Friday, September 3, 2010

Maybach Not Dead Yet

A Maybach Zeppelin

Conventional wisdom would say that 200 to 300 units of worldwide sales is far from sufficient to keep a car marque alive, and rumors of Maybach’s demise have been circulating for months. If Automobile is correct, the brand will not only soldier on, but will see a focus on growth through new models, thanks to Daimler’s Joachim Schmidt. Schmidt sees opportunity for the high end brand in China, North America, Russia, and the Middle East, but only if the product line is revised and updated.

All new Maybachs are expected to be built on the upcoming Mercedes S-Class platform, scheduled for launch in 2012. The Maybach range is expected to add a four door coupe and a long wheelbase convertible, while the 57 and 62 models continue in their present configuration on the new platform. A hybrid Maybach is also said to be in the works, but it’s expected to have a modest battery-only range and will only produce some 20 supplemental horsepower.

Let’s be honest, though: Maybach buyers don’t really care about fuel mileage or gasoline prices, and hybridization is just Daimler’s way of making the Maybach appear more green to EU regulators. With a base motor that cranks out about 545 horsepower and an uprated motor good for 630 horsepower, current Maybachs get a fuel economy rating of just 12 mpg; even a hybrid drivetrain won’t increase that substantially.


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