Audi mulls Mercedes Maybach rival
Report: Ingolstadt mulls flagship sedan to challenge Mercedes-Benz
Audi is thinking about taking on Mercedes-Benz at the very top of the luxury segment. Auto Express reports the Ingolstadt-based automaker is considering fielding a Maybach rival extra-long-wheelbase sedan as well as a posh new coupe to take on Stuttgart’s flagship.
The current A8L could serve as the basis for an even longer sedan, given the rapid success of the relaunched Mercedes-Maybach S600 in several markets, and spawn a large coupe and convertible duo to challenge the new S-Class Coupe and Cabriolet.
“We are thinking about it,” Audi’s newly appointed technical boss Dr. Stefan Knirsch told Auto Express. “The success of the extra-long version of the S-Class has got us wondering about whether there could be a business case for that in the future.”
Audi also could, in theory, use the development program for the recently unveiled six-door A8 limousine created for the King of Norway as the basis for a Mercedes-Maybach Pullman rival. Such a model could compete in the admittedly thin state limousine market Pullman models have dominated since the debut of the W140-generation S-Class in 1992. There is greater volume potential for a shorter personal limousine rival that could aim at Maybach 57 or 62 dimensions.
Traditionally, Audi has left the task of figuring out how to stretch its aluminum flagship to a handful of coachbuilders and armorers, who generally avoided the model due to the difficulty of working with aluminum on a one-off scale. The recent debut of the factory-built Audi A8L Security and the six-door limousine suggests that Ingolstadt sees demand for vehicles positioned above the long-wheelbase A8L.