This unofficial Mercedes-Benz U-Class concept should be the next-gen Maybach

To the chagrin of rappers and despotic dictators (Simon Cowell) everywhere, Mercedes-Benz killed its Maybach line last year.

Recently, though, the German automaker has been playing with ideas of rebirthing the brand with a stretched-out version of its new S-Class.

I think, though, there’s a better solution. It’s called the U-Class and its from the mind of Scott Wu Kaiser, a transportation design student at Art Center College of Design.

Kaiser created the U-Class – named for the German word “üppig”, which means “sumptuous” and “lavish” – to compete with the German-owned Bentley and Rolls-Royce brands.

“Mercedes-Benz will need to secure their dominant position in the full-size luxury segment while entering the higher priced market,” Kaiser’s design presentation reads. “In order to achieve this goal, the next generation S-Class will be designed and priced to directly compete with the Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series. A new class of vehicle called the U-Class will enter into the higher-end market.”

I think Kaiser is dead-on. While the S-Class is a world-class luxury sedan, it doesn’t quite compete with the much more exclusive Bentley and Rolls-Royce models. After all, a $250,000 S-Class is still an S-Class that started life as a $92,900 land yacht.

Just ook at the front end of that thing. I love how Kaiser brought in elements of vintage Mercedes models, melded with a modern profile and rear-end.

Powered by a 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged V12, which I should mention isn’t a currently existing Mercedes motor, the U-Class would be one mean rear-drive luxury sedan.

In fact, it wouldn’t just be huge on power; the U-Class would be longer than the Bentley Flying Spur but just a bit shorter than the Rolls-Royce Ghost.

What do you think of the U-Class? Tell us in the comments below.

(Photo credit: Scott Wu Kaiser Design)

Cars

Volvo plans to face the future without sacrificing its identity

Volvo is embarking on an ambitious push to fill its lineup with electric and hybrid cars, as well as an infotainment partnership with Google. Volvo Americas CEO Anders Gustafsson explains how the Swedish automaker plans to pull that off.
Product Review

Audi's new A8 is so sophisticated and serene, it practically deletes potholes

The 2019 Audi A8’s outline looks promising: Level 3 autonomous driving capability, haptic-feedback infotainment screens, rear-wheel steering, Matrix LED headlights and OLED taillights, plus a predictive suspension.
Cars

'4WD' or 'AWD'? Which setup is right for you?

Although four-wheel drive (4WD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) are related, they are actually quite different in how they operate. Here, we talk about the fundamental differences between the two systems, and what it means for you as a driver.
Cars

Room to roam: The supersized X7 is unlike any BMW you’ve ever seen

The first-ever BMW X7 is the 7 Series of the SUV world in terms of size, price, and image. Its supersized body has enough room for seven adult passengers and enough tech to impress even the most cutting-edge buyers.
Cars

At 503 mph, Turbinator II is the world’s fastest wheel-driven vehicle

The Turbinator II is a four-wheel drive streamliner powered by a 5,000-horsepower helicopter engine, and it just achieved 503.332 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats. That's an unofficial record for a wheel-driven car.
Cars

Lyft has a new fixed-price subscription plan for frequent passengers

Lyft wants you to save money by using rideshare services instead of owning a car. The new Lyft All-Access Plan monthly rideshare trip subscription includes 30 rides a month with a small discount for additional trips.
Cars

Could the next Mazda3 boast a fuel-saving breakthrough in engine tech?

Mazda released a teaser video that likely previews the next Mazda3. Expected to make its global debut at the L.A. auto show, the next 3 will wear a more curvaceous design and offer one of the most advanced engines in the automotive…
Cars

Workhorse takes on diesel with lighter, cheaper NGEN-1000 electric delivery van

Ohio-based Workhorse Group claims its new NGEN-1000 electric delivery van costs the same as a conventional diesel van and can haul a similar amount of cargo. A lower curb weight makes this possible.
Cars

Forget transponders with Peasy’s nationwide pay-as-you-go toll service

Verra Mobility launched Peasy, a consumer highway and bridge toll payment service. Designed to be less hassle than managing traditional transponder or toll tag accounts, Peasy pays tolls as they are levied across most of the U.S.
Cars

Just 10 people will get to put this limited-edition Audi R8 in their garages

The 2018 Audi R8 V10 Plus Competition makes use of Audi's motor sports experience to turn up the performance dial. Decreased weight and increased aerodynamic downforce make this R8 a track monster.
Cars

Porsche’s all-electric Taycan sedan will cost less than a Panamera

Porsche's Mission E concept won't change much as it transitions to a production model named Taycan that's scheduled to arrive in 2019. That means the sedan will keep the sleek design and its 800-volt charging system.
Cars

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are 25 of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.
Cars

Tesla keeps promise with more affordable Model 3 with midrange battery pack

Tesla is keeping its promise of making the Model 3 gradually more affordable. The company released a new variant of the car with a mid-range, 260-mile battery option that's priced under the $50,000 mark.
Cars

The snake escapes: Ford’s 700-hp Mustang GT500 slithers online ahead of schedule

The Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 will return in 2019 with over 700 horsepower, Ford confirmed at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. The GT500 will be the most powerful Ford production car ever.