WHEN MERCEDES relaunched the Maybach marque, in 2002, the German company was confident it could set new standards of luxury and win over customers from Aston Martin, Bentley and Rolls-Royce. Yet despite fitting cars with extravagant features such as a cigar humidor, champagne flutes and plump pillows for the heads of billionaires weary after counting a day’s profit from their investment portfolio, Maybach failed to find its niche and was closed down a decade later.
Now the German car maker appears to be ready to throw its weight behind Maybach once again. At the Pebble Beach classic car concours, which opens this weekend, a concept for a new super-coupé will be revealed. Called the ‘6’, its over-the-top appearance is likely to grab the attention of wealthy drivers hunting a new status symbol.
The full story, pictures and video will be revealed this Friday. In the meantime, these pictures have been leaked out and shared on websites around the world, and Mercedes is keeping tight-lipped about the showstopping coupé, saying only that the car is “almost six metres of ultimate luxury”.
That would make the car half a metre longer than the Mercedes-Maybach S 600 Pullman, a stretched S-class that was launched in 2015 in a half-hearted attempt to keep the Maybach name alive.
The excess-all-areas 6 features gullwing doors, a feature that contributed to the 1954 Mercedes 300 SL becoming one of the world’s most sought-after cars of all time.
Sitting at the top of the group’s product portfolio, Mercedes-Maybach gets only the best of everything, and rumours suggest that it could be propelled by a new generation of ultra powerful electric motors.
Mercedes has a habit of turning its concepts into production vehicles, so there’s at least a chance that this car will reach showrooms.
If it does, it will need to hold its own against models such as the Rolls-Royce Phantom coupé, which costs nearly £350,000.
This isn’t the first time Mercedes has created a coupé wearing Maybach badges. It built the one-off Exelero in 2005, as a test car for a high-performance tyre maker, Fulda. That model was powered by a 5.9-litre twin-turbo V12.
Later, Xenatec, an independent German coachbuilder, offered a two-door conversion of Maybach’s 57 and 57 S. The plan was to build 200 cars and sell them for around £700,000 apiece.
Unsurprisingly, production of the Xenatec ground to a halt, before the company was closed down because of the lack of interest. Let’s hope the same fate doesn’t befall Merc’s latest confection – assuming the company intends to put it into production.