All the super-luxury brands have firmly announced that they will build a super SUV, before the end of the decade. This is why Mercedes-Benz is also considering a super luxury Maybach SUV based on the next GLS.
From the 12.8 million cars sold last year in Europe, 2.1 million were SUVs from all classes, which represents a plus of 21% compared with 2013. And the high demand for SUVs is not over, according to Dieter Zetsche’s statement.
The small class SUV has registered the highest demand, with a plus of 54.4% (761,087 units sold in 2013). But also the SUV premium segment has significantly grown with 18.5% for the compact SUVs to 474,207 units and by 10.2% for the middle/big class SUV to 195,015 units.
Above the BMW X5, the Mercedes-Benz GLE or the Porsche Cayenne, there is still room for an ultra luxury segment. The gates of this exclusive club were opened at Frankfurt Motor Show by the new Bentley Bentayga.
Bentley is stating that Bentayga is the fastest and the most exclusive SUV ever built. With the extravagantly lavish interior, monstruos W12 engine (it seems this will be the only offer) and top performance figures, Bentley Bentayga is the new reference of this new segment. The completely new 6.0 litre twin-turbo W12 engine develops 600 HP and 900 Nm and pushes the 2,422 kg SUV made of aluminium to a top speed of 301 km/h, while the acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h is done in only 4.1 seconds.
It is not yet official, but a seven seater version will follow.
Bentley sold 11,020 cars in 2014 and the new super SUV will have a significant contribution to the sales evolution. Bentley planned 15,000 units for 2018 and 20,000 units for 2020.
Rolls Royce SUV
Rolls-Royce has officially confirmed the first ever RR SUV – known internally as project Cullinan – which is expected to enter production in 2017. We do not have spy pictures yet, but RR has released some pictures of a test mule for its forthcoming SUV.
The new RR SUV will have a all-new aluminium architecture and Rolls-Royce confirmed, in an official release, that “the mule rides on the first iteration of an all-new suspension that will assist Rolls-Royce engineers in developing a final all-wheel drive system”. Rolls-Royce target is to build a car that delivers the iconic “magic carpet” ride not only on the road, but also in the off-road. With around 4,000 units sold in 2014, RR SUV can increase the sales with minimum 50%.
Aston Martin DBX
Aston Martin also has intentions to enter the segment of the super luxury SUV. The DBX is planned for 2019 as part of a 315 million USD investment in three new models – the DBX, the new DB9 (DB11 is the future name) and the new Vantage.
The new CEO Andy Palmer is in favour of using an own Aston platform for the DBX instead of a Daimler SUV platform. The DBX must reflect the brand’s sport heritage rather than be an SUV, is Palmer’s opinion.
You can read more about the Aston Martin DBX here.
Lamborghini has also confirmed a super sports SUV based on the Urus Concept seen at Pebble Peach, in 2012. The brand plans to build 3,000 examples of the Urus SUV starting 2018, which will double the company’s current annual sales.
Even though there are no official statements, Audi is planning a super SUV above the Q7, which can be named Q8 or Q9.
On the other side, the former BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer has confirmed that BMW will develop a super SUV named X7 above the current X5. The X7 will be built at the Spartangurg factory from 2018 on and will cost minimum 130,000 euro.
The X7 will offer three row of seats and will be the first BMW SUV to feature a V12 engine. Because BMW is targeting a large range of clients, the engine range will comprise of a V8 petrol, a tri turbo diesel, a V12 and even a Plug-In Hybrid version.
And last, but not least, Maserati is planning the introduction of a luxury SUV named Levante. With V6 petrol and diesel engines, the volume model range will offer between 250 and 425 HP at prices of 65,000 – 100,000 euros, comparable with Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5 or Mercedes GLE. A top version is in discussion, equipped with the V6 biturbo and 510 HP from Giulia Quadrifoglio.
Mercedes Maybach SUV
And Mercedes-Benz? Mercedes-Benz was the first brand to offer a luxury seven seater named GL. With a richer standard equipment than the ML, the GL was the most luxurious SUV before the Bentley Bentayga was launched.
Mercedes-Benz plans a facelift for the GL at the next L.A. Autoshow, when the car will receive the new name, GLS, according to the new Mercedes-Benz philosophy.
Belonging to the S-Class family, the GLS must raise the standards to the luxury class. The facelifted GLS will get the adaptive drive train and the Plug-In Hybrid propulsion from the GLE.
Mercedes-Benz is planning a Maybach version based on the future GLS. We are expecting the future Maybach GLS to get the Executive seats from the S-Class saloon, a longer wheelbase than that of the normal GLS and some design differences. Andreas Zygan, the head of the SUV range at Mercedes-Benz, has stated for Automotive News, that he is in favour of developing a rival for Bentley Bentayga.
The Mercedes-Maybach GLS would be a logical step. The bi-turbo V8 and V12 from AMG would offer the right amount of power and dynamic performances.