After dying a slow death in 2012, the super-luxury Maybach brand resurrected by Daimler in 2002 has been all but forgotten. Well, by everyone except Mercedes; reports have been circulating for a while that Mercedes-Benz is planning to resurrect—or, more accurately, to re-resurrect—Maybach, this time not a standalone brand, but as a sub-brand of Mercedes-Benz. The brand will be known as “Mercedes Maybach,” much like AMG is being reborn as the “Mercedes AMG” sub-brand, the latter to offer a line of bespoke products starting with the upcoming 2016 AMG GT sports car.
During a conversation with Gordon Wagener, Mercedes’ head of global design, at the U.S. media launch of the new S-Class Coupe, we learned that the first product to be sold under the “Mercedes Maybach” moniker will be a stretched version of the S-Class. Yes, the last Maybach was also based on an S-Class platform (and a dated platform at that) which had been stretched and widened to cartoon-quality proportions. And we all know how that went. But this one, we’re told, will remain recognizable as an S-Class, only longer and, well, limousine-ier.
How much longer? Wagener said it will be about 5.5 meters long, or roughly 18 feet. That’s nine inches longer than the current long-wheelbase S550 (the only size we get in the U.S.) and some nine inches shorter than the old Maybach 57. “We had to work to get the proportions right in the C-pillar area,” Wagener said, but the car will still look more or less like the S-Class it is, albeit with some Maybach badges sprinkled around it. And it’s safe to say that it will be packed with even more luxury goodies than the top-dog S600 and S65 AMG models, which is sort of unimaginable. At the very least, expect it to borrow and maybe build on the turbocharged V-12 used by the S65 AMG (where it produces 621 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque), and make innovative use of top-shelf materials inside an artfully designed cabin, brandish techno-spoils galore, and of course, offer at least one fully reclining seat.
What’s more, the new limousine likely won’t be the last vehicle to wear the Double-M badge of Maybach. As a sub-brand and not a sub-model of Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes Maybach is expected to eventually add additional models, including an SUV based on the GL-Class to take on upcoming lux-o-utes from Bentley, Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce and the long-wheelbase Range Rover Autobiography Black, and perhaps a coupe and/or convertible based on the gorgeous new S-Class coupe, too. Wagener described the Mercedes Maybach brand as the embodiment of automotive “haute couture,” and feels that the sedan will have the swagger to take on its competitors from Bentley and Rolls-Royce. No price estimate was given, but it’s safe to say that it will cost considerably more than the $225,550 (pre-option) price of the S65 AMG.
If you want to see the new Mercedes Maybach as much as we do, you’ll be happy to learn that we only have one month to wait: Wagener confirmed that the new Mercedes Maybach super-sedan will make its world debut next month at the L.A. Auto Show.