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Audi is gunning for grandeur with a Mercedes-Maybach rival

Revelations about consumer demand within the automotive industry often come on the heels of “risky” vehicle projects. Cross coupes weren’t a thing before BMW formed the X6, and now there are several versions from both luxury and mainstream automakers. Four-door coupes became equally popular after Mercedes-Benz introduced the CLS.

While the highest tiers of luxury automotive manufacturing have always drawn the attention of the uber-rich, only recently have luxury automakers had something to dangle in front of new-money buyers. The trend was triggered by Mercedes-Maybach when the flagship S Class was introduced last year, and now both BMW and Audi are eyeing sub-$200,000 competitor sedans.

Read More: Audi Introduces The Limited Edition A8 L Chauffeur Estate

Auto Express is reporting that Audi is considering a new model or variant to slot above the A8 L to directly challenge the Maybach and Pullman.

“The success of the extra-long version of the S-Class has got us wondering about whether there could be a business case for that in the future,” said Audi technical development head Stefan Knirsch.

Though the A8 L is a very refined luxury vehicle, and offers plenty of rear-occupant room in the long wheelbase version, there’s plenty of room to go grand. Recently, the German automaker introduced the A8 L Extended, a one-off limousine version of the estate car for a customer in Europe. There was also the A8 L Chauffeur, which focused on comfort more than space and was limited to five units, all sold in Japan.

Based on Knirsch’s comment, the Maybach-rivaling A8 is still years off, but we may very well see ultra-lux BMW 7 Series and Porsche Panamera iterations enter the market in the near term.

While Bentley, Land Rover, and Rolls Royce are focused on premium crossover models, it still appears the market craves traditional luxury machines.