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.
The Maybach nameplate recently reappeared in the form of two closely related ultraluxury sedans, each of which holds nearly every sort of comfort and convenience feature.
Maybachs come in two sizes: the regular Type 57 and the extended-length Type 62. The 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. Mercedes-Benz dealers must sign separate agreements to sell the Maybach brand.
Maybach unveiled a Type 57 S at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany, in September 2005. Its twin-turbo 6.0-liter V-12 generates 604 horsepower, which is 54 hp more than the regular Type 57's engine.
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 can be specified. Bi-xenon headlights are standard. The Type 57 is 225.3 inches long overall, has 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.
The new Type 57 S gets a firmer suspension, a modified front end and 20-inch wheels.
As many as 100 items inside the Maybach are trimmed in exotic woods. Available accessories include a luggage set, a sterling silver champagne goblet, a humidor, a golf bag and a fluffy travel rug. Buyers can choose from six Grand Nappa leather colors and three types of wood. All four 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 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 Mercedes' Tele Aid emergency communication system and Comand integrated control system. Piano lacquer finish and carbon fiber elements decorate the interior of the Type 57 S sedan.
Under the Hood
Equipped with twin turbochargers, the Type 57's 5.5-liter V-12 produces 550 hp and 663 pounds-feet of torque. It teams with a five-speed-automatic transmission. Maybach says the Type 57 can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds. A 604-hp, twin-turbo 6.0-liter V-12 powers the Type 57 S.
Two adaptive front airbags, four side-impact airbags, and front and rear side curtain-type airbags are installed.