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Remember Maybach? Of course not, we’re in a recession. But back in the day, when the grass was green and birds sang sweetly in the forests, Mercedes’ experiment with ultra-luxury was quietly shuttered after people decided that two-tone paint wasn’t compelling enough a reason to buy what looked like a melted S-Class owned by Simon Cowell.
So now, Mercedes-Benz is quietly weighing their options. They could turn Maybach into a sub-brand of Mercedes, like AMG or Designo: more in line within the company than as a separate division. They could ask Aston Martin to build the next Maybach—the Brits have already created four concepts based on the S-Class for Benz’s consideration. Or, they could take it out back and shutter it.
Dieter “Dr. Z” Zetsche, CEO of Daimler, admitted that a partnership with Aston Martin was in the talks. And, the Daimler board need to reach a conclusion on Maybach by July 1st, the next time they are scheduled to meet. Spokespeople for both companies refused to comment.
Hey, after all, nouveau riche Beijingers and oil sheiks have needs, too.
[Source: Automotive News]
The slow-selling luxurious Maybach may be in trouble and we will find out by July 1. Mercedes parent company Daimler AG is trying to decide what to do with the Maybach company after slumping sale issues. Daimler will either axe the car or possibly partner with British car-maker Aston Martin for a second-generation car.
According to CEO Dieter Zetche, “there is a higher likelihood to come to a positive decision” for a new-generation of Maybach if a partner joins production. Zetche did confirm that Daimler has been discussing a partnership with Aston Martin and that there are no other prospects. A concept for the next-generation Maybach has been designed but a final decision has not been made, according to Zetche. Daimler invested over $1 billion on development for the Maybach, but ”it was not a good investment for a small-volume vehicle.”
Slow-selling would be an understatement. Only 157 Maybachs were sold last year, according to IHS Automotive, far short of the Mercedes- Benz goal of 1,500 units.
If Aston Martin produces the Maybach, the British automaker would be inclined to buy engines (V8 and V12) and transmissions (seven-speed automatic) from Mercedes-Benz but would implement them into other Aston Martin vehicles.
GALLERY: 2011 Maybach Lineup
[Source: Automotive News]
Rumors of a partnership between Aston Martin and Mercedes-Benz surfaced quite some time ago, but according to a new report a deal between has been stuck between the two luxury marques – one that will benefit plans both firms have for their boutique luxury brands.
The terms of the tie-up will see Aston Martin get the GL platform from Mercedes on which to build its Lagonda SUV, which should be priced in the range of $250,000. Aston will also get access to new Mercedes engine technology, with the new twin-turbo 4.7-liter V8 a likely candidate for the Lagonda.
In return, Aston will develop the next-generation Maybach models, based off the upcoming Mercedes S-Class chassis. Mercedes is betting on a recovered economy and demand in China to help keep the Maybach brand economically viable. But that’s not all.
For its efforts Aston Martin will also be rewarded with access to the S-Class chassis to build a Rolls-Royce rivaling Lagonda sedan that would cost as much as $350,000. The British sports car maker may even use the chassis of the SLS to replace its current VH architecture, which is used for every model in Aston’s lineup.
The first fruits of this joint-venture will be on display at this Fall’s Frankfurt Auto Show, with Maybach set to show-off its new Aston Martin-built luxury saloon.
[Source: Car & Driver]
When some other manufacturers announce armored variants of their vehicles, we sometimes wonder why. When Maybach announces an armored variant of their 62 luxury sedan, we wonder what took them so long. The engineers over at Sindelfingen, Germany, equipped Maybach’s 62 with integrated safety systems to suit all the very important people that need protection while traveling in the ultimate luxury sedan.
Maybach boasts that their armored version of the 62, dubbed 62 Guard, only weighs 895-lbs more than the non-armored version. Its reinforcement comes from a specially-made armor featuring steel and high-tech Kevlar that’s integrated into the body shell. Maybach also claims that the base of the Maybach Guard was already designed for the additional weight, so no additional changes were made to the drivetrain, suspension or brakes.
Most importantly though is the fact that Maybach is the only armored car in the world that can reach a top speed of 155-mph. The Maybach 62 Guard can also receive almost all the same options of individualization that a standard Maybach can receive. No pricing was announced.
Official press release available after the break.
GALLERY: 2011 Maybach 62 Models
The ostentatious among us may be left without a chariot, as Mercedes-Benz is apparently mulling over a plan to kill the under-performing Maybach brand.
The first Maybach concept debuted in 1997, a time when the first dot-com bubble was rapidly growing, and a super-luxury car was a smart move for Mercedes. With the 180 degree turn in the world’s economy, Maybachs are now as relevant as sewing machines and type writers, and M-B execs are beginning to come around to the notion that an ultra-premium brand may be a mis-allocation of resources.
Mercedes is apparently evaluating Maybach’s viability on a yearly basis. Although the brand is largely inconsequential to their bottom line, Maybach only sold 63 cars in the USA last year, leading execs to question whether it’s really worth keeping the brand around for such a small customer base.
Earlier this year, German Tuner Xenatec announced that they’d be producing Maybach’s 57S Coupe. And now just in time for the new year, Xenatec has the first one released to the public and it’s for sale up on JamesList. The asking price for the first of 100 limited units is a little shy of $950,000.
The Maybach 57S Coupe by Xenatec (aka Cruiserio) is powered by a Mercedes AMG 6.0L V12 powerplant pushing out 605-hp and 738 lb-ft of torque. The first unit is located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and is finished in a nice, classy black. We look forward to some more units from Xenatec. And to think, we doubted they’d actually ever build this beast.
GALLERY: Maybach 57S Coupe by Xenatec
It’s no secret that the revival of the Maybach brand by Mercedes parent company Daimler has been a flop. Perhaps it’s because of how much the cars shared with their S-Class counterparts, but apart from the odd Russian oligarch, the world’s wealthiest folks have decided to stick with faithful British brands like Bentley and Rolls-Royce when it comes to their ultra-luxury needs.
The ability of British brands to built true luxury cars has apparently not gone unnoticed by Daimler and according to a report by the Financial Times, Daimler may source Aston Martin to build the next generation of Maybach models.
In exchange, Aston Martin would reportedly get access to engine technology from Mercedes-Benz, something AM desperately needs as its 6.0-liter V12 engine (used in almost every vehicle it sells) is quickly becoming outdated.
A Daimler spokesman has denied the report, but did comment that the lines of communication between the two automakers is open. This comes as no surprise as Aston Martin’s Lagonda concept (which debuted at the Geneva Auto Show two years ago) was based on the Mercedes GL platform.
While still mostly a rumor, the story doesn’t have any obvious holes in it with Daimler eager to partner with other automakers (including recent agreements with Renault/Nissan/Infiniti), while Aston Martin is no doubt eager to find a large partner to offset costs, especially with rivals like Ferrari being owned by Fiat and Lamborghini by Volkswagen.
It’s amazing to see what a design team can do when they don’t have their arms tied by accountants. For the 2010 LA Auto Show‘s annual Design Challenge, automakers were invited to create a vehicle that is good for the environment, attractive and exciting to drive, but it also much be safe, seat four and weigh less than 1,000 lbs.
Looking like they belong in anything from Tron to Avatar, nine automakers decided to take up the challenge presenting some seriously impressive concepts. The list of automakers includes: General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Maybach, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Smart, Toyota and Volvo.
The reason for the extensive list of entries is that for the first time, the 2010 Design Challenge includes design studios outside of California, meaning several entries came from Germany and Japan.
A panel of judges will pick the top design, based on criteria such as “artistic beauty, comfort, uniqueness of design, roadworthiness, sustainability, performance and user-friendliness. Oh, and the winner will have to meet the 1,000 lb mark as well. The winner will be announced November 18th, during the Design Los Angeles Conference at the LA Auto Show.
AutoGuide’s 2010 LA Auto Show coverage starts November 17th. Until then, see our LA Auto Show Preview here.
GALLERY: 2010 LA Auto Show Design Challenge
Official release after the jump:
We could spend hours on how jealous we are about this 21-year-old, or how spoiled he is and how he’ll never know what it’s like to have a tough life. But we just have to respect his pure taste in supercars and the fact that he actually pursued an education rather than sitting back, driving his fine collection of cars and living off his (clearly affluent) father.
Forget the American dream, Dhiaa Al-Essa out of Saudi Arabia is living the quintessential automotive enthusiast’s dream. Let’s start by spelling out just what’s in his current collection – if you can keep up: Rolls-Royce Coupe, Phantom; a pair of Range Rovers; Mercedes McLaren SLR; Lamborghini Gallardo, Gallardo Superleggera, Murcielago LP640; Ferrari F430, 599, 458 Italia (now burnt), California, Novitec Rosso F430; Porsche 997 Turbo, 997 GT3 RS, 997 Turbo Spyder, Cayenne Turbo, Panamera Turbo; Bentley Continental GT; Mercedes S65 AMG, G55 AMG, E63 AMG, CL65 AMG; BMW M5, X6 M, X5 M, 760Li; Audi R8, A8; Lexus LS 460; and Maybach 62.
Now if that wasn’t enough, Al-Essa currently has a Ferrari 599 GTO, Bugatti Veyron Super Sport and Koenigsegg Agera on order. And even though this is an absolutely fine collection of supercars, we’re a little confused on why there isn’t a Pagani on the list or on order.
And as we mentioned before, Al-Essa is grabbing himself a degree in engineering over in Riyadh, his home city. In fact, the Koenigsegg Agera is a present from his father for completing his Engineering degree.
Apparently Al-Essa has fine company to indulge in his supercar enthusiasm. He is just one of many rich youngsters in the Middle East that travel out to Europe and America each summer to enjoy their vehicles and to get away from the heat.
Oh and we guess it’s worth mentioning that Al-Essa was one of those unfortunate ones who’s Ferrari 458 Italia caught fire – but it’s not quite what you think. A warehouse blaze at Heathrow Airport caused the 458 Italia’s demise. No worry though, Al-Essa has that 599 GTO Roadster to replace it.
With a collection like that, we wonder how Al-Essa chooses which car to drive.
GALLERY: 21 Year Old Student Luxury Supercar Collector
[Source: Small World News Service]
With just 300 units sold globally per year, it was expected that the dawn of a new S-Class in 2012 would see the demise of Mercedes‘ ultra-luxury Maybach brand. Not so says a new report by Automobile Magazine.
According to this latest info, Maybach will use the new S-Class architecture to produce as many as five new models. Included in that list are some less-traditional cars like a 4-door coupe (similar to the Mercedes CLS), as well as a long-wheelbase convertible – inspired by the Ocean Drive Concept.
The 6.0-liter V12 engine will soldier on, but getting a 7-speed transmission (rather than the current 5-speed unit) to deliver improved acceleration and fuel economy. There’s also the possibility that a hybrid option could be included, delivering an extra 20-hp and a 10-mile emissions free driving range. Maybach models might also eventually get a planned 9-speed automatic transmission.
The plan is to build Maybach back up into the brand it was supposed to be, competing with rivals like Bentley and Rolls-Royce.
In the world of luxury you just can’t put a price tag on exclusivity – or can you? The original Maybach Exelero was a high-speed test mule conjured up by the minds at Daimler by Fulda tires. And exclusive it was, with only one ever built, selling for nearly $8,000,000. That’s right, six zeroes.
But with everything that’s so exclusive, somewhere in the world there are individuals motivated enough to make a replica. Over on JamesList is a listing for just that: a Maybach Exelero replica that is apparently based on 2010 Dodge Viper. It sports the 8.3-liter V10 motor pushing out over 800-hp with 23-inch wheels.
Details pretty much stop there but apparently the Swiss company offers any style and colored interior along with any color exterior for whatever buyer may be interested. So if you’ve got $680,000 lying around, place an order and wait four months for it to come. That price tag may seem high, but it’s quite the savings over the $8,000,000 that the original one sold for. And hey, they even toss in free shipping.
GALLERY: Maybach Exelero
After a two-year hiatus, the girls from Sex and the City are back, and they’ve brought a few new friends with them. No, it’s not a few dozen pairs of Jimmy Choos (although, they do make an appearance). Sharing the screen with these 40-somethings is Mercedes-Benz’s ultra-luxurious Maybach line.
Fitting right into the exclusive lifestyle of style icons Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda, the all-new E-Class Convertible, the S400 Hybrid Sedan, the G-Class SUV and Maybach sedan are going along for the ride this time around as the ladies escape from New York.
“Based on the success of the first movie and its ability to attract trendsetters and style-makers, Sex and the City 2 is a natural fit for Mercedes-Benz,” says Steve Cannon, Vice President of Marketing, Mercedes-Benz USA. “The movie provides a great stage for us; it showcases our new eco-friendly flagship S-Class, ruggedly sophisticated G-Class and ultra luxury Maybach line in their natural elements. It also perfectly positions the new E-Class Convertible just as it arrives in showrooms.”
Mercedes is also promoting the E-Class Cabriolet in an ad campaign that partners with the movie, sporting the tagline: “Stylish Enough for Carrie, Luxurious enough for Charlotte, Smart enough for Miranda and fast enough for Samantha.” And if you get it silver, the E-Class will go with every outfit.
Read the complete Press Release after the jump:
Xenatec is a German-based company that often times fulfills special vehicle requests of a particular nature. This can range from stretching an Audi R8 to bullet-proofing your Rolls-Royce Ghost. Whatever may be the case, Xenatec clearly has the expertise, knowledge and engineers to safely take on the task of heavy chassis modification. So it’s no surprise that Xenatec will be heading the limited edition production of the Maybach 57S Coupe.
Only 100 of these bad boys will be produced, making it extremely limited for the extremely luxurious and extremely wealthy. Priced at slightly over $800,000 depending on the conversion, this exclusive Maybach has been widened and the roof lowered compared to its original 57S form but kept the same length (5.7-meters). The vehicle will still be powered by the same power plant, a 6.0L Twin Turbo V12 that pumps out 612-hp, shooting the sedan to 62-mph in five seconds flat. We don’t expect the overall performance to change by much in the coupe altercation.
Giving it an overall sleeker look, the lower roof and longer doors may be what Maybach needed all along to move along some more vehicles. But hey, as far as we’re concerned, Bentley and Rolls-Royce still have our attention. We’ll have to see this one in person before we crown a new king.
GALLERY: Xenatec Maybach 57S Coupe
This author has loved hip-hop music since the tender age of 3, when Digital Underground’s “The Humpty Dance” caught my attention. I didn’t really understand the lyric “I once got busy in a Burger King bathroom” but it had a fat bassline and a character from a nursery rhyme, and that was enough for me.
In the same way that rock and roll groups mythologized American muscle in the 1960′s, rappers have taken to lionizing the automobile in all its forms, whether it’s an East Coast rapper like Jay-Z rapping about Maybachs or Jaguars, or Snoop Dogg cruising through Long Beach, California in one of his famous 1964 Impalas.
Recently, the Southern United States has had a stranglehold on the hip-hop scene, and their love of American muscle has seen a resurgence of interest in rear-drive American cars. For those with money, a new Dodge Charger or a classic muscle car is the must have ride. But not everyone can afford a new car, and so ordinary folk turn to cars like the Chevrolet Caprice, Mercury Grand Marquis or 1980′s G-Body General Motors cars and customize them with cartoonish 24inch rims and custom lift kits.
As with any fashion-driven culture, huge chrome rims are now out of style, and the new trend is “swangas“, the street term of wire wheels from a 1983 or 1984 Cadillac. Since the wheels were made for a rear-drive offset, they tend to poke out on many of the front-drive vehicles that are affordable to young people, like Oldsmobile 98s, Cadillac Devilles or Buick Park Avenues. While automotive purists may scoff, the “poke” aesthetic is a signature look of the “swanga” movement.
Houston rap group “Block Boyz Click” released a video, imaginatively titled “Ridin Swangas”, and the song is a decent, if amateurish attempt to capture the slowed-down, soulful styles of fellow Houstonians UGK, the video is chock full of truly ghetto American iron that should have been consigned to the junkyard long ago. Aside from the aforementioned cars, sharp eyes will also spot a Chrysler LHS, Buick LeSabre and Pontiac Bonneville.
The artistic merits of the song may be a matter of opinion, but we happened to enjoy the use of some under-appreciated Rick Wagoner-era General Motors machinery, rather than having the (rented) supercar du jour being driven at a snails pace, with a blinged-out hand gripping the wheel at 12 o’clock. Long live the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the Dirty South. Keep swangin on ‘em, H-Town. Check out the official video after the jump.
[Source: Cardomain blog]
If you’re like us, you probably forgot all about Maybach when you saw the new interior of the Audi A8L, set to debut at the upcoming Beijing Auto Show. Apparently the folks at Maybach were equally impressed and have decided to “refresh” their current lineup for next year. You’d think that “refresh” would mean the platform has been upgraded so it no longer rides on an 11-year old S-Class chassis, but unfortunately, we aren’t so lucky.
Production will continue on the 57, 57S, 62 and 62S limousines with a handful of cosmetic, interior, and electronics tweaks to justify the undoubtedly astronomical price tag. All models get new grilles, including a different grill for ‘S’ models, and additional sound dampening to keep road noise down. ‘S’ models also get a few extra ponies squeezed out of the V12, now up to 630-hp.
Inside, passengers get a divider to separate themselves from their drivers, and optional 19-inch monitors in back instead of the standard 9.5-inch units, wireless internet, quilted leather, Swarovski Crystal trim, plus an optional perfume atomizer from the Zeppelin. Of course technology has been improved, with available wireless internet now available.
The updates to the Maybach lineup are minimal in a halfassed attempt to maintain some interest in the models before Mercedes admits its mistake and eliminates the brand by 2014.
GALLERY: 2011 Maybach Models
The Chinese-luxury market segment is continue to grow at an exponential rate. Many new-age Chinese entrepreneurs are affluent and distinguished, looking towards enjoying the finer things in life, which naturally includes automobiles. Many luxury vehicle owners are working hard in penetrating the market in China. Even Porsche debuted the Panamera in Shanghai, knowing how important luxury sedans are to the affluent Chinese. Interestingly enough, French auto manufacturer Citroen is focusing on this segment and attempting to beat out the luxury German manufacturers.
The Citroen Metropolis is longer than a Mercedes-Benz S-Class and wider than a Maybach, two attributes that are actually very important to the affluent Chinese market. And much like the hype of today, the Metropolis is environmentally-friendly with an electric motor powering it at low speeds delivering zero emissions at Shanghai city speeds. For the freeway, a 2.0L V6 contributes 272-hp, and both the electric and V6 engine are able to work together to the harmonious tune of 460-hp.
Suspension-wise, the car floats and ride comfortably with Citroen’s Hydraactive suspension. This system compensates for loads and lowers at higher speeds increasing mpg and aerodynamic efficiency.
For now, the car is just a concept, but we expect to hear more about production details when the Citroen Metropolis officially debuts at the Beijing Auto Show later this month.
GALLERY: Citroen Metropolis
New S-Class model to go more up-market and hi-tech with Human Machine Interface
Resurrected in 2002 as a way for Mercedes to take on rival BMW’s newly acquired Rolls-Royce brand, Maybach has been a sales flop and now Mercedes appears ready to finally admit as much. According to a report by AutoExpress, Mercedes will give the Maybach models a slight update (set to be revealed at the Shanghai Auto Show) this year before winding the brand down towards 2014.
Why 2014? Well, that just happens to be the year that the next-generation S-Class is due out, meaning that Mercedes will then look to take some S-Class models further up-market. The 2014 S-Class should also get some impressive technology and AutoExpress claims it will be one of the most technologically sophisticated machines ever built. The rather tabloid-like outlet is also reporting that Mercedes has even approved the Human Machine Interface (HMI) as seen on the F800 Style concept. The HMI system works somewhat like something you might have seen in the Tom Cruise film Minority Report, using a screen and a camera to turn hand movements into actions, such as zooming in on a map with just a gesture of the hand.
Sound a little too futuristic? Well, 2014 is still a long way off.
Convertible limousine to be first of its kind
With its debut at the Dubai Motor Show as a “Design Study,” Maybach shocked the world by announcing, shortly afterward, that it would in fact build the 62S Landaulet. This bizarre creation is a genuine limousine (stretching a foot longer than even the Rolls-Royce Phantom) and yet it features a retractable rear roof. This way, passengers can enjoy the sun while the driver can stay focused at the task at hand.
The bizarre design keeps the metal roof structure at all times, so from a side perspective it always looks like a standard sedan/limousine. From behind or on top, however, it is possible to see that the material rear roof folds away behind the passenger compartment.
Driver and passenger compartments are also distinguished by the color of materials used. The driver compartment is filled with glossy black Stromboli leather with piano black accents. As for the passengers, they sit surrounded by Seychelles white leather, with white velour carpets.
The Landaulet is powered by a twin-turbo Mercedes V-12 that makes 612hp at 4800 rpm and 738 ft-lbs of torque at 2000 rpm.
Maybach has not released how many models will be built but the 62S Landaulet is expected to sell for $1.35 million.