I was convinced that the ultra-luxury brand Maybach was a long-dead story. But Daimler AG is determined not to make its subsidiary brand rest-in-peace forever. It wants to cash in on its legacy by hook or by crook! Too much exclusivity and lack of its own foot-hold made the brand slip-off the sales. It was unviable for yet another revival either.
Thus, why not hook it up with Mercedes the de facto guardian of the brand for decades?
That’s the idea behind the 2016 Mercedes-Maybach S600 which is about to be previewed at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show next week. The latest housekeeping works at the Mercedes involving new nomenclature scheme for its cars and light trucks confirms the return of Maybach from the grave as a new sub-brand under Mercedes, much like AMG badging for its high-performance machines. The company decided to kill the brand in 2012 owing to poor sales, putting an end to Maybach’s second innings spanning for five decades under the ownership of Daimler AG. Maybach initially produced engines rails and aircrafts of the World War I and for Nazi Germany’s medium and heavy tanks dring the second World War, before it was acquired by Daimler in 1960.
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Though the new Maybach ultraluxury sedan is yet to be unveiled, some scooped data are already available. The car will be around 18 feet in length, slotting between
the S550 and the deceased Maybach 57, according to head of global
design, Gordon Wagener. Which means that the extended wheel base and stretched doors and cabin of the previous Maybach models will remain intact.
|Maybach badge for ultra-luxurious Mercedes machines
But then, the present generation S-Class is in itself phenomenally well-built and luxurious. The S-Guard and S-Pullman limousine versions are already available too. So, the Maybach trim would be differentiated well enough to carve out a new niche. A wide range of customization options, plush leathers and fine gadgets are sure to be found. “S600” moniker would mean that there can be a 6.0-litre V12 engine from the present S600.
Well, Mercedes may bring this Maybach version to India as well, but certainly not before three or four years from now. The car will go on sale in USA by mid-2016. Prices can little lower than the 2012 Maybach models. Anyway, this is a car not just for Ambanis and Tatas, but even for any politicians and bureaucrats! Why should only Ambanis have all the fun??
|The present generation Mercedes S-class
Now, lets come to the new naming convention devised by Mercedes for its cars. Only the German trio – Audi, BMW, and Mercedes – along with few others follow the scheme of alphabets and serial numbers to name their cars. This sets them apart from the typical ‘word’ names, either randomly chosen or vaguely related. This actually gives them certain exclusivity and elite character.
In the West, Infiniti and Cadillac overhauled their cars names completely and others want to follow suit! Happily, Mercedes has limited itself with steamlining the names rather than a thorough fix. There will be five core classes: A, B, C, E, and S. The SUVs and crossovers will have a GL in their names, and the core class from whose platform the car is derived. Say, the new GLA is a crossover made out of the A-class platform. Same as the GLE (earlier ML class) from the E platform, and GLS (bigger GL) from that of S. The legendary G-class SUV remains unchanged. The coupe sedans will have CL in their names and the roadsters will have SL prefix.
The new scheme does eliminate possible confusions that may arise, and also clues about a car’s platform and vaguely its size and position among the fleet. Yet, the Audi and BMW have even better and simpler scheme than that of Mercedes. Let’s see if Mercedes decides to bring a Maybach version of its inferior A, B or C-class, as we have AMG tuned models in every class!
Also Read: 2014 Mercedes S65 AMG. The Royal Sport!
Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz, Jalopnik