Once a standalone brand, Maybach is expected to be turned into a sub-brand for ultra-luxurious Mercedes models, just as Mercedes-AMG is a sub-brand for the automaker’s high-performance models. And this stretched S-Class will be the first to get the Maybach treatment, and once launched will serve as the replacement for the ill-fated Maybach 57 and Maybach 62 sedans.
The new car will be aimed at both limousine hire companies as well as rich businessmen. The model is expected to be especially popular in China where it’s common for well-heeled individuals to have their own personal driver.
To help differentiate the S-Class Maybach from its more plebeian cousins, expect unique styling treatments on the lights, wheels and possibly even the grille. The range-topping trim should be an S600 Maybach, complete with a twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V-12 engine. A 455-horsepower V-8 should be offered in an S550 Maybach and a hybrid model should also be launched. Don't expect an AMG badge on this vehicle.
As for pricing, you can bet it will be expensive, though don’t expect its sticker to fall anywhere near the $379,050 starting price of the final Maybach 57. A figure of around $200k is likely, making it a rival for the likes of the Bentley Flying Spur and Rolls-Royce Ghost.
Look for a debut of the S-Class Maybach at auto shows in Guangzhou and Los Angeles later this year. Other S-Class variants still in the works include an extra, extra-long S-Class Pullman and a new S-Class Cabriolet. These will join the existing short-wheelbase S-Class on sale overseas, the regular S-Class sold locally, and the new S-Class Coupe, forming the six-car S-Class family.