|7th April 2004, 12:41||#1|
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It looks as though the ultra-luxurious car market is set to shrink - but not because there will be fewer models! Our spies have uncovered secret plans for a third Maybach: the 53. The up-market motor will be a more compact version of the DaimlerChrysler-owned manufacturer's exclusive saloon, and will give customers a more affordable and slightly easier-to-manoeuvre option.
Despite having a massive budget behind it, Maybach has struggled to meet its own sales targets, but the firm's bosses are still committed to the continued development of the brand. The new 53 - which as with the 57 and 62 gets its name from the length of the model - has a more muscular stance than its larger siblings and will deliver formidable performance.
It's also considerably cheaper. In-siders are suggesting the newcomer will cost around £130,000, placing it in competition with Bentley's Flying Spur, the four-door version of the Continental GT. Power will come from the same 5.5-litre bi-turbo V12 used in the 57 and 62, which provides an incredible 550bhp and 900Nm of torque.
Only 600 Maybachs were delivered in 2003. That's some way short of the company's 1,000 per year aim, which bosses now accept was an ambitious target. Production has also been hampered by problems with suppliers providing the premium quality wood and leather, and the fact that the heritage of Maybach is not as widely remembered and recognised as was hoped. Although the 53 project is well advanced, the car is not expected for at least two years.
Source : Autoexpress.