It’s no longer a mystery the Maybach name will be revived as the Mercedes-Maybach sub-brand for the 2016 model year, but it’s already obvious this second comeback is taking place under different circumstances. For instance, there will be no Maybach emblems and redesigned fascias, but only reworked interiors and additional badges on the trunk lid. In short, Maybach has been shifted from a stand-alone brand to a special-edition, luxury nameplate. The revival is already underway with the Mercedes-Maybach S600, but, according to Auto News, Mercedes-Benz doesn’t want to roll out more than just one model under the new moniker.

Scheduled to break cover at the Los Angeles and Guangzhou auto shows in November 2014, the S600 will reportedly be joined by two additional models motivated by smaller engines. Specifically, an S500 with a V-8 engine and an S400 4MATIC with a 3.0-liter V-6 and all-wheel drive will join the lineup later in the decade, Auto News reports. The new models, the first modern-day, Maybach-badged vehicles to use powerplants with less than 12 cylinders, have been designed to appeal markets with high taxation for large-displacement engines. The V-6, for instance, is expected to become popular with Chinese buyers.

There’s no word when these new models will go on sale, but we wouldn’t expect them to arrive before the 2017 model year.

In related news, Mercedes-Benz sales chief Ola Kaellenius ruled out a Maybach-badged SUV based on the GL. "I don’t want to categorically rule anything out, but at this stage we have no plans for it [a Maybach SUV]," he said.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes-Maybach division.

Why it matters

This isn’t the first time when the Maybach name is being used for special-edition Mercedes models. It happened with both the W108 and W116 models in the 1960s and 1970s, respectively, which were the only vehicles to have a connection to the Maybach name between World War II and the 2002 revival. It seems Mercedes-Benz has taken that route once again with Maybach, and although it might seem demeaning for such an iconic brand, it’s likely the only way the name can survive.

With three different engines powering the same car with the same amount of luxury, the Mercedes-Maybach brand will become accessible to a wider category of buyers, including those in need of more fuel efficient cars. Considering Maybach was axed in 2012 because of disappointing sales, we expect the Germans to push the brand towards volume rather than exclusivity. And that’s exactly hat a wide range of engines will do.

Mercedes-Maybach S600

2016 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class Interior
- image 577053

Source: Automotive News

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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