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Auto blogMon, 13 Jun 2011 16:30:00 EST
2011 Maybach 62 - Click above for high-res image gallery
What will become of Maybach? That question has been rattling around the halls of Daimler headquarters in Stuttgart for some time now. But all questions will be answered, and answered soon: according to reports, the German automaker is currently evaluating prototypes and propositions for its top-end marque, and will make its decision next month.
So, what are the options? On the one hand, Daimler could kill the Maybach brand altogether. It was a notion ill conceived and even more poorly executed, taking an old platform and building a new flagship atop it. In that way, it was sort of like the Chrysler Crossfire, only far more costly to both the buyer and manufacturer. On the other hand, Daimler could opt for the long-time-coming proposition of contracting the production (and possibly much of the development) of a new generation of Maybachs to Aston Martin.
WorldCarFans was reportedly sent what looks like a dealer presentation on the coming V222 series 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class. There have been hints for years as to the kinds of technology the world's best-selling large luxury sedan will contain, and it appears those hints had some foundation. To be shown in Germany on May 15 before a launch window that runs from September to November this year, the evolutionary design will be built of aluminum and steel, using that lighter material for the front end, roof and "detached body parts."
Among the new options buyers will be able to choose are the Rear Seat Package with rear seatbelt airbags and active buckles that extend, a Warmth and Comfort Package with heated seats front and back, heated armrests and side panels, and power rear seats with active ventilation and memory function. There's a chauffeur seating option that comes with 10-way adjustable rear seats, an extendable footrest and folding tables in the front seatbacks.
Blatant technology will be on display via two 12.3-inch screens, one for the dash cluster and one for the COMAND infotainment screen on the instrument panel. The third generation of Nightview Assist Plus will be able to detect animals as well as humans, and the next generation of Surround View will provide high-res views all around the car. A touchpad and a color head-up display will arrive in 2015. It will be the first Mercedes-Benz to utilize LED lighting everywhere, inside and outside the car.
Based on the lightly camouflaged spy shots of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class we've seen lately, it hasn't taken a vivid imagination to picture what the next iteration of this big luxury sedan will look like. Even so, we now we have our first unobstructed views of the redesigned S-Class, codenamed W222, as it has just been caught out flaunting for some promo shots.
The first thing we notice about the new S-Class design is the disappearance of the last generation's flared wheel arches. Yet the new design adds even more character with bodyside creases similar to the CLS-Class and some elements reminiscent of 2007's F700 Concept, including the massive grille and vertical LED taillights. Other key details include a large panoramic roof and the narrow exhaust outlets, but the large LED-trimmed headlights and the aggressive front fascia are probably the biggest departure from the current design. With these spy shots, we also catch a blurry shot of the interior, but we've seen a practically uncovered look at the new S-Class' cabin back in January.
Overall, the next S-Class sports an expressive and premium new look, but as far as all-new designs go, it's quite conservative - a move no doubt fitting for these lean financial times.