Maybach name to return as a top-end S class

The Maybach will be distinguished from other S-class models by a high level of equipment and unique styling elements.

STUTTGART -- Mercedes-Benz plans to use the Maybach brand name that it axed in 2012 for a top-end, long-wheelbase version of its new S-class sedan.

Company sources say the Mercedes-Benz Maybach could debut late this year in the United States, competing with the Bentley Mulsanne and Rolls-Royce Phantom at a price expected to range from $250,000 to $300,000.

But this time Maybach will be a model, not a brand. It could evolve into a subbrand similar to Mercedes' AMG unit, which builds high-performance derivatives.

The Maybach will be distinguished from other S-class models by a high level of equipment and unique styling elements.

It will be positioned well above the Mercedes-Benz S600, a 12-cylinder version of the S class that is expected to debut this week at the Detroit auto show.

The historic Maybach brand name was revived in 2002 for the 2003 model year. The slow-selling Maybach 57 and 62 were loosely based on the 1990 W140 S class, and were badly outdated by the time they were yanked from the market.

A coupe concept, the Exelero, never came close to series production.

-- Jens Meiners

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