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Maybach was an audacious idea - a Mercedes-Benz that could truly do battle against Rolls-Royce - that ended up being a catastrophe, thanks to lackluster sales. After a 10-year stretch that was punctuated by nothing more exciting than the stillborn Exelero and Jay-Z and Kanye West attacking one with a blowtorch, we thought Mercedes was done with the resurrected brand.
Instead, rumors crept out back in October that Mercedes would once again revive Maybach for its top-of-the-line, long-wheelbase S-Class. Now, it looks like the next Maybach will arrive by the end of 2014, according to a report from AutoWeek. Situated above the current top-of-the-line S-Class, the S600, AW reports that it will do battle with the likes of the Bentley Mulsanne, Rolls-Royce Ghost and Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography Black LWB and will be priced at $250,000 to $300,000.
We reached out to Mercedes about this, and while there was no official comment, there also wasn't anything resembling a denial. That, along with the aforementioned past reports, makes it seem fairly likely that we could be seeing the Maybach badge back on the road before too long. To us, though, the return of Maybach seems like a rather poor choice. Considering the brand's limited success and Mercedes' long history of limos (Pullman or Grosser anyone?), we can't say we'd agree with this call.Permalink | Email this | Comments
With fluctuations in international currencies and rising shipping costs to take into account, foreign automakers can't get away with building cars overseas and selling them in North America as easily as they used to. Particularly with inexpensive mainstream models. And given the benefits of cheaper labor and free trade under NAFTA, many have opted to assemble their cars for the North American market in Mexico. That's why the likes of Toyota, Mercedes and BMW have all opened plants in Mexico. And now Mazda has followed suit.
Ground was initially broken for Mazda de Mexico Vehicle Operations at Salamanca in the state of Gunajuato back in 2011, but production has just now gotten under way. The first vehicle to roll off the line? A Mazda3 sedan destined for the United States. Soon, the plant will begin production of the next Mazda2 as well, selling it alongside its larger counterpart across the Americas and in Europe as production expands to 230,000 units annually. For more information, see the official press release below.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Daimler's (relatively) brief ten-year romance with the Maybach brand may have drawn to a close, but that doesn't mean the name is lost once again to the annals of history. According to the latest reports coming from Germany, Mercedes-Benz may opt to keep the Maybach name alive on the top-tier version of the S-Class that's moving upmarket to take the place of the departed Maybach 57 and 62.
The flagship S-Class, previously thought to be called the Pullman, is expected to stretch the platform as far as it can go. Whether it's called Maybach or Pullman, it promises to pack as much luxury (if not quite as much clout) as a Rolls-Royce or Bentley, only less Anglo and more Saxon than the routes which its rivals BMW and Volkswagen opted to go in the acquisition and development of their uber-luxury marques.
Just how true these rumors prove to be remains to be seen. It could be all conjecture for what we know at this point. But it certainly doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility. After all, the Maybach marque was always more of a sub-brand of Mercedes than it was its own brand, and its cars were always seen for what they were: luxed-up S-Classes, which is what we're talking about here. And even though Maybach only sold 3,000 cars over its decade of production, Daimler surely spent a huge chunk of change building up the brand, and it would be understandably reluctant to just write it off entirely.Permalink | Email this | Comments
We recently spotted a stretched version of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but it sounds like this new ultra-luxurious version of the sedan might not be quite as much of a Maybach-replacing model that we initially expected. Automotive News says that the car has somewhat more modest targets, with the so-called "super S-Class" expected to list in the $200,000 to $250,000 range when it goes on sale in 2014. That's hardly chump change, but it's about $175,000 less than the now-dead Maybach 57.
After speaking with Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, AN's article says that this new S-Class model will be targeted at the Bentley Flying Spur and Rolls-Royce Ghost rather than more expensive models like the Mulsanne and Phantom, which makes sense since the Maybach brand was killed off due to slow sales. Of course, there is still the possibility that the three-row S600 Pullman could reach a little higher to fill in the void of those $400,000 sedans. Aside from the stretched body, Zetsche also promises cabin tech and luxury not offered on the standard S-Class, which is hard to imagine since the new S-Class has gobs of both already. During our recent first drive of the standard S-Class, we said that its interior is "going to give Bentley and Rolls-Royce night sweats," so it sounds like Daimler will be aiming for breathing difficulties and heart palpitations with this new model.Permalink | Email this | Comments
To the concern of nobody in particular, Mercedes-Benz will not be re-upping its Maybach line of ultra-luxury limousines. No, instead the German automaker will be stretching its already roomy S-Class, to make this upcoming 600 Pullman version of the decked-out beast.
The car in our new gallery of spy shots is sporting beefy B-pillars and a massive set of rear doors that should allow perfectly graceful ingress and egress from what is likely to be a palatial rear space. (In one photo we can even see a long-wheelbase S-Class in line with the new Pullman, handily exhibiting the size of the new variant.) The exterior modifications are otherwise obscured, though we can guess at revised front and rear fascia and lighting elements, based on both end being heavily taped for these test runs.
It's a good bet that the Pullman will make use of M-B's twin-turbocharged V12 engine, though sources indicate that a hybrid version might eventually be in the offing, as well.Permalink | Email this | Comments
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