Maybach was one of the world's most exquisite nameplates in the 1920s and '30s. The original company was founded by Karl Maybach — the son of Wilhelm Maybach, who developed the first Mercedes.
Some people were surprised when Maybachs returned in the form of two closely related, all-new ultraluxury sedans. Each posh sedan is filled with nearly every sort of comfort and convenience feature offered in a motorcar.
Ostensibly a product of DaimlerChrysler, Mercedes-Benz's parent company, the modern-day Maybach is actually considered a make of its own.
Maybachs come in two sizes: the regular Type 57 and the extended-length Type 62. Each model designation indicates the car's length in meters: 5.73 for the Type 57 and 6.17 for the Type 62. Special features include electronic braking and an Airmatic Dual Control air suspension.
A rearview parking-assist camera is available in the 2005 model. Standard equipment now includes Robbe & Berking beverage flutes and a handcrafted Dunhill Collection umbrella. Standard Sirius Satellite Radio includes a lifetime subscription.
Only one or two Maybachs per day are built at a state-of-the-art facility in Germany. Mercedes-Benz dealers must sign separate agreements to sell them.
According to the manufacturer, Maybach styling balances classic and avant-garde features. The doors, hood and fenders are made of aluminum. Maybach says 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 Type 57 is 225.3 inches long overall, uses a 133.5-inch wheelbase and rides on 19-inch tires. A standard power-closing feature pulls the door shut from the first detent position.
As many as 100 items inside the Maybach are trimmed with exotic woods. Buyers can mix options with the immense standard-equipment list in numerous combinations. 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 wood. All four standard seats are heated, and active seat ventilation is available.
Occupants can luxuriate in reclining rear seats. A television with a 9.5-inch TFT flat screen includes a DVD player. Interior features also include four-zone climate control with two air-conditioning units, a refrigerated compartment, a cordless phone with two handsets and a 21-speaker Bose Dolby sound system. Each sedan also has the Tele Aid emergency communication system and the Comand integrated control system, which are available for Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
Under the Hood
Breathing with the assistance of twin turbochargers, the 5.5-liter V-12 produces 550 horsepower and 663 pounds-feet of torque. It teams with a five-speed-automatic transmission. Maybach claims the Type 57 can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds.
Ten airbags, including two adaptive front airbags, four side-impact airbags, and front and rear side curtain-type airbags, are installed.