Mercedes-Benz has been committed to building many of its vehicles in North America for some time, and has bestowed an important and ultra expensive new version of the GLS upon its plant in Alabama. At around $200,000, it will be the most expensive passenger vehicle produced in the United States. It’s an on-trend holiday gift for your spouse in The Current Year!
Before long, there’ll be hip-hop songs written about what went on in the back of Mercedes-Maybach’s largest offering.
Revealed Thursday, the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4Matic is essentially a Mercedes-Benz GLS that’s been to finishing school, put on airs, and is now ready to float above the riff-raff at a cruising altitude of 40,000 feet, sipping on champagne all the way. The automaker provides the silver flutes for just such a drinking experience, as well as the (three-bottle) fridge.
Interestingly, Mercedes-Maybach’s product boss implied that the vehicle’s customers might be used to viewing the world from such a lofty height.
No longer the gaudy marque seen in countless hip hop videos in the early 2000s, Maybach is now joined at the hip to Mercedes-Benz, offering lux-ified variants of the S-Class sedan under the Mercedes-Maybach sub-brand. Soon, that super sedan will have a higher-riding sibling, as even fabulously wealthy people sometimes need venture off the beaten track.
Fact is, those buyers have more choice than ever in choosing a more capable steed. Maserati has the Levante, Bentley has the Bentayga, and Rolls-Royce now has the Cullinan (truly a diamond in the rough). It’s time for a Mercedes-Maybach GLS.
Daimler, maker of top-end Mercedes-Maybach automobiles, is on the hot seat after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was spotted scooting around in brand new armored limos at recent international summits.
Sales of luxury automobiles to the despotic regime are banned under a UN Security Council resolution passed in 2013, and Daimler does not count it as one of its customers. Still, the country’s leader travels in uncompromising Germanic style.
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.
Trademark applications filed by Daimler with the United States Patent and Trademark Office may indicate a soon-to-be expanded lineup for its premium line of Mercedes-Maybach vehicles. According to some detective work by AutoGuide, the automaker recently filed three applications with the USPTO for vehicles using the names GLS 600, GLS 680, and S 680.
While it wasn’t alway the case, Mercedes currently uses automotive designations above 600 to denote vehicles reserved for the ultra-luxury Maybach sub-brand. The GLS-Class’ trim presently tops out at 550 before qualifying as an AMG-enhanced model. While that doesn’t guarantee a Maybach SUV, it does make it a likely prospect. At the very least, it would seem Mercedes wants to introduce a more lavish GLS in the near future.
With the minivan now dethroned by sport utility vehicles and crossovers as the king of family transportation, we’ve run into a problem. Larger three-row SUVs can be expensive, while their more affordable counterparts frequently sacrifice cargo space and comfort to accommodate that last row of seats. Another issue is that adults who decided to spawn four children are forced to interact with them during long drives by occupying the same cabin.
Wouldn’t it be incredible if a manufacturer invented a vehicle that could solve most of these problems? Well, some already have. Limousines have been around for ages and it’s ludicrous that they haven’t been co-opted for family use. But, if you’re going to purchase a high-end luxury transport specifically for road trips with the brood, you had better make sure it’s so decadently comfortable and quiet in the back that they can’t help but fall asleep. That’s why the perfect family vehicle is probably the new Mercedes-Maybach Pullman S650.
Granted, the long-wheelbase version of the already lengthened variant of the S-Class isn’t intended for familial use. It’s supposed signal the wealth of overachieving business persons. But exceedingly wealthy parents who think way outside the box might find it worthy of double duty.
Returning from the dead in 2014, Mercedes’ ultra-luxury Maybach sub-brand has become the only way to make absolutely certain you’ve purchased highest-spec S-class in existence.
There was a problem, however. With the exception of a handful of subtle visual cues, there was no way to distinguish it from the standard fare. While a single glance at the interior would obliterate any doubt that this car was a cut above the norm, external indicators were dependent on the vehicle’s added length and badging.
That’s no way to arrive at a high-profile event, so Mercedes-Maybach has decided to guarantee the rest of society is aware you’re riding in something special via a new grille and optional two-tone paintwork. The updated visuals certainly separates the Maybach-branded S-Class from the rest of Daimler’s lineup, but it also might make it too reminiscent of the cars that ultimately forced the brand into an early grave.
Few vehicles offer the snob appeal and image enhancement of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, but seriously wealthy Benz buyers interested in comfort are going to hire a private driver and purchase something with a Maybach badge. Of course, that limits them to a tarted-up S-Class, or so it was before the introduction of the G650 Landaulet — which is, quite possibly, the dumbest vehicle currently entering production.
While the Landaulet’s forward-most occupants are treated to the nice but relatively unchanged interior from the G-Class, the rear is an extravaganza of luxury to be enjoyed in or out of the elements. Much like the Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet, it is a convertible. Unlike the Cabrio, however, the only person to benefit from the folding top is the multi-millionaire riding in the back.
Just as geese fly south in the winter, metal conducts electricity, and tides rise and fall at the will of the moon, a luxury-laden SUV that rivals yachts for sticker price is guaranteed by all of science to become a premium brand’s best-seller.
After seeing the stunning success of the once-unthinkable Bentley Bentayga, what other conclusion could the folks at Mercedes-Benz draw? Carving out a stratospheric utility vehicle niche well above a brand’s high water mark means money falling from the sky. Period.
Naturally, Stuttgart wants in on the action. Like any rational competitor, the company now plans to tart up an existing SUV, slap on a Mercedes-Maybach badge, and sit back to await the arrival of the money train.
After pumping out a respectable range of luxury sedans, coupes and SUVs for years, Audi now finds itself scrambling to counter an onslaught of high-end boutique models from Mercedes-Benz.
In recent years, Mercedes stretched its S-Class six ways to Sunday, yielding ultra-lux models like the Mercedes-Maybach S600 and Pullman, as well as a full-size convertible. In contrast, Audi doesn’t have any half-block-long versions to offer — just its A8 and slightly stretched (by five or so inches) A8L.
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