Off-road driving is set to become more luxurious—and expensive—than ever before, thanks to the new Mercedes-Benz Maybach SUV unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show.
Passengers aboard the V12-powered Mercedes-Maybach G-Class 650 will enjoy massages from designer leather chairs, warm drinks courtesy of thermal cup holders and a sunroof that opens to reveal the great outdoors, Bloomberg reports.
All that pampering won’t come cheap, though. At $500,000, the 99 units parent company Daimler AG (DDAIF) plans to roll out will be the most expensive sports utility vehicles ever produced.
These extravagant gas-guzzlers also represent a Faustian pact for the automaker: by targeting ultra-rich customers with high-margin models such as the Maybach, Bloomberg suggests, Mercedes is able to bankroll the development of electric cars, autonomous-driving features and ride-sharing platforms.
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So far, the strategy is working. Last year Mercedes surpassed BMW (BMWYY) as the world’s best-selling luxury marque, allowing Daimler to step-up its research and development budget by almost a quarter.