There are only so many segments and configurations for vehicles. Recently we see these All-Terrain Luxury Sedans popping up. Yeah, it is a new segment to a certain extent. But is it a compelling segment? What is a lifted, all-terrain Maybach sedan compared to a traditional SUV? Whatever it is Mercedes thinks you’ll want it.
We get it. A big sedan always has a bit more gravitas than an SUV or a truck. But does it really relate or equate to both a prestigious yet rugged vehicle? Is that even a thing? Aren’t ultra-luxury and all-terrain oxymorons? Either Mercedes is out of segments it can conjure, or it knows something.
The Mercedes Maybach SUL looks an awful lot like the Chrysler Imperial concept from 2006
All of that is to say that the Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury concept is telegraphing a new Mercedes according to Handelsblatt. While there may be something there, it looks an awful lot like the Chrysler Imperial concept from 2006. Yes, in 2006. Other than the rear fender bulge and slightly more traditional grille of the Imperial they’re almost identical.
The Imperial concept was not received well. Those not aware of history are doomed to repeat it. That being said, we’re aware that was 15 years ago. Things have changed. What Mercedes is calling an “SUL” has a more sculpted body and slightly better proportions than the Imperial concept, but in 15 years there should be some improvement.
We assume that “SUL” stands for Sport Utility Limousine
We assume that SUL stands for Sport Utility Limousine. Or is it Sedan Uber Long? But the bigger question is what segment does this fill that Mercedes’ crossover sedans don’t already? What customer does this combination appeal to that would need a sedan version of a Maybach GLS?
Mercedes made some news this week that it was not going to continue offering lower segment vehicles. So it’s A- and maybe C-class lines won’t be returning. It frees up some much-needed capital for its electric dreams but also simplifies what products Mercedes offers. Now it is trying to stuff this new type of sedan into the mix.
The Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury originated at the 2018 Auto China Show
This concept originated at the 2018 Auto China Show in Beijing. So it isn’t new. What is new is that Handelsblatt’s report has some traction. So we present it here as a possibility of a future Mercedes product.
Maybe Mercedes felt it needed something more unique and distinctive from its current Maybach sedan? Or maybe it was a less expensive alternative to the GLS since it appears to mimic a lot of the GLS sheet metal? With an existing platform and 75% of the sheet metal utilized it is a lot less to develop and tool than an entirely new vehicle.
We don’t know what Mercedes has up its sleeves but this might be a new vehicle that got too far into development to kill. But what might have seemed like a good move back in 2018 doesn’t quite feel right in what is almost 2021. But we’ll be watching what this new mix of old segments does.