It’s better known as the ultimate classic car show, but the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is bringing out something new from the folks at Mercedes-Benz this month. Make that Mercedes-Maybach, the German maker’s moniker for its most exclusive models.
Not much has happened since Mercedes folded up the tent on its standalone Maybach brand a few years ago. Right now, the super-premium Double-M logo simply adorns some tarted-up versions of the latest Mercedes-Benz S-Class. But if this teaser image is any indication, Maybach has some big plans in the works.
The pic released through Mercedes’s social media channel reveals a low and impossibly long coupe with a fastback rear that apparently measures six meters, or nearly 20 feet, nose-to-tail. To put that into perspective, the Maybach show car is three feet longer than a Mercedes S-Class Coupe and has four feet on the Bentley Continental GT.
A source within the company wouldn’t reveal much about the new concept before its Pebble Beach debut, but suggested that the goal is to not just show folks Maybach is still with us, but that it has some exciting new products in the works.
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It needs something to kick start interest. First shown in concept form in 1997, Maybach went on sale in 2002 – reviving a nameplate from Germany’s pre-War glory days. Parent Daimler (then DaimlerChrysler AG) had big aspirations, but the market didn’t cooperate. Seen as a grand competitor to Bentley and Rolls-Royce, sales were expected to reach 2,000 annually. In fact, they ran at barely 10% of that level.
In 2012, Daimler announced it was pulling the plug and would shift focus to higher-end versions of its S-Class, such as the promised S600 Pullman. At the last minute, however, it came up with an intriguing alternative, melding the two brand names to create Mercedes-Maybach for its most exclusive offerings.
Currently, Mercedes-Maybach is wooing buyers willing to spend as much as $1 million for heavily customized versions of the S-Class. But its apparent goal is to come up with some truly distinctive models that may only carry a Maybach badge again.
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Details about the Pebble Beach concept are scarce, though some are speculating it will take things a step further than the last concept from the old, standalone Maybach brand, an over-the-top two-door called the Exelero that featured a 700-horsepower V-12.
The curvaceous lines of the new Mercedes-Maybach concept suggest that it will deliver something as big – or bigger – under the hood. And, if it is intended to one-up Bentley, that would suggest a top speed in excess of 200 miles an hour would also be in store.
For now, Mercedes is offering up just 10 words about the show car: “The hot and cool – almost 6 metres of ultimate luxury.”
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We’ll have more to report from the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in short order. We’re also hoping to get even more details at the Paris Motor Show in less than two months. So, stay tuned.