With seemingly every premium automaker rushing to launch plush, ultra-luxurious SUVs, standing out in the space is going to be tough. Bentley has its Bentayga and Rolls-Royce has finally revealed the Cullinan. For Mercedes-Benz to compete, that means that its upcoming Maybach SUV has to roll out every technical trick it can come up with.
Speaking to Autocar, Maybach chief engineer, Jürgen Weissinger, revealed that one of those innovations will be an upgraded version of the company's Magic Body Control suspension. Already available as an option on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and standard on the Maybach S650, the system has forward-facing cameras that "read" the road ahead and proactively adjust the suspension. But Weissinger says Maybach is working on a "next-level" version with even better ride quality than is possible today.
The new tech will use improved cameras "so we have better information from rough roads so that drivers can slide over the road," he said.
Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury concept is breathtakingSee all photos
Weissinger also said that Maybach is working on a special chauffeur-focused driving mode for new vehicles that would prioritize passenger comfort by reducing how often the transmission shifts. That means lucky passengers won't be jostled as much during their journeys.
"We're making a special drive program, which means the gear changes don't happen too often so that the chauffeur can drive in a very comfortable, luxury way," he told Autocar. "This works without gear shifts and with maximum torque."
Maybach's foray into the luxury sport utility segment is set to begin later this year with a new model previewed by the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury concept that was shown at last month's Auto China show in Beijing.
Though its three-box design, with a traditional trunk, is unusual, the Ultimate Luxury's interior is beyond glamorous. Details on the show car include elegant wood trim and diamond-stitched leather, a tea set, and even rose gold adorning the seat backs. In other words, it looks like a wonderful place to ride along as a passenger. Motivation comes from an all-electric drivetrain with four motors, though the production model probably will use gasoline engines.
The production Maybach SUV is expected to be shown this fall at the Los Angeles auto show, and will be built alongside the Mercedes GLS-Class SUV to which it will be related.