Published on June 27th, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez1
Mercedes USD1 million S-Class Pullman Upstages Rolls-Royce
The new Mercedes-Benz S-class Pullman will cost more than double the top-of-the-range Rolls-Royce when it goes on sale next year. The 6400mm (21 feet) Pullmann will also be about 406mm (16 inches) longer than the USD474,900 extended wheelbase version of the Rolls-Royce Phantom, making it the biggest series-produced passenger car.
Priced at about USD1 million with armor plating and three rows of seats, the vehicle will be reminiscent of past Mercedes models owned by the likes of designer Coco Chanel and former Philippine leader Ferdinand Marcos. The four rear seats will face each other and be separated from a front chauffeur compartment by a partition window to guarantee discretion, according to a person familiar with details of the brand’s strategy.
The Pullman will cap an ongoing expansion of Mercedes’ high-margin flagship, which was revamped last year, into a line of six models, double the number of variants in the past. The plan includes a sporty coupe that goes on sale this fall. By increasing its elite offerings, the Daimler unit is challenging BMW Group and Audi to follow as the three vie for the global luxury-car sales lead.
With the new top-end S class, “they are trying to evoke the very famous old 600 Pullman that was used by people from dictators to John Lennon,” said Tim Urquhart, a London-based analyst with IHS. “They want to show that Mercedes still stands for an absolute elite, luxury and opulence. There’s symbolic value to this kind of car.”
CEO Dieter Zetsche is counting on the S class to advance his goal of overtaking BMW and Audi in profit and deliveries by the end of the decade. The CEO reviewed at least a dozen versions of the design and tested the car in Germany’s Black Forest, South Africa, Sweden and the United States to find the right balance between comfort and handling.