Pops’ Rants: And the Award for the Worst Car Design of 2018 Goes to Mercedes-Maybach
I know we usually hand out awards for the best and worst of the auto industry at the end of the year, but I’m going to start early in 2018 and give Mercedes-Maybach a medal for the worst car design of the year. And the award goes to the Vision Ultimate Luxury, which made its debut among a handful of China-exclusive vehicles at the 2018 Beijing Auto Show. Yes, it’s that ugly!
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Peisert Design Rendered the Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury SUV as it was Meant to Be
Okay, I don’t know what the guys over at Mercedes were smoking when the greenlit the design of the Maybach Ultimate Luxury SUV (Not that it’s an SUV, really) but just like everyone else in the world we’re not to keen on the overall design. In fairness, the front end isn’t bad, but the overall shape is about as ugly as they come. Well, Peisert design was a bit disappointed too, and that’s exactly why you’re looking at the rendering here. Peisert Design too the new Maybach and reshaped the rear end to make it look like a true-to-life SUV. And, it looks amazing.
In the end, Mercedes should take some notes from the rendering here. After seeing all the horrible comments all over the internet about the new Ultimate Luxury “SUV,” it really makes you wonder how things are going over there at headquarters. Either way, feast your eyes on what the Ultimate Luxury SUV should have been, then try to forget that it doesn’t exist in this form.
2018 Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury
Revived in 1997 after more than 50 years of absence, the Maybach brand didn’t make much of an impact on the luxury market, with its S-Class-based models failing to impress against the Rolls-Royces and the Bentleys. As a result, Mercedes-Benz discontinued the name in 2012. The brand returned as Mercedes-Maybach in 2015, and although it still delivers revised S-Class sedans with longer wheelbases and more luxury features, it aims to offer other Mercedes vehicles too. Unlike its predecessor, Mercedes-Maybach also produced concept cars, with a pair of Vision 6 two-door models showcasing spectacular designs. Come 2018 and Maybach unveiled its third concept car, this time around design to preview an upcoming SUV.
Called the Vision Ultimate Luxury, this new concept vehicle is said to preview the Maybach version of the Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class. However, the concept itself isn’t exactly an SUV, but a hybrid design that combines the features of a utility vehicle with the rear end of a notchback sedan. Inside the cabin, the Ultimate Luxury is actually more production friendly than the Vision 6 coupe, while its all-electric drivetrain is identical with the other two Maybach concept cars. It definitely won’t make it into production in this form, but it previews a few interesting design cues and technologies. Let’s find out more in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury
Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury Comes with a Teapot, Quirky Design
Mercedes’ highly-anticipated Maybach Ultimate Luxury concept just made its debut ahead of the 2018 Beijing Auto Show, and it looks, well... weird. Believed to preview the Maybach version of the upcoming Mercedes-Benz GLS, the Ultimate Luxury concept combines the styling features of an SUV with those of a notchback sedan. Mercedes says that it combines the most successful body styles in China, but it’s definitely not the best design exercise out there.
You’ve Already Seen the Leaked Images but Here’s Another Teaser of the Hideous Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury
Leaked photos of the Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury SUV spoiled the surprise for a lot of us. But in some ways, we’re actually glad those photos leaked because they would’ve spared us from catastrophic disappointment. The Ultimate Luxury SUV is a sight for sore eyes, and that’s maybe putting it lightly. That hasn’t stopped Mercedes-Maybach, though, from rolling out another teaser of the luxury SUV. Guess it didn’t get the memo that the photos have already been leaked.
The Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury SUV Is So Ugly It Actually Hurts
We’ve seen some pretty slick-looking concepts from Mercedes-Maybach in the past - the Vision 6 and Vision 6 Cabriolet certainly come to mind quite easily. However, this latest creation, dubbed the Ultimate Luxury concept and leaked prior to a full debut at the Beijing Motor Show, is making our collective stomachs churn.
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The Mercedes-Maybach Concept SUV Will Be Able to Offer You Some Tea
Mercedes-Maybach isn’t messing around in teasing the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury. For the second day in a row, we’re getting a good look at the Auto-Show-bound SUV concept and, while the teaser itself is short — it lasts all of 11 seconds — we get a clearer picture of the concept’s interior, including a tea set that can be accessed through a compartment on the center tunnel.
Official Sketch Is an Interior Preview of the Beijing-Bound SUV from Mercedes-Maybach
Bentley and Rolls-Royce better start looking over their shoulders. Another luxury brand is looking to get a piece of the super luxury SUV market. That brand would be Mercedes-Maybach, Daimler’s high-class sub-brand. In a surprising move, Mercedes-Maybach is bringing a concept SUV to the Beijing Auto Show later this month. We don’t know much about it, but a new teaser sketch of the concept’s interior has been released, and it looks fancy.
Mercedes Let Us Down with the Maybach Vision 6 Cabriolet
Now that we’ve seen Mercedes’ “latest” concept, I have to say that I’m not impressed in the least bit. When we first saw the teaser video back at the beginning of August,(art177208) I thought for sure we would get the “big surprise” that Chief Designer Gorgon Wagener promised us. This concept was supposed to be an “icon for the brand,” but all I see is a lazy concept that was thrown together just a few weeks before it was set to debut… Did you forget there was a concept lawn at Pebble Beach, Mr. Wagener? Now I’m wondering if that teaser video from within the bowels of the Advance Design Center was actually the very first meeting to discuss the new concept.
With that said, I will say that the Vision 6 looks good as a droptop, but it definitely falls short of what was promised. In the video, it was even mentioned that the front end would be “different.” Of course, they were talking about in comparison to the Concept IAA, but still. In the end, the Vision 6 Cabriolet is every bit the Vision 6 with a standalone windshield and no roof. Of course, they did change the interior a bit to account for a slightly revised dashboard with a set of HVAC vents in the center – that’s something the coupe doesn’t have. It is also a bit less futuristic in comparison but still far on the red side of my “never-gonna-see-production” meter. The car itself is attractive, and I even love the scheme of the interior, but when I saw the similarities in Merc’s second teaser video, I should have known. But, I don’t want to be all negative, so let’s move on from this rant and talk about something good that comes from this specific concept.
If You’re Not A "Top Customer" Of Mercedes, Don’t Expect To Get Your Hands On The Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet
The math involving the production of the Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet is tricky when you consider that the German automaker is only building 300 units of the luxury convertible and that of those 300 units, only 75 will go to the U.S. market. That’s not a lot of models to offer, so in lieu of making the S650 Cabriolet available to everyone, Mercedes is instead going to its VIP customers first and giving them, in the words of Mercedes-Benz USA Dietmar Exler, “the right of first refusal."
Not that Mercedes USA is going to sweat trying to sell the 75 units of the S650 Cabriolet – the automaker has already received plenty of interest in the special edition convertible during its debut party last week. All 75 available units are expected to sell out quickly in the U.S., even if model comes with a pretty steep $320,000-plus price tag.
Given the car’s status and exclusivity, the price is where you expect it to be. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s inundated with the most luxurious of features and amenities, not to mention at 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-12 engine that produces 621 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough power to propel the luxury convertible from 0-to-60 mph in 4.0 seconds to go with an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.
It’s unclear how long Mercedes USA is going to take to sell out the Maybach S650 Cabriolet, but considering the demand for the car and the fact the super-luxury convertible will likely only last a model year or less, all 75 units should be scooped up faster than it takes to write all those zeros in the checkbook. Or as Exler proudly told Automotive News: "We’ll be running out. We’re pretty happy with the way it’s going."
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2016 Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6
The 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance was packed with numerous new products from various automakers, mostly in concept form. Among them is Mercedes-Benz, which showcased a brand-new concept car wearing the "Maybach" badge. It goes by the name Vision 6 and it’s the wildest vehicle to feature the Maybach name in the modern era. Not only spectacular on the outside, the German coupe sports the latest technology Mercedes-Benz has to brag about. It’s also pretty massive for a two-door coupe. And by "massive" we mean it’s nearly six meters (18.5 feet) long, or about as long as the extended wheelbase version of the Rolls-Royce Phantom. For reference, the Mercedes-Maybach S500/S600 is "only" 5.5 meters (18 feet).
In many ways, including size, the Vision 6 is a spiritual successor to the Maybach Exelero one-off that the German brand built for Fulda tires back in 2004. As you’d expect from a Mercedes-badged concept car, the Vision 6 features a massive amount of new technology to go with the wild design, as well as a fuel-efficient drivetrain built around at least one electric motor. Don’t get your hopes up for a production version, but a two-door Maybach based on the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe isn’t out of the question.
Updated 08/22/2016: We added a series of images taken during the concept’s official debut at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Check them out in the picture gallery.
Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6.
Mercedes Brings Maybach SUV Back On The Table
You know the SUV market is alive and healthy when a company that was axed just three years ago and revived last year could now get its own (luxury) family hauler. I am, of course, talking about Maybach and the possibility that Mercedes could finally green light an über luxurious SUV for its premium brand.
Mercedes board member Ola Källenius let the cat out of the bag in a conversation with Top Gear, although he did throw out the nugget of information with a couple of caveats. First, it’s still not an absolute certainty. Second, if Mercedes does give the thumbs up, it’s not going to arrive anytime soon. As it is, Källenius explained, a Maybach SUV isn’t likely to happen if Mercedes tapped into its current platform. It wouldn’t make sense using that because a Maybach SUV would need to be carefully planned if it hopes to make a dent in a market that’s currently populated by the likes of the Bentley Bentayga and Maserati Levante.
The safer bet would be to develop the next-generation platform with the model in mind, something that the German automaker is unlikely to rush just so it can accommodate the model. While that’s a little disappointing, those who have been eagerly waiting for a Maybach SUV aren’t going to sweat the specifics if it means that there’s renewed consideration for the model.
The good news is that it’s back on the table and that the growing clout of the premium SUV market means that Mercedes won’t be too quick to dismiss the model the way it did in the past. So cross your fingers that the decision-makers over at Stuttgart will consider the benefits of having a Maybach SUV on the market. At the very least, having that model means that Mercedes will have a presence in what is fast becoming one of the most competitive segments in the business.
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2016 Mercedes-Maybach S600 – Driven
Power and wealth – Many seek after these things with religious fervor, building great empires of business or climbing the upper rungs of the corporate ladder. Perhaps its government work in some far-off land where surnames bring special rights and unquestioned privileges. These are the one percent of the one percent – the master-of-the-universe-types who need no introduction to their constituents.
What do these people drive? Sure, there’s Bentley or Rolls Royce, but every 0.0001-percenter drives – or rather is driven in – one of those. Ah, but Mercedes-Benz has a solution. It has revived the storied Maybach name for 2016 after three years of being idle. The brand dates back to its founding in 1909. Since then, the German company has built everything from diesel engines for Zeppelins and Panzer III tanks for the German army to dolled up versions of Mercedes sedans. And that’s exactly what we have here.
Built using the same platform and design as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the Mercedes-Maybach S600 takes things way past a mere “dolling up,” into the upper echelon of elite high-end limousine sedans. An extra eight inches of length is added to the S-Class’ chassis, all centered in the rear passengers’ compartment. The result is utterly enormous legroom fit for a king, or at least an NBA player.
I recently found myself with the Maybach S600, sitting in all its elongated glory, in my driveway. It’s $203,000 as-tested price easily surpassing the value of my rental property and personal vehicles with change to spare. Even the four-bedroom, 2,000-square-foot house my wife and I are building carries less of a premium. I’ll tell you, it’s an interesting feeling being behind the wheel of something worth more than the 30-year mortgage we face at the end of our lease. Needless to say, we’ve yet to acquire the prerequisite power and wealth needed to own such as the Maybach. Still, it was a heck of a press loaner.
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The 2016 Mercedes-Maybach S600 is already one of the most powerful, luxurious and exclusive production sedans on the planet, so what is a customer to do if he wants even more power, luxury and exclusivity? Send it to Brabus. Introduced earlier this year, the Brabus 900 shows the tuning potential of Mercedes’ flagship luxury sedan, and the world got its first live look at the high-powered Maybach limousine at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
From the engine to the highly detailed interior, the German tuner house has put its touches on every aspect of the latest Maybach, creating what is essentially a four-wheeled alternative to a private luxury jet. Now this isn’t the first time Brabus has gone to work on a Maybach sedan, but this new Brabus 900 far surpasses its predecessor in every regard, including making that car’s output of 749 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque seem downright feeble. I know, right?
Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Maybach 900 By Brabus.
Have you ever had a difficult time deciding whether to buy a Bentley Mulsanne or a Mercedes-Benz S-Class? Of course you have, it’s something we all struggle with almost daily. Motor Trend did a video comparison of the Mulsanne and the S65 AMG a while back, but now there is an S600 Maybach and a Mulsanne Speed, making the previous video worthless as a means of easing our anxiety over the decision of which car to buy. But just in time to keep us from spiraling into a serious depression over it, Motor Trend has released a new video.
Since this is a comparison of two limousines, the reviewer only gives a brief impression of what the cars are like from behind the wheel, and the majority of the review takes place from the back seat. The level of comfort, quality of the materials and ease of access to champaign are all factored into this review, but it obviously mostly boils down to a matter of taste, as both are pretty exceptional vehicles.
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SUVs are the talk of the automotive world these days, with offerings ranging from massive people haulers like the Escalade to jacked-up hatchbacks that offer little more than a little extra ground clearance and all-wheel drive. Regardless of how irritating they are to some purists, these are what buyers want, and manufacturers can’t build them fast enough. Recent rumors have been circulating around Mercedes possibly planning a Maybach- SUV and a subcompact crossover to battle the Audi Q1. But while a new report claims that the Maybach rumor is true, it also claims that the subcompact rumor is false.
The report comes from the folks at Motoring.com.au, who had a conversation with Daimler executive, Dieter Zetsche. According to the report, Zetsche said that with Rolls Royce and Bentley both rolling out their own SUVs, the time is absolutely right for Maybach to have one of its own. Unlike the Bentley and Rolls people-haulers, however, the Maybach will be reliant on the product cycle of the Mercedes GLS, which it will be based on. The Bentley and Rolls SUVs are stand-alone models built separately from their respective parent companies’ product lines.
One SUV that appears to be totally out of the question is the rumored Mercedes-Benz Q1 fighter. According to Zetsche, that would require Mercedes to go into the A or B segment, which would step on the toes of Daimler-owned Smart. In the same breath, he also dismissed any competitor to the pint-sized A1.
Continue reading to hear my take on what this means.
2018 Mercedes-Maybach GLS
In Daimler AG speak, the double-M luxury car emblem no longer means "Maybach-Manufaktur.” Now the iconic emblem stands for "Mercedes-Maybach," with the ultra-luxurious 2016 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class already making a name for the new sub-brand. The super-lux S-Class is just the first of an entire range of models set to wear the new emblem, as the German carmaker is now gearing up to introduce a hyper-luxurious variant of its full-size SUV, the GL-Class. Since Mercedes-Benz has already vowed to change its models’ names for a better clarity, the GL-Class will be renamed GLS following its mid-cycle facelift at the end of 2015.
In other words, the next Maybach-branded model from Stuttgart is likely to be called Mercedes-Maybach GLS500. Some unsubstantiated reports suggest that the GLS may get the twin-turbocharged V-12 instead of the V-8 though, which would obviously transform the "500" into a "600." Either way, it is not the new name that will leave the biggest impression. Instead, the big news will be just how opulent this rig will be. I am talking about a car that Mercedes-Benz wants to pit against the upcoming Bentley Bentayga, which not be an easy feat.
Judging by the amount of upgrades that the S-Class has received to be worthy of the Mercedes-Maybach moniker, the GLS should probably up that amount even more to keep up with the Bentley, which will be designed from the ground up to be the most luxurious SUV on the planet. Either way, Mercedes-Benz is obviously no stranger to ultra-luxury features, so the only question remaining is how distinctive the Mercedes-Maybach GLS will be compared to the standard model.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2018 Mercedes-Maybach 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.
The new-generation Mercedes S-Class made its world debut on May 15th, in Hamburg, Germany and it comes with lots of good news. Along with the new S-Class, Mercedes is using this new sedan to revive the old Maybach brand. The new model and sub-brand, now known as the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, promises to be one of the most luxurious machines ever created.
The new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class sees a size increase of 8-inches in both overall length and wheelbase. This adds more interior space for the discerning passenger who demands nothing but the greatest in luxury. There is a range of models that scales from the S500 to the S600, with engine choices that include eight or twelve cylinders.
Mercedes officially unveiled the new car in both the USA and China nearly simultaneously at both the Los Angeles Auto Show here in the states and at Guangzhou in China.
Updated 01/16/2015: Mercedes announced that the all-new Maybach S600 will be put on sale in April 2015 at a starting price of $189,350, excluding $925 destination/delivery charge.
Updated 01/23/2015: We’ve added a series of new images from the car’s official debut at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Check the new images in the "Pictures" tab.
Click past the jump to read more about the future Mercedes-Maybach S600.