had been hoping for, so it'll be interesting to see how they do with a new quarter-million-dollar sedan.

[Source: Auto Express]