Bentley’s Bentayga SUV may inspire Mercedes to build a $200,000 Maybach rival


Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG

Mercedes-Benz is considering a super-luxury rival to Bentley’s new Bentayga SUV that may wear the Maybach nameplate.

“We are looking at everything that is going on with that segment,” Andreas Zygan, Mercedes-Benz Director of SUV Development said. Zygan went on to point to Bentley and Lamborghini as two exclusive brands who were developing high-end SUVs and crossovers tailored to the growing market segment.

Steve Cannon, the brand’s U.S. sales head, noted that a range-topping luxury SUV would be a “natural fit.” “There’s just an almost unending appetite for SUVs, and luxury SUVs are proving that,” Cannon said.

Helping Mercedes-Benz towards the decision of crafting an ultra premium SUV is the fact that the German automaker sells an “incredible number” of GL full-size SUV loaded with options. Both the GL and G-Class can fetch as much as $125,000, but a Maybach-badged SUV would promise further revenue.

“There’s an appetite, a market for that,” Cannon said. “When we get to that point that we expand the Maybach offering — and we will expand the Maybach offering — that would be a natural place to go.”

Other automakers are plotting entrance to the top tiers of luxury SUV manufacturing as well. BMW is rumored to build a super-lux version of its upcoming X7, Cadillac is considering a range-topping Escalade with a quieter cabin, more premium interior materials, and unique exterior styling, and Rolls Royce has already claimed that its customers want a premium SUV from the brand.

Those who can afford $300,000-plus sedans, coupes, and sports cars are likely more interested in the trendy nature of crossovers and SUVs than their utility, but either way, luxury automakers are paying attention.