In 2016, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. While the Maybach line has a storied history, many thought it was a dead or dying brand.
Does this new concept car, along with the S650 and the G650, mean Mercedes-Benz is giving the Maybach line new life? And will it work as a counter to the offerings put out by the likes of Bentley and Rolls-Royce? To understand a little about where the Mercedes-Maybach line is headed, it can help to look at how they got to this point.
A Look Back to How Mercedes-Maybach Came to Life
Many people never realized Maybach was a subsidiary of the German corporation Daimler AG since the 1960s. However, many of the vehicles created at the time were special editions of other Mercedes vehicles. So the cars in question still bore the name and insignia of Mercedes, rather than Maybach.
In 1997, Daimler attempted to move the Maybach line out to the forefront by introducing the Maybach 57 and 62 respectively. Unfortunately, the Maybach line did not sell well despite every effort put forth by Daimler and their subsidiary Mercedes-Benz. They were outsold by other luxury brands such as Rolls Royce and Bentley.
While always popular, the brand just could not sustain itself through sales. Other models were pushed during this time period.
- Maybach 57, 57S, Zeppelin
- Maybach 62, 62S, Landaulet, Zeppelin
- Maybach Exelero (concept/prototype)
Many of the strikes against this rollout hinged on the fact the Maybach line seemed to offer more in features and amenities than it did in drivability. It billed itself as more of a limousine you enjoy a ride in, rather than a luxury vehicle you drive.
In addition, the financial crises of 2007-08 put a halt to a lot of spending in general. Regardless of how things transpired, the Maybach line was discontinued in 2012. As hindsight is 20/20, it is easier now to see where Daimler and Mercedes-Benz went wrong. But the question is, have they learned from their mistakes?
The Do-Over – Mercedes-Maybach Resurgence
In 2014, the Maybach line was once again revived, and in 2015, it put out the now Mercedes-Maybach line of luxury vehicles, starting with the S500 and S600. This vehicle aimed to compete once again with the ultra-luxury offerings of Bentley and Rolls-Royce. However, Mercedes-Maybach did not stop there.
Mercedes-Maybach Going Forward
It is obvious this time around, Mercedes-Maybach has far larger plans. While the Vision 6 is just a concept, much like the Exelero, it can give some insight into the direction Mercedes-Maybach plans to go. The 2017 S550, S600, and upcoming S650 models already draw some inspiration from the Vision 6 concept.
More about the Vision 6
But what is it about the Vision 6 that draws the eye and has the enthusiasts gushing over it? The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 is a gull-winged marvel. It is a reinterpretation of classic design, modern aerodynamics. It does not look “techy,” as many modern automobile designs are trending towards.
Yet, the interior design looks like something you would find in a science fiction movie. The windshield is a transparent display, and the interior can look something like a full lounge. It has an electric car design, with four electric motors. It can also go from 0 to 60 in under four seconds. It is a car that looks like the future of luxury travel.
What is in the future?
There are also the Mercedes-Maybach S-class models to look to. After all, the Maybach S-models are heavily influenced by, and really are, far more luxurious versions of the current versions of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Mercedes has already shown the S650 Cabriolet, but there is also the G650 Landaulet scheduled for 2018. It is the Mercedes G-Series of SUVs translated into a Maybach luxury.
This all begs the question, is Mercedes-Maybach in a position to challenge Rolls-Royce and Bentley in the uber-luxury realm of automobiles? Mercedes-Benz certainly hopes so. Even if the Vision 6 never becomes a production model, and it probably will not, it does give a good look at what Mercedes-Maybach is working towards.
The company reports the electric drivetrain of the Vision 6 is definitely heading towards mass production. That means you will see the double M brand on fine luxury electric vehicles going forward. There is also the upcoming proliferation of self-driving cars. As a manufacturer of vehicles always billed as chauffeur cars, this might really be Maybach’s time to shine.