Mercedes Plans Maybach-Branded SUV
Even though the Maybach-Manufaktur brand was axed by Daimler back at the end of 2012, the double-M emblem is far from being forgotten, instead it’s been transformed into a sub-brand for Mercedes-Benz, just like Mercedes-AMG. With the first model under the new Mercedes-Maybach moniker having been launched as the 2016 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, an entire range of Maybach-branded Mercedes models will start appearing in the following years. The second one to do so will most likely be an ultra-luxurious variant of the GLS full-size SUV, which is what the facelifted GL-Class will be called.
The news comes via Autocar, which quoted Martin Hulder, the project manager for the S-Class. "The theory is that we will do more Maybach models," Hulder told the British car magazine. "But it will not be for all vehicles; any Maybach must make sense, because it is not just about putting an emblem on a car. Buyers rightly have high expectations of a Maybach, and we must be sure to always deliver on them." he continued.
The Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is heading toward its mid-cycle facelift, set to be unveiled at the end of 2015, which is also when its name will change to GLS. A Mercedes-Maybach GLS would therefore come in mid-2016 at the earliest, sporting a slightly longer wheelbase and exclusive interior appointments, while the third row of seats will be deleted. The top-of-the-range engine will likely remain the twin-turbocharged, 4.7-liter V-8, despite its future competitor from Bentley offering a twelve-cylinder power plant.
Click past the jump to read more about Mercedes’ future Maybach-branded SUV.
Why it matters
With Land Rover already offering a stretched version of its Range Rover model and Bentley very close to launching its first ever SUV, the Bentayga, it is no wonder that the second Mercedes-Maybach model will be a large SUV and not another sedan or coupe.
As many of you know, the crossover/SUV market is expanding exponentially, and just about every major carmaker, premium or not, is jumping on the bandwagon. Apart from the hyper-expensive and uber-powerful G65 AMG, which kind of sits in a niche of its own, the three-pointed star currently doesn’t have anything to battle the upcoming Bentley model, so an even more luxurious version of the future GLS may just do the trick, especially when it comes to customers from China or the Middle East.