Mercedes-Benz has just launched its new E-Class, with deliveries here in the United States due to commence in late summer.
So far, however, we've only seen the regular sedan. There are several other bodystyles still in development. One of these is long-wheelbase variant thought to be grouped under the newly-established Mercedes-Maybach sub-brand. Mercedes-Maybach has been tasked with building ultra-luxurious versions of regular Mercedes models, and so far we’ve seen a Mercedes-Maybach S-Class and a Mercedes-Maybach S-Class Pullman.
Next in line is likely to be a Mercedes-Maybach E-Class, as hinted at by Mercedes’ former U.S. chief Steve Cannon.
2017 Mercedes Maybach E-Class spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-MedienEnlarge Photo
Mercedes has offered stretched E-Class sedans in the past, the most recent being the E-Class L offered exclusively in China. However, these have simply been fitted with stretched rear doors and interiors virtually identical to those of the regular E-Class models.
What makes us think this latest prototype is for a Mercedes-Maybach E-Class is a hidden window located behind the rear door. This section is covered in camouflage gear but the expanse of metal will almost certainly be broken up by a window, just like on the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. And those blacked-out rear windows are likely hiding a pair of individual, executive-style seats.
2016 Mercedes-Maybach S-ClassEnlarge Photo
Like the outgoing E-Class L, the Mercedes-Maybach E-Class will be targeted at the Chinese market where the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class has proven a hit. This time around, however, other markets will likely be offered the chance to purchase the car.
Look for range-topping trim levels only, meaning an E550 (E500 in other markets) at launch and possibly a plug-in hybrid at some point.
A debut will likely take place at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show in April. Other new E-Class bodystyles still in the works include an E-Class Wagon and E-Class Coupe. We're also still waiting on the Mercedes-AMG E63 sledgehammer.