BMW Wants Some of That Maybach Money

Bavarians plan on whipping up Maybach-fighting ultra-luxe rides.

BMW Maybach

BMW has a luxury problem. While it has the stratosphere of the sedan market covered with the stunning new 7-Series and the thermosphere handled by all those Rolls-Royce models, it doesn’t have any cars that play in the giant mesosphere between them. Arch-rival Mercedes-Benz, on the other hand, has a bunch: the SL-Class, the S-Class Coupe and Cabriolet, and most importantly, the Maybach. But BMW doesn’t plan on letting Mercedes own that segment for long.

"Just like certain competitors, we will see that we occupy with credible offers the price bracket of 150,000 euros ($170,000) and beyond," BMW development chief Klaus Froehlich said, according to Automotive News.

The BMW-bachs won’t be carbon (fiber) copies of Mercedes-Maybach’s approach, though.

"Some simply do four or five wheelbases [in length] and add varyingly thick chrome packages," says Froeilich. "That will not be the BMW approach."

So what approach, then, will the automaker take? Froelich didn’t say, but supposition has been bouncing around the web for years that BMW is planning a slinky, ultra-luxurious four-door called the 9-Series. (Unless it decides to do it as a coupe, in which case, it’d be the 8-Series.) Much as the Maybach is built off the S-Class, the 9-Series would be based on the 7-Series, sharing the basic platform and engines to maximize profitability.

But Mercedes isn’t letting Maybach rest on its gilded laurels. In addition to the stretched Mercedes-Maybach S600 and the extra-stretched Maybach 600 Pullman, the sub-brand is reportedly working on a Maybach version of the GLS-Class SUV that could go toe-to-toe with the Bentley Bentayaga.