Maybach: No Substitute For A Rolls Royce

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
maybach no substitute for a rolls royce

To paraphrase Kurt Vonnegut, the Maybach experiment was a conspiracy between Daimler and the rich to make the rest of us feel smart. The ultimate zombie brand, exhumed during the go-go nineties as a way for Daimler to charge even more for a stretched S Class, has now fallen on troubled times. And now, according to the ever-trusty, none other than Mariah Carey has put the Maybach seemingly irrevocably in its place:

Initially a top class Mercedes complete with a chauffeur was sent to take Mariah to the studios, but this wasn’t deemed exclusive enough for a star of Mariah’s stature and was then replaced by a £250,000 Mercedes Maybach. However the Maybach limo was also rejected and then, third-time-lucky, a Rolls Royce Phantom was dispatched.

Of course the Phantom had to be “decorated with vinyl graphics of butterflies in a nod to the singer’s 1997 album entitled butterfly” before the divine Miss Carey would grace it with her presence, but that’s a topic for a more mental health-oriented forum. Ego-driven eccentricity aside, Mariah’s dismissal of the Maybach confirms Daimler’s failure to launch a Rolls-worthy competitor, an effort on which no expense was spared. It also raises the troubling question: will any brand be able to match Rolls at the pinnacle of the luxury sedan game? Maybach didn’t end up where it is because its vehicles are less competent, expensive or ostentatious than a Rolls. It even held some genuine cache amongst members of the music business for about two years. And then it just went flat. Mariah might not be able to explain why the Phantom stands alone at the top of the global luxury heap better than I can, but we both know it’s the truth. Anyone looking at going after the Phantom’s segment (hello, Bugatti Galibier and Tata’s branding graverobbers) should think long and hard about the reasons why.

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  • Kristjan Ambroz Kristjan Ambroz on Nov 19, 2009

    I agree that the primary problem is not the brand name but the product. Although I have to admit I found one Maybach particularly humorous - a couple of months ago I saw a firetruck red one with massive corporate logos of the stationery company Ryman in front of the Ivy in London. It was truly hilarious. Apart from the Grey Goose vodka Phantoms (and those were a lot harder to spot, well, the only real giveaway was their french racing blue colour scheme) are the only from the other side of the divide :)

  • Thinx Thinx on Jan 04, 2010

    I still remember how exciting the news of a Maybach revival by Mercedes was... until I saw what they actually did with it. An utterly cynical exercise which managed to be both bland AND garish at the same time. I had high hopes that a company like Daimler-BENZ, goddammit -- BENZ -- would present us with a technological tour-de-force to reckon with, instead of the marketing tour-de-farce that it turned out to be.

  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂