Eye-wateringly Expensive Luxo-barge Assembly Bound, Not Surprisingly, for America

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
eye wateringly expensive luxo barge assembly bound not surprisingly for america

Forget Teslas and Black Label Lincolns and the upper strata of truckdom — the most expensive vehicle produced in North America will soon be a German offering with an MSRP about 100 grand higher than its domestic neighbors.

An American production site for this vehicle is appropriate, however, as it’s an SUV; the first offered by the Mercedes-Maybach sub-brand.

Based on the Vance, Alabama-built Mercedes-Benz GLS full-size SUV, the Maybach model will enter production this year and begin appearing in music videos and the driveways of well-manicured homes early next year, Automotive News reports. Sources claim the model, previewed by the odd Vision Ultimate Luxury concept, should carry a price tag of about $200,000.

Adjusted for inflation, the Mercedes-Maybach GLS’s expected starting price will top that of the American-built Duesenberg Model J, which sold for $9,500 in 1932 (roughly $175,000 in 2019 dollars). The economy’s doing a little better in the present day, however.

While last year’s concept vehicle boasted wheels like GE turbofans and a sedan-like trunk, expect this high-riding vehicle to gain a normal SUV body in production form. Its reason for joining the Daimler stable is, as Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Dietmar Exler explained, to serve as a “halo car.”

More Maybach versions of Mercedes-Benz vehicles are on the way, Exler said, though only vehicles with a certain level of status will make the cut.

“We’ll logically extend it where it makes sense,” Exler told AN. “I cannot imagine you will have a Maybach A class. But on the top luxury cars, to have the luxury edition makes a whole lot of sense for us.”

He added, “It will help build the Mercedes brand, no question.”

Maybach is a latecomer to the rarified segment of ultra-lux SUVs. Already, nearly every true luxury brand has an SUV ready for the taking — Bentley, Rolls-Royce, even Lamborghini. Not playing in this space would hurt the badge’s relevance and deprive its parent of generous profits. And profits there will be, as this category of vehicles shows no sign of decline.

[Images: Daimler AG]

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  • Mike-NB2 Mike-NB2 on Mar 19, 2019

    I realize that the 'Buy, Drive, Burn' series is dedicated to older vehicles, but can we all just agree that this, even now, is just BURN, BURN, BURN!. Thankfully at it's price point I'll never see one in real life.

  • EGSE EGSE on Mar 20, 2019

    Ehhh....we mis-identified the purpose behind this atrocity. It's a sociological survey of our society. The more they sell the greater it is an indicator of the dystopian future that awaits us, where the filthy rich have neither taste, character or intelligence.

  • Cprescott Yawn.
  • 28-Cars-Later Wrangler people are crazy.
  • 28-Cars-Later "Transition" to layoffs, this guy is the Bob(s) from Office Space.
  • Vap65689119 As a release engineer I also worked in quality, if they are serious they should look at Toyotas business model which has their suppliers as genuine partners, thats how you get a quality product
  • Mike-NB2 I seem to have landed in an alternate universe. $12,000 for a Jeep that's going on a quarter-century old and with an automatic transmission? Wow.