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Mercedes could build a Maybach SUV

Merc boss confirms that high end SUV is possible, but only on a next-gen platform

The age of the Super SUV is upon us. Bentley’s new Bentayga is here, Rolls-Royce is readying its ‘Project Cullinan’, Lamborghini will deliver the Urus by 2018, while even Aston Martin will produce a high-riding luxury crossover based on the DBX concept.

Now Mercedes-Benz has also hinted – again – that it could join this ultra-expensive, ultra-elite group of carmakers with a Maybach SUV.

“Could we do an SUV? I wouldn’t rule it out”, Merc board member Ola Källenius explained to “I can’t see us doing it with the current platform, so if we would do it, it would have to be based upon the next generation platform.”

It would certainly make sense, not least because the renaissance of Maybach has been quite something. “When we decided to relaunch Maybach, it was with a different playbook, if you will,” he explained. “It’s almost like we took a page out of the AMG playbook, but in a completely different corner of the portfolio.

“The Mercedes Maybach is the corner of the highest exclusivity,” he added. He gave the example of China: Mercedes sells more new long-wheelbase S-Class Maybachs in a month than it used to sell in its best year worldwide of the ‘old’ Maybach. “We are extremely happy about that relaunch and how it has developed,” he told us.

So an SUV would be a natural fit surely, not least because it forms such a huge chunk of Mercedes’s modern catalogue. “Since we brought the M-Class back in 1997, that segment has just completely and totally exploded.

“The trend towards SUVs is unbroken. People love the high seating position, they love the styling, the sporty image around it and also that combined with utility,” he said. “I think the SUV trend is going to continue.”

Does the proliferation of all these SUVs though, endanger what people have traditionally thought of as a ‘proper’ Mercedes-Benz: a luxury saloon? “Now, SUVs are thirty to forty per cent of the portfolio. All the SUVs that we do are true Mercedes. I don’t see a conflict there,” he said.

So, there you have it: SUVs on the up, Maybach saloons doing big business, and the potential for a Maybach 4x4. Reckon Merc should do it sooner rather than later?

Pictured: Mercedes-AMG GLS 63

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