In the 1920s and 30s, Maybach was one of the worlds most exquisite nameplates. To the surprise of some, the Maybach returns for the 2003 model year in the form of two all-new luxury sedans. The new incarnation is loaded with posh fittings and every sort of comfort and convenience feature.
Priced in the $300,000 range, the Maybach will come in two sizes: the regular Type 57 and extended-length Type 62. The model designations indicate the cars length in meters: 5.73 for the Type 57 and 6.17 for the Type 62. Special features include an electrohydraulic braking system, Sensotronic Brake Control, Airmatic Dual Control air suspension and Linguatronic voice control.
A Maybach concept first appeared at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1997, and the production version was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in the spring of 2002. The first Type 62 sedan was sent to the United States, arriving with a fanfare in New York City on July 2, 2002. At the Paris Motor Show in September 2002, both the Type 57 and Type 62 saw their European premieres.
Approximately 1,000 Maybachs per year will be built at a state-of-the-art facility in Germany, and Mercedes-Benz dealers must sign separate agreements to sell them. Buyers will be assigned their own personal liaison manager.
The manufacturer says the Maybachs styling balances classic and avant-garde features. The doors, hood and fenders are made of aluminum. According to the company, a primary goal was to deliver an entirely new definition of first class. Twelve body colors are available, and two-tone paint schemes may be specified. Bi-xenon headlights are standard. The regular-size Maybach Type 57 is 225.6 inches long overall, and the Maybach Type 62 measures 242.9 inches long from stem to stern and rides on a 150.7-inch wheelbase.
More than 100 items inside the Maybach are trimmed with exotic woods. Buyers can mix options with the immense standard-equipment list in more than 2 million combinations to suit specific tastes. Available accessories include a luggage set, a sterling silver champagne goblet, a humidor, a golf bag and a fluffy travel rug. Buyers may choose from six Grand Nappa leather colors and three types of fine wood.
Occupants can luxuriate in fully reclining rear seats. Interior features include four-zone climate control with two air-conditioning units, a refrigerated compartment, a cordless phone with two handsets and a 600-watt audio system with Dolby surround sound at every seat. In addition to the technical features that are unique to Maybach, the sedan will have Tele Aid and COMAND systems, which are available for Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
Under the Hood
Breathing with the assistance of twin turbochargers, the 5.5-liter V-12 engine produces 543 hp and teams with a five-speed-automatic transmission. The company claims that the Maybach can accelerate from zero to 62 mph in 5.2 seconds.
Ten airbags are installed in the Maybach. The list includes two adaptive front airbags, four side-impact airbags and two large curtain-type airbags on each side of the interior.