BMW Rival for Maybach Possibly in the Works

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Gran Lusso Coupe concept - 9 Series Maybach rival.

As the company pushes further upmarket, BMW’s design director hints at a rival for the Mercedes-Maybach S600.

There was a rumor a few years ago of a 9 Series coupe, but it never came true. Before that, we had the Gran Lusso Coupe concept (pictured above) that was co-designed with Pininfarina and shown at the 2013 Villa d´Este concours event in Italy. But now, it seems like the reality is creeping closer with the return of the 8 Series and the possibility of something that could bridge the gap between BMW’s luxury high end and the beginning of BMW Group’s Rolls Royce range. More importantly in rivalry terms, we could see something soon that competes with Mercedes’ Maybach badged models.

The UK publication Autocar reported on a conversation with BMW design director Adrian van Hooydonk where he was asked directly about plans for a 9 Series. He replied, “Let’s say this: we won’t stop here [with the 8 Series]. Obviously, our job is to have more ideas than the company can build, because the other way round would be very bad.” 2019 BMW M850i xDrive Pricing

He also went on to explain that BMW is looking into the future as far out as 2030, but the next main focus is for 2021, and the 8 Series is just the start of a “new chapter.”

As we know, BMW has always hinted at taking things to the next level in luxury appeal but it looks like the market could finally be good enough to take the plunge. Let’s not forget that Maybach actually failed and the Mercedes-Maybach cars are an attempt to bring the name back as a sub-brand. BMW AG already has Rolls Royce and it’s doing well. A flagship luxury car to go with the flagship sports cars would round the BMW model lineup off nicely as well as bridge the gap between the two brands.

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Ian Wright has been a professional writer for two years and is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum, Jaguar Forum, and 6SpeedOnline, among other auto sites.

His obsession with cars started young and has left him stranded miles off-road in Land Rovers, being lost far from home in hot hatches, going sideways in rallycross cars, being propelled forward in supercars and, more sensibly, standing in fields staring at classic cars. His first job was as a mechanic and then trained as a driving instructor before going into media production.

The automotive itch never left though, and he realized writing about cars is his true calling. However, that doesn’t stop him from also hosting the Both Hand Drive podcast.

Ian can be reached at [email protected]

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