The Maybach is bach! Er, back!
Roughly two years after killing off its ultra-luxury standalone brand, the revered Maybach name is set to reappear on the bootlid of a new S-Class based flagship, due to be revealed before the end of this month.
That plan might sound spookily familiar, but Mercedes has learned from its mistakes, with the Maybach set to be much more closely aligned with the S-Class on which it is based.
Following the precedent set by the new C63 and GT, which are known as Mercedes-AMGs rather than Mercedes-Benz, the new flagship will be known as the Mercedes-Maybach.
Autocar reports that prices are expected to be around 10 per cent more than the equivalent standard model, rather than the stratospheric $1m+ entry ticket the previous generation Maybach demanded.
An S600 will be offered in Europe using Mercedes' familiar 6.0-litre twin-turbo V12, while a twin-turbo V8 S500 will be offered in other markets and a V6 S400 reserved for Asian markets with punitive taxes on high-emission cars.
A Mercedes-Benz Australia spokesman said each model would be looked at on a case-by-case basis, but the car would be special order-only when it arrives in the last quarter of 2015.
As with the original Maybach, the car's party piece will be individually reclinable rear seats like those in business class on an aeroplane, as well as “lavishly designed, prestigious interiors offering extensive scope for individualisation.”
The previous-generation Maybach was a disaster for Mercedes, selling only around 3000 cars in 13 years on sale, hampered by derivative (and unattractive) styling and a lack of development. The world's uber-rich much preferred the Rolls-Royce Phantom that debuted around the same time.
With the world's wealthy clamouring for ultra-expensive machinery, especially if it can be uniquely personalised, Maybach's revival is likely to be a lot more successful this time around.