The new range-topping E-Class, caught here testing in prototype form ahead of a likely unveiling at next year’s Beijing motor show in China, is set to form part of a three-model Mercedes-Maybach line-up alongside the recently introduced extended-wheelbase S-Class and a luxurious new Range-Rover-rivalling GLS Maybach due for launch next year.
Autocar understands the new E-Class Maybach is set to be powered by a 417bhp version of the AMG-developed twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine, as recently launched in the facelifted G500. Other ppowertrain options are also planned, including a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid set-up offering a zero-emissions range of up to 31 miles, according to sources at the German car maker.
Sporting a significantly longer wheelbase than the standard new E-Class, the model will be offered with individual rear seats similar to those in the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.
Mercedes-Benz has traditionally produced a long-wheelbase version of the E-Class, although up to now it has been sold exclusively in China, where it is produced at Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler’s joint venture partner, Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation (BAIC).
The existing E400 L Hybrid, built by BAIC, has a 140mm longer wheelbase than standard E-Class models at 3015mm – or just 20mm shorter than that of the standard S-Class.
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