DaimlerChrysler AG attempted to buy the Rolls-Royce/Bentley marque when Vickers offered the company up for sale. When this attempt failed (they were outbid by Volkswagen, and BMW later exercised an option to acquire the Rolls-Royce car brand) they introduced the Maybach as a direct challenger in 2002, to the other companies’ Bentley Arnage and Rolls-Royce Phantom.
Both Maybach models are variants of the same ultra-luxurious automobile. The model numbers reflect the respective lengths of the automobiles in decimetres; the 57 is more likely to be owner-driven while the longer 62 is designed with a chauffeur in mind. The engine is a Mercedes-sourced 5.5-litre twin-turbo V12, generating 405 kilowatts (550.6 PS; 543.1 hp).
On June 26, 2002, a Maybach 62 enclosed in a glass case on the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 departed from Southampton, England, en route to New York City with the media and company officials staying in the luxury suites on board.
The Maybach 57 is the base designation and comes with 7 spoke, 19 inch wheels.
Standard features for the Maybach 57 and 57 S include navigation system with voice recognition, air conditioning with 4-zone climate controls, remote engine start, power sunroof, front massaging seats, power front and rear seats with lumbar adjustment, leather upholstery, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, rearview camera, premium sound system, 8-disc CD changer, power tilt/telescopic heated wood/leather-wrapped steering wheel with radio and climate controls, and heated cupholders. The Maybach 62 and 62 S add on rear massaging seats, cooled rear seats, cooled cupholders, navigation controls on the steering wheel, and rear-seat DVD entertainment system.
Maybach 57 S
Daimler revealed the Maybach 57 S at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show, with the S standing for “special.” It uses a 6.0 L version of the V12 engine manufactured by Mercedes-AMG. Power output is 450 kilowatts (611.8 PS; 603.5 hp) and 738 lb·ft (1,001 N·m), providing a sub-5 second sprint to 60 miles per hour (97 km/h). It also rides 0.5 in (13 mm) lower on 20 inches (510 mm) wheels. The North American unveiling was at the Los Angeles Auto Show in January 2006.
The Maybach 62 includes many luxury features such as fully-reclining rear seats, Maybach 4 zone climate control, tinted-windows, infrared-reflecting laminated glass all round, AirMATIC dual control air suspension, display instruments in rear roof liner (showing speed, time and outside temperature), folding rear tables (left and right), BOSE Surround Everywhere sound system and a refrigerator compartment. The Maybach 62 also includes an array of additional features such as Cockpit Management and Navigation System (COMAND), which includes DVD navigation, CD changer in rear seats, DVD players and TV tuners front and rear, two rear LCD TV screens including remote control and two sets of headphones, and automatic closing doors.
Even though the Maybach 62 has all these features included, optional extras are available. Some of these optional extras include a panoramic glass sun roof at a cost of $11,670 and an external communication system, which includes a loudspeaker and microphone system which allows the occupant in the rear of the Maybach to talk and listen to the people outside the car. This option comes at a cost of $1,780. A further option for the Maybach is a retractable electrotransparent partition screen between the driver and the rear occupants, at $23,780. The most expensive option for the Maybach is a high protection GUARD B4 Package which costs an additional $151,810.
Maybach 62 S
The Maybach 62 S appeared in November 2006 at the Auto China 2006 exhibit in Beijing. It features the same engine as the 57S, a 612 metric horsepower (450 kW) twin-turbo V12 made by Mercedes-Benz AMG. However, the suspension remains untouched.
Maybach automobiles are priced to directly compete with Rolls-Royce. As of early 2008, European and United States prices were as follows:
- Maybach 57 – € 366,934 / $ 341,750
- Maybach 57 S – € 417,402 / $ 381,250
- Maybach 62 – € 431,055 / $ 392,750
- Maybach 62 S – € 492,602 / $ 432,250
- Maybach Landaulet – € 900,000 / $ 1,350,000
No Brabus Maybach prices have been given yet.
Prototypes and aftermarked tuner versions
The tuning firm Brabus, famous for high-performance and stylistic aftermarket modifications to Mercedes-Benz and Smart automobiles, produced a version of the 57/62 in 2004 which adds significant performance, features and style to the models. Electronically limited to a 300 km/h (190 mph) speed limit, these large vehicles produce 1,026 N·m (757 ft·lbf) torque and accelerate from standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.9 seconds.
This makes the Brabus Maybach the fastest super-luxury motorcar in the world, a trend which was started in 1968 by the Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3.
Maybach 62 Landaulet
The Maybach 62 Landaulet, based on the Maybach 62S, revives the classic landaulet car body style, which was popular in the 1920s and 30s. Powered by the 62S’s 612 horsepower (456 kW) biturbo V12, the Landaulet’s front seats are fully enclosed and separated from the rear passenger compartment by a power divider window. Back seat passengers get a sliding soft roof that lets them take in the sun from the comfort of the back seats. The chauffeur’s area is finished in black leather, while the rear is done in all white with piano black and gold-flecked black granite inserts. Also, the opacity of the glass partition separating the driver from the passengers can be electronically controlled.
Maybach publicly unveiled the Landaulet at the Middle East International Auto Show around the end of November 2007 as a concept car. Limited production was confirmed in January 2008.
Maybach 57 and 62 “Zeppelin”
Maybach revealed the “Zeppelin” on the 2009 Geneva motor show as an additional luxury package that can be ordered on both the Maybach 57 and 62. The name “Zeppelin” was also used for the pre-war models Maybach DS7 and Maybach DS8. The package consists of special California beige leather with Stromboli-black stitching, piano black lacquer finishes and silver “Zeppelin” champagne glasses. Next to the interior changes the exterior has exclusive 20″ chrome wheels and dark-red taillights. The engine is the “standard” 6.0L V12 Twin-Turbo with 640bhp (which is 28bhp more than the S versions). The word ‘ZEPPELIN’ is also incorporated into the triangular ‘M’ hood ornament.