Any way you look at it, Maybach has not been the success DaimlerChrysler had hoped for when it revived the old super-luxury badge a few years back. Industry sources – and by industry sources, we mean our magic 8-ball and cabinet of stuffed-animal advisors – all seem to agree that the uber-Mercedes brand is going to need some new models to supplement the 57 and 62 limousines if Maybach is going to live to see another sunrise. The question remains, however, what those new models might constitute.
Earlier reports suggested the possible addition of convertible versions of both Maybach sedans, drawing on the concept previewed by the Mercedes Ocean Drive to revive the "parade car" segment. Another suggestion was the production of a Maybach sport-ute, based on the full-size Mercedes-Benz GL-Class SUV, but luxed-up and blinged out to the max to make for a super-premium truck destined for the Aspen slopes, Arabian dunes and Hollywood hills.
Newer reports suggest that the next Maybach model could take the form of an ultra-premium four-door coupe to take after its corporate cousin the Mercedes CLS, only positioned significantly higher in anticipation of the arrival of the Aston Martin Rapide and Porsche Panamera. This uber-CLS would slot in the range below the current Maybach 57, but above the Mercedes CLS and S-Class.
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Capitalizing on the four-door coupe trend that Mercedes themselves spearheaded seems like a smarter move than putting just another conventional luxury sedan on the market, especially when buyers already seem to have trouble justifying the enormous price differential between the S-Class and Maybach 57. The new Maybach four-door would likely be powered by the twin-turbo 5.5-liter V12, pumping out some 600 hp and over 700 lb-ft of torque. Pricing would come in around $250,000, and the car would only be marketed outside Europe.
With new Mercedes-based products, could Maybach deliver the kind of clout and content to justify the significantly higher prices? We hope to find out, one way or another.
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