The Skinny On Maybach
May-what? Car buffs certainly recognize the ultra-luxury DaimlerChrysler brand, but the super rich didn't apparently think enough of the cars to help DCX hit its goal of selling 1,000 of them a year. It's certainly a hefty feat, we'll give them that. After a warm reception for the 1997 Mercedes-Benz Maybach concept vehicle powered by a hefty 550 hp V12 engine, the automaker tried to revive the barely-there brand, going up against the Rolls Royce of automobiles... Rolls Royce. Out rolled the Maybach 57 and 62 models, and later the Exelero concept vehicle and sport models of the 57 and 62, but the company hasn't managed to strike any paydirt in winning over Rolls fans.
That may all change, or so rumor has it. Finally, after selling only 152 cars in 2005 and 146 in 2006, we're starting to hear some talk of new product over in the Maybach camp.
First up is a Mercedes GL-based sport utility vehicle, which, if Bentley doesn't beat Maybach to the punch, may be the next logical step for current Porsche Cayenne owners who feel like they're slumming it. The ute would have to be pretty packed with luxury amenities in order to account for what will be a hefty price premium over the GL-class, but there's certainly a market for it judging from the fact that the Cayenne quickly became Porsche's best-selling model.
Another option Maybach is reportedly considering is a "parade car" convertible based on its long 57 and 62 models. We saw something like it in the form of the Mercedes Ocean Drive four-door convertible concept, and if the Maybach follows suit, the ultra-luxury version of the Ocean Drive would be pegged along with the Rolls Royce Drophead Coupe.
Finally, the most recent thing we've heard about (by way of sister-site Autoblog.com), though also still just a rumor at this point, is a four-door coupe, based on the Mercedes CLS-class. This particular slot in Maybach's lineup is another good call -- the mid-size vehicle will provide decent competition for the Porsche Panamera and Aston Martin Rapide.