Return of the Maybach
Jay Z and Rick Ross can rejoice. After months of speculation, Mercedes Benz has confirmed that it is resurrecting its defunct uber-luxury brand and that the first Maybach-badged model will be making its debut in Los Angles later this month.
The new car, the Mercedes-Maybach S 600, will be based on the current flagship S-Class luxury sedan but Mercedes stresses that the new car will take luxury, exclusivity and customization to new levels and is not some clever marketing ploy.
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'The Mercedes-Benz brand stands for the aspiration to deliver 'The best' in terms of products, technology and services. For us, this means that we offer our customers vehicles that, by virtue of their different characteristics and specific flair, are able to fit in with all sorts of individual lifestyles. In the S-Class segment in particular, customers have very high expectations with regard to exclusivity and individuality. Mercedes-Maybach enables us to fulfil these desires in the exclusive top segment of the market,' said Dr Jens Thiemer, Head of Marketing Communications for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars.
In practical terms this means that the Maybach will get a completely re-worked interior that should put it on a par with anything that Roll-Royce has to offer in terms of space, comfort and quality. Mercedes is promising that the car will set new benchmarks in exclusivity and will meet even the most discerning of requirements.
The last time that Mercedes attempted to resurrect the Maybach brand things didn't go quite to plan. The Maybach 57 and longer wheelbase 62 models may have found ardent fans within the rap community and with Madonna when they launched as direct Rolls-Royce Phantom competitors in 2002, but their high price tags, coupled with the fact that they were both based on an older version of the Mercedes S Class platform, meant that they failed to live up to expectations.
When production ceased in 2012 (the brand was then mothballed in 2013), only 3,000 models had been sold in total -- roughly 10 percent of Rolls-Royce's global sales over the same 10-year period.
However, this time things are expected to be very different. The current S-Class is already one of the best cars in the world in terms of comfort, performance, safety and hi-tech features. In fact the only area in which it is lacking is exclusivity. Despite its cost, 100,000 models have been snapped up over the past 12 months.
Mercedes clearly knows who its potential clients are going to be too. As well as a big reveal in America at the LA motor show on November 18 the car will also be launched simultaneously at a special event in Guangzhou, China.