Are We Entering a New Era of Ultra-Luxury SUVs?
Since gas prices began to rise around 2003, the term “full-size SUV” has become a dirty phrase. Full-size SUVs and especially luxury full-size SUVs have fallen out of fashion and given rise to the modern-day crossover. Stricter fuel and emissions regulations have all but killed the full-size SUV, although if you’d look at what’s about to come out from Bentley, Cadillac, Jeep, Ford, and Mercedes, you’d think we were back in 2002 before the SUV market plummeted. But these aren't the uber-SUVs of the Bush Era. This is a whole new level of luxury and technology.
With Bentley debuting the new Bentayga, Jeep getting ready to build a Hellcat powered Grand Cherokee, and new Bronco rumors surfacing, there is a resurgence of full-size luxury and performance SUVs. The list however, doesn’t stop with just those mentioned above. According to LeftLaneNews, both Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac are rumored to be working on new full-size SUVs within the next few years.
Mercedes managed to successfully re-introduce Maybach to the world, in the form of a tricked-out S600. Now, the German auto manufacturer is said to be working on a competitor to Bentley’s Bentayga. The speculation is that such a rival would feature the Maybach nameplate. Additionally, Mercedes’ U.S. Head of Sales Steve Cannon stated, “There’s just an almost unending appetite for SUVs, and luxury SUVs are proving that.” “There’s an appetite, a market for that,” explained Canon. In all likelihood, the new Maybach SUV will ride on the new GL platform and offer just as much luxury as its S-Class counterpart.
Adding to the super-SUV trend, Cadillac is rumored to be building an Escalade V. Although, it seems that Cadillac isn’t just stopping there. When it comes to this tax bracket of vehicle, "Keeping up with the Joneses" takes on new meaning, and Cadillac is looking to push the Escalade over the $100,000 mark, perhaps giving it more gravitas against import rivals. Currently, the top trim Escalade ESV Platinum putters out at $98,945. While that price represents a huge sum of money for the vast majority of people, it’s nothing to the clientele Cadillac wants to entice with a larger, more luxurious Escalade.
Today’s global marketplace seems to be at a fracture point. In all respects, manufacturers are doing everything they can to curb emissions and cut fuel consumption. However, these same companies that are bringing better hybrids, and EVs are also building faster, larger, and more luxurious cars and SUVs. Are these special editions just the final gasp from a bygone era, or will the world’s insatiable need for these types of cars always persist?