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Mercedes Sets $167,000 Price for New Maybach S500

First sedans set to go on sale in February.

by on Dec.15, 2014

The new Mercedes-Maybach S600 will likely start at over $200,000 when it reaches the US.

The new flagship Mercedes-Maybach S-Class will go on sale next February at a starting price of 134,053.50 Euros, the German maker says, or the equivalent of $166,700 at current exchange rates.

That’s for the “base” Mercedes-Maybach S500, with the 12-cylinder S600 model commanding 187,841.50, or about $234,000. To put that into perspective, a Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG sedan goes for $142,375.

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On the other hand, the two new ultra-lux models might be considered a veritable bargain compared to the original sedans offered when Maybach operated as a true, standalone brand. U.S. buyers pay around $340,000 for the M57, and $430,000 for the M62 S, with the Maybach Landaulet semi-convertible demanding a stiff $1 million.


Maybach Makes an Unexpected Return

How a once-abandoned brand name came back to life.

by on Nov.20, 2014

Mercedes-Benz introduced its ultra-exclusive S600 in Los Angeles yesterday with a bit of a surprise: it's the Mercedes-Maybach S600.

It is Los Angeles, so there’s always an opportunity to reinvent yourself. Just ask Mercedes-Benz which used the L.A. Auto Show this week to unexpectedly bring the once-abandoned Maybach brand name back to life.

Named for Wilhelm Maybach, a partner of Daimler AG founder Gottfried Daimler, the Maybach name graced a line of ultra-exclusive automobiles, such as the Maybach M57. But in 2011 slow sales led the company to announce it would kill off the brand.

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Mercedes wasn’t about to abandon the market’s most elite buyers, though. It planned a stretched and upgraded version of the elite S-Class, which was originally set to be called the Mercedes-Benz S600 Pullman. But in a surprise move, it has decided to call the new model the Mercedes-Maybach S600. (more…)

Sales of the World’s Most Expensive Automobiles Running at Record Pace

Some makers push higher, but others are putting limits on production.

by on Jul.09, 2014

Bentley offers a hint of the SUV to come in late 2016.

Whether it’s the result of a booming stock market, the overall economy or other factors, the rich are getting behind the wheel of some of the world’s most expensive automobiles at a record pace – so much so that one manufacturer has put a limit on production to maintain its exclusivity.

As expensive as a Rolls-Royce or Bentley might be “off the rack,” the premium luxury carmakers also report a record number of buyers are choosing to customize their vehicles, at times, doubling, even tripling the basic price tag.

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“There is no question that some markets will remain tough but we are confident of a good 2014,” said Kevin Rose, the board member overseeing sales, service and marketing at Britain’s Bentley Motors.


Rolls-Royce Reveals New Wraith

“Athletic” coupe is fastest Rolls ever.

by on Mar.05, 2013

The new Wraith is the fastest and most powerful Rolls-Royce ever introduced.

The European automotive market may be melting down but you’d be hard-pressed to tell by the wide range of exotic sports and luxury cars that have been making their debut at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.

Among those weighing in are Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bugatti and in an exclusive corner of the show floor, Rolls-Royce.  After teasing its all-new entry for the better part of a month, the British maker finally offered up a first clear look at its new Wraith luxury coupe.

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As one might expect, the new offering maintains the luxurious features one might expect from the marque, the high-end division of Germany’s BMW. There’s plenty of leather and wood – and some other intriguing details such as a starlight headliner and a transmission that can use satellite guidance to track your route to improve shifts.


Rolls-Royce Releases Final Teaser of New Wraith

Latest image reveals coupe’s distinctive fastback shape.

by on Feb.26, 2013

The latest Rolls-Royce Wraith teaser reveals the new coupe's distinctive profile.

With the introduction of its most powerful model ever little more than a week away, Rolls-Royce is offering another teaser image of the Wraith that reveals the coupe’s distinctive fastback shape.

Rolls has been, well, rolling out an assortment of images meant to whet our interest in the new model, which starts out sharing the same platform as the more conventional Ghost sedan.  The maker is promising that the Wraith will be “the most dynamic, powerful and beautiful Rolls-Royce in the company’s history.”

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According to styling chief Giles Taylor, the three distinctive lines of this latest teaser reveal the defining elements of the Rolls-Royce Wraith’s design. “Inherent in the graceful line that sweeps from the top of the screen to the very rear edge is the promise of fast, yet effortless touring. Yet, perhaps my favourite aspect is the expressive gesture that comes from the side window graphic, gliding through Wraith’s glamorous coach door.


Rolls-Royce to Reveal New Wraith in Geneva

Billed as “most powerful” Rolls ever.

by on Jan.18, 2013

Rolls releases the first in a series of teaser images for the new Wraith coupe due to debut in Geneva.

Rolls-Royce has slipped word it has some big news for the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, hinting that the all-new Wraith set to debut there will be “most dynamic, powerful and beautiful Rolls-Royce in the company’s history.”

The name is somehow fitting for Rolls, all the more so when you realize it was one of the brand’s more legendary badges, dating back to 1938 and a production run that totaled just 492 cars – though the maker later followed with the Silver Wraith.  Clearly, Rolls has bigger aspirations this time, at least in relative terms, as it’s not exactly your mainstream brand.

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The 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith is the long-promised coupe version of the maker’s Ghost, the “lowest” priced vehicle in the British maker’s current line-up and the best-selling.  Of course, price is relative, and it’s likely to carry a premium over the sedan model, which starts at $256,000.


Daimler Kills Maybach Brand Ahead of Schedule

German ultra-luxury brands dies a second death.

by on Aug.17, 2012

Daimler tried to save the Maybach brand with the 2010 launch of the Zeppelin, which even had an optional, $10,000 automatic perfume atomizer.

Daimler AG has officially called it quits on the grand plan to create a luxury car brand to rival the likes of the vaunted Rolls-Royce and Bentley. The German maker has “discontinued” production of all Maybach products.

The question is whether anyone other than the media will notice.  Despite its most ambitious efforts, the Maybach marque barely generated 10% to 20% of the sales the maker had ambitiously anticipated, apparently leading Daimler to pull the plug even earlier than originally expected.

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The end came almost exactly a decade after Maybach made its splashy U.S. launch, a helicopter sent to pluck the first of the massive vehicles off the QE2 ocean liner as it entered the Hudson River and deliver the sedan to a media introduction in New York City.


Daimler Raises Questions About Maybach’s Future

Long-troubled luxury brand “under review.”

by on Jan.10, 2011

The original, pre-War Maybach Zeppelin was the first V12-powered German car. The 2010 Maybach Zeppelin has gained little traction with the luxury market.

Daimler AG plans to put the ultra-luxury Maybach brand under review and should have a decision on its future this year, Daimler Chairman Dieter Zetsche told during an interview at the North American International Auto Show.

Originally envisioned as a German alternative to ultra-premium brands Rolls-Royce and Bentley, Maybach has failed to generate much sales volume despite a steady effort to add or update products, such as the original M57 and newer Maybach Zeppelin.

Maybach have never reached the levels Daimler had predicted when the brand was launched in late 2002.  Sales fell again in the U.S. last year, and the company now sells but a fraction of its original target.  Daimler officials have, until recently, defended the brand, insisting they were still able to make money on Maybach, but with its now aging line-up needing a significant refreshing sources tell the economic situation has changed – and not for the better.

When he asked if Daimler might have to reconsider Maybach’s future, Zetsche said, “We are looking at that,” adding he expected to make a decision on the luxury brand’s future this year.  “We just have to decide,” he said.


First Drive: 2010 Maybach Zeppelin

For $500,000 you can smell as sweet as a rose.

by on Oct.14, 2009

There'll only be 100 copies made of the 2010 Maybach Zeppelin, which will cost between $450,000 and $605,000.

The Maybach Zeppelin will cost between $450,000 and $605,500. The crystal perfume atomizer is standard, but the iPod cable isn't.

The rich, it’s often said, are different from you and me.  That goes for their cars, as well.  How do you justify spending half a million dollars for an automobile?  Is it the exclusivity?  The unique features?  The cavernous cabins, the horsepower…or something else entirely?

The folks at Maybach have, at various times, argued “all of the above,” when justifying the price tag on their various models, which start at $358,000 for the “base” Maybach 57 sedan, and run all the way up to $1.4 million for the Landaulet, the most exclusive offering for this most exclusive of brands. Now, they’re adding the 2010 Zeppelin, which is just going into a limited production run.

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To get a better sense of the marque’s appeal, we headed over to the lush French Cote d’Azure to spend a few days at the Chateau Saint Martin with an assembly of current and former Maybach owners, and to get a chance to drive the brand’s newest offering.


Can Maybach Survive?

Despite slump, Daimler claims ultra-lux brand makes money.

by on Oct.14, 2009

Have ultra-luxury cars, like the $500,000 Maybach Zeppelin, lost their cache during this era of frugality?

Have ultra-luxury cars, like the $500,000 Maybach Zeppelin, lost their cache during this era of frugality?

Eight years after the launch of its ultra-luxurious Maybach brand, can Daimler AG afford to keep the lesser-known competitor to Rolls-Royce and Bentley going?

Sales of the super-premium brand have been steadily declining, since shortly after Maybach made its debut, in the 2003 model-year, leading more than a few industry analysts to speculate about its long-term viability.

Company insiders point to the launch of the new 2010 Maybach Zeppelin as a sign of their commitment to the brand, and insist that despite its modest volumes, the premium marque is delivering cash to Daimler’s bottom line.  But whether the company is willing to keep the Maybach brand going indefinitely is a question that is left hanging.

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It’s been a difficult time for virtually all high-line luxury automakers Maybach officials won’t release sales data for the current year, but they acknowledge that volumes have been on the slide since their record of 500 cars sold shortly after launch.  By 2007 that was down to 400 and, last year, the number tumbled to 300.  But as global brand manager Patrick Marinoff wass quick to point out, Maybach isn’t unique.  Bentley, for example, is likely to finish the year off as much as 40% from its 2007 peak of more than 10,000 vehicles.