Maybach aiming for new luxury tech development
17th May 2018 8:00 am
Mercedes sub-brand plans to develop camera-influenced suspension and a chauffeur drive mode.
Maybach chief engineer Jürgen Weissinger has said that the upcoming Mercedes-Maybach models will have a “next-level” suspension system which will be an advanced version of Mercedes’ existing Magic Body Control set-up. He says that one of the system's key elements is a new camera system so that “we have better information from rough roads so that drivers can slide over the road”.
The next generation of Maybach models may also feature a new drive programme which is aimed at chauffeurs. “We’re making a special drive programme, which means the gear changes don’t happen too often so that the chauffeur can drive in a very comfortable, luxury way. This works without gearshifts and with maximum torque,” said Weissinger.
These features are first expected to appear on the forthcoming Maybach GLS, due to be unveiled at the Los Angeles motor show in November. Meanwhile, the Maybach chief engineer said that the Vision Ultimate Luxury concept shown at Beijing could make production if it gets a good response.
While talking about the Vision Ultimate Luxury concept’s electric motor set-up, Weissinger said that Maybach is discussing how it could bring electric power into its models in the next 5-10 years. He cited founders Karl and Wilhelm Maybach and their 1923 half-automatic gearbox – proof that the brand stands for innovative, high-tech cars. “We have to look at electric-powered cars,” he said. “But we have the 12-cylinder and it’s a very luxury, smooth motor. People want it; but if you speak to innovative Maybach customers, they are also interested in what the future looks like. We have to check out how to bring high-tech electric cars into that future.”
Some of Maybach's rivals (such as Lagonda) are focusing on electric models but Weissinger sees hybrids as a “long bridge” technology for Maybach. “You could have a 12-cylinder with a special gearbox with an electric motor on it,” he said. “There are a lot of possibilities to make the right combination between a big engine and [electric] motor.”