Good Oil: Oddball Maybach SUV may have a southern twang
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While the Mercedes-Benz brand appears to be able to keep a straight face while dividing its time between extreme fossil fuel use (AMG) and zeitgeist-pleasing EV development (Mercedes EQ), its mega-luxo arm, Maybach, doesn’t get much of a look in these days.
Following a 1990s revival, Maybach enjoyed some giddy heights before the late-2000s global financial crisis ruined the one-percenter party.
It was always a niche proposition, but decreasing market share (in an already tiny market) saw Daimler’s super-luxury sub-brand shelved, while marques such as Rolls-Royce and Bentley shifted more sumptuous units than before.
But now comes news that perhaps Maybach’s most unlikely vehicle is about to become a reality.
At last year’s Beijing Motor Show, parent company Daimler showed of the strange Vision Mercedes-Maybach luxury concept; a sort of half-SUV, half-sedan that, in retrospect, kind of apes the aforementioned Rolls-Royce’s Cullinan.
Clearly Rolls-Royce’s money-spinner drawcard has struck a chord over at Daimler. It appears a production version of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach luxury concept is on the cards.
Strangely enough, according to Automotive News, the production version of the car will ditch electric power in favour of something from the other side of Mercedes-Benz’s propulsion coin; a petrol V8 lifted straight from the AMG GL63.
That bulbous backside as seen on the concept might also settle down somewhat, so that it takes on the side profile of an oversized GLC; much more in keeping with mainstream tastes ... despite being pitched at those well north of the mainstream.
Also, another oddity; it might be built at Mercedes-Benz’s Alabama plant (where, not-at-all-coincidentally, the next generation Mercedes GLS is to be built). With a sticker price of more than US$200,000 ($295,000), the civvy-street version of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach luxury concept will be the most expensive passenger vehicle built in the US of A.
One wonders how this bejewelled behemoth will go down in the ’Murican south though. We expect most of them won’t stay there for long, not with Las Vegas to the left and Miami to the right ...