Skip to main content

Audi is gunning for grandeur with a Mercedes-Maybach rival

Audi A8 Interior
Image used with permission by copyright holder
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.

Editors' Recommendations

Miles Branman
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Miles Branman doesn't need sustenance; he needs cars. While the gearhead gene wasn't strong in his own family, Miles…
Mercedes ‘Little G’ electric G-Wagon: Rumored design, release date
Concept image of the larger electric G-Wagon

Slowly, but surely, Mercedes-Benz is building electric versions of all of its different cars -- and it looks like a smaller electric G-Wagon may be coming up soon. Mercedes first announced an all-electric EQG in 2021, but even before the car is officially available to buy, the company is already planning a baby one too, affectionately dubbed the "Little G."

There's still a lot we don't know about the smaller electric G-Wagon. Here, however, is everything we do know so far.
Design is a huge part of what makes a G-Wagon a G-Wagon. Because of that, it's almost certainly something that Mercedes won't compromise on.

Read more
Mercedes-AMG EQE SUV first drive review: a better electric SUV
Front three quarter view of the 2024 Mercedes-AMG EQE SUV.

With EV production ramping up, automakers can now shift attention to something more fun: making EVs that are engaging to drive, the kind that encourage you to take the long way home. Mercedes-Benz is putting its best people on the job.

For more than 50 years, AMG has been turning Mercedes luxury cars into race cars and hot rods—and the performance division is now working its magic on EVs. We’ve already gotten AMG versions of the Mercedes-Benz EQS and EQE sedans, but AMG is now upping the difficulty level with an electric SUV.

Read more
2024 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance first drive review: high-performance plug-in
Front three quarter view of the 2024 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance.

It's a time of transition at Mercedes-Benz. The venerable automaker is looking toward an electric future with EVs like the EQS, while introducing updated versions of its traditional internal-combustion models like the S-Class. The 2024 Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance bridges the gap.

For those not fluent in Mercedes-speak, AMG is the automaker's performance version, and the S63 is a hot-rodded version of the S-Class. This 2024 model is the latest in a long line of big, powerful Mercedes sedans that combine limousine-like luxury with sports-car thrust. But this time, there's a twist.

Read more