- Maybach could be ramping up its efforts to produce even more high-end, ultra-exclusive models.
- A wide-ranging list of “Myth” and “Legend” cars are under consideration, including variants of the G-wagen and even a possible supercar.
- The subbrand’s aim is to close the gap with ultra-luxury brands such as Bentley and Rolls-Royce.
Maybach is no doubt the most prestigious name in the Mercedes portfolio, but we hear that it’s about to go even higher into the ultra-luxury echelon. The Maybach lineup currently includes high-end versions of the S-class, EQS SUV, and GLS, and in the near future it will expand with additional examples of the brand’s so-called “Myth” or “Legend” cars. These extra-special models are either very expensive limited-run vehicles or even more exclusive one-offs commissioned by wealthy collectors.
In addition to the already launched Mercedes-Maybach S-class and GLS, we expect to see a new Mercedes-Maybach SL (illustrated below), which will boast more bling per square inch of sheetmetal than any other passenger car this side of a Kahn or Mansory conversion. But it takes more than extreme ornamentation to elevate the next-generation portfolio to the narrow gap between Bentley and Rolls-Royce the marque seems to aim at.
“That’s why we are going to turn Maybach into kind of a coachbuilt super-Mercedes which lifts personalization to a whole new level,” a senior decision-maker told C/D. The main means to this end are unique body panels and ultimately a made-to-measure body in white. BMW is also apparently exploring something similar for its upmarket Alpina brand. Although the current Maybach range has no expiration date attached to it, the next flagship sedan derived from Mercedes’ upcoming MB.EA-L matrix will reportedly not only get its own livery but also feature a bespoke cockpit complete with an individualized hyperscreen and virtual-reality trim.
The “Legend” cars roam an even more prestigious and illustrious orbit. The pricing can easily stretch into seven figures, as absolute rarity, outstanding performance, and exquisite execution are of the essence here. There is no limit to the imagination, either. Just look at some of the proposals currently under review:
- Reborn Gullwing: A 2+2 sports car with W198 300SL genes and a potential roadster spinoff
- The Ultimate SEC-Class: A pillarless four-door, four-seater luxury coupe
- Panamericana Cruiser: A low-roof all-terrain SUV based on new electric G-wagen
- C111 Reimagined: The working title for the recently released orange Vision One-Eleven (pictured below)
- GLR Slantback: A coupe-like stripped G-class with canvas-top pickup rear end
- AMG EQR Two: An electric follow-up to the complex F1-inspired AMG One hypercar
- EQS Shooting Brake: The ultimate luxury wagon featuring a multi-functional roof
- EQS SUV Streamliner: Squaring the circle with the world’s lowest-drag crossover
- Maybach Vision 2: A long-wheelbase super-luxury two-door coupe and convertible
There is no doubt about it: inside the Maybach think tank, “anything goes” is not an empty phrase. Ask Mercedes execs to name the key elements of luxury, and they will invariably name space, privacy and exclusivity as undisputed top priorities. Also high up on their list are extraordinary quality and craftsmanship, world-class safety and comfort, autonomous- ready software and hardware, and EV fast charging in five minutes or less. Other brand shapers are the emotional appeal luxury cars can provide, the special feel-good experience of a unique interior, and the automobile as a high-end mobile retreat which combines the creature comforts of a living room with a totally relaxed driving and riding experience. According to the CTO Markus Schäfer, luxury is not an end in itself but a message and a mission wrapped in a second-to-none cocoon: “At the end of the day, the marque’s understanding of luxury is to be the ultimate purveyor of quality time on the go—CO2-neutral, stress-negative, response-positive and totally unique in execution.”
Although I was born the only son of an ornithologist and a postal clerk, it was clear from the beginning that birdwatching and stamp collecting were not my thing. Had I known that God wanted me to grow to 6’8″, I also would have ruled out anything to do with cars, which are to blame for a couple of slipped discs, a torn ligament, and that stupid stooped posture behind the wheel. While working as a keeper in the Aberdeen Zoo, smuggling cheap cigarettes from Yugoslavia to Germany, and an embarrassing interlude with an amateur drama group also failed to yield fulfillment, driving and writing about cars became a much better option. And it still is now, many years later, as I approach my 70th birthday. I love every aspect of my job except long-haul travel on lousy airlines, and I hope it shows.