Article about the Maybach by Phillip Powell at about.com.
DaimlerChrysler's Ultimate Luxury Sedan.
Move over, Rolls and Bentley.
It is said that in Germany, the heads of the three leading brands, Volkswagen, BMW, and DaimlerChrysler, are in personal
competition with one another for the honor of building the world's most prestigious automobiles. With Volkswagen now in control
of Bentley, and BMW owning Rolls-Royce, DaimlerChrysler could therefore not be content with a mere Mercedes S-Class sedan.
Hence the new Maybach.
If you know your automotive history, the Maybach name will be familiar as a pre-WW2 maker of luxury cars, competing against
Mercedes in spite of an association that goes back to the turn of the century. Wilhelm Maybach, a long-time companion of Gottlieb
Daimler, was the spiritual father of the first Mercedes built in 1901, considered the template for all modern-day passenger
cars. For this reason, Maybach was much admired and known as the "king of design".
In 1909 he teamed up with Ferdinand von Zeppelin, initially producing power units for the famous Zeppelin air-ships. Nine
years later Maybach was building fast powerboats on the banks of Lake Constance, and in 1919 development began of the Maybach
luxury car. The first test vehicle was built with a Mercedes chassis. Eventually Maybach's firm became part of the MTU/Diesel
Power Train Unit of DaimlerChrysler.
The new Maybach is clearly not meant for folks of ordinary means. There is, however, a small but growing number of individuals
who live at the very pinnacle of wealth, people who can afford and seek only the best. The price of a Maybach, likely in the
quarter-million dollar range, won't even cause a ripple in their bank balance. The rest of us may never so much as sit in
a Maybach, but we can at least enjoy the pleasure of viewing the exterior and imagining what it might be like to be a driver
DaimlerChrysler has not revealed many technical details, beyond saying that the new Maybach will have a twin-turbocharged
V-12 engine producing 500 hp, with an electronically-controlled air suspension and high-performance electrohydraulic brake
system. More has been said about the interior fitments, which not only cradle the occupants in extreme luxury but offer a
buffet of electronic and telecommunications features.
Rear passengers enjoy the opulence of individual seats, which adjust into a reclining position with automatically extending
leg and foot supports. Two flat-screen monitors are linked to the standard TV receiver and DVD player. There are two variants
of the Maybach, the second being longer, obviously meant to be chauffeur driven, and fitted with a complete TV/DVD entertainment
system in the rear, Dolby surround sound system, four-zone climate control, and multicontour seats for all passengers.
What truly sets the Maybach apart is the manner in which it is ordered and built. A remarkable (by modern production standards)
degree of customisation is offered, to the point where few cars will be exactly alike. For example, Maybachs will have two-tone
exterior paintwork with several hundred possible combinations available.
A "Centre of Excellence" is being created in Sindelfingen, where the cars are built. It includes a studio wherein customers
can look through a selection of top-quality materials, exclusive colours, and various technical details. A wide variety of
woods, natural stone, fabrics, leathers and other lavish equipment forms the basis for the personal finish of each Maybach.
DaimlerChrysler claims there are almost no limits, so that every sedan becomes a valuable one-off, "characterised exclusively
by the style and taste of its original owner."
The company promises that customers will be involved as much as they wish during the period of manufacture – four
weeks – travelling to Sindelfingen to witness their car being made, and even developing further ideas about customised
finishes and fittings with manufacturing experts while there.
Very nice, indeed, but here's something I particularly like: Each buyer becomes part of a very small group of customers
with its own Personal Liaison Manager, who arranges for the owner's vehicle to be delivered by truck or in special sea/air
freight containers. The same system is used when the car needs servicing, a rather important convenience for owners whose
home may be far from the nearest Maybach service center.
Obviously Maybach's will be constructed to the highest possible level of quality, but if a technical problem does occur,
customers can rely on a team of experts to be on the spot in a matter of hours in any country, with fast and efficient assistance.
This, by the way, was a service that Rolls-Royce once offered. If your Roller broke down, a technician was sent to you, fast.
Or as fast as steamships and railways could get him there.
As a Maybach owner, you need only press a button on the car's telephone pad and your PLM will be in touch with you, day
or night. This very nice gentleman will not only arrange visits to the Center of Excellence and look after the details of
your Maybach, he can also book passes for the next Formula One race. Right there, I'm sold... put me on your list for the
Monaco GP, please.
So you see, a Maybach may be prohibitively expensive for all but a handful of the world's automobile owners — only
seven cars a day will come off the lines — but if you've got the money, you'll be getting an exquisite, partly hand-made
car, plus the services of a PLM; you and your Maybach's personal valet.
With all this, one might wonder why the styling is so conservative. Though it has details reminiscent of previous Maybachs,
the overall appearance puts me in mind of the last-generation Rolls-Royce, or perhaps the current Rover 75 (a very attractive
car, incidentally). But I suppose that's the way it is with the rich; they'd rather not be conspicuous.
Though how you could hide in something as long and lavish as a Maybach is somewhat of a mystery to me.
Maybach-Mercedes Re-Defines the Luxury Sedan
Auto Spies Exclusive
EXCUSE ME...DO YOU HAVE ANY GREY POUPON? The Maybach was officially launched in New York on the 24th at a private
VIP reception in one of New York's most posh restaurants. Mercedes-Benz will be touring the U.S.A. with two vehicles and hosting
"Private showings" for all the potential buyers of these cars. How would you like to own that database! Well, we're well on
our way to getting it...you see, what MB doesn't realize yet is that many of these potential customers are already subscribers
to our newsletter. The cross country tour will have its crescendo, at the Lodge in Pebble Beach, during the Concour D'Elegance
in Monterey, this August. We're told by our spies that this will be the killer event, with no expense spared to fatten the
calves. This event is by private invitation only so if you're thinking that you may just drop by...if your name isn't Gates,
Elison, Carly Fiorina (just kidding...just had to throw that joke in for all our readers in the tech business) or someone
who travels in those circles...FUGET ABOUT IT! Let 001 and 002 infiltrate the gig and we'll share everything we hear with
you...Can you say "OPERATION GRAND SLAM"!
From the press release:
Maybach 57 and Maybach 62 - Sales release of the new high-end luxury Saloons
Maybach 57 priced at 310,000 euros and Maybach 62 at 360,000 euros, ex-factory
High-end luxury, state-of-the-art
technology and comprehensive warranty package
Unique concept for individually tailored customer advice and care
launch of the Maybach 57 and Maybach 62 high-end luxury Saloons marks the rebirth of one of the world's most prestigious and
elite car brands after an absence of over 60 years. Sales of these masterpieces of automotive design will begin on May 27,
2002 and the first customers will take delivery of their high-end luxury vehicles in the autumn. Interested customers should
contact any Mercedes-Benz dealer, who will put them in touch with the Maybach Personal Liaison Manager (PLM).
The model names Maybach 57 and Maybach 62 are a reference to the imposing length of the unique Saloons, whose body lengths
of 5.73 and 6.17 metres respectively translate into unrivalled space and comfort.
The Maybach 57 will cost 310,000 euros
ex-factory, while DaimlerChrysler has priced the flagship Maybach 62 model at 360,000 euros exfactory in Europe (in each case
excluding local taxes).
Both Maybach models come with a comprehensive warranty from DaimlerChrysler, which covers all
servicing and maintenance costs incurred by the Saloons within a term agreed with the customer. In many countries, transportation
of the Maybach free of charge from where it is kept to the nearest Service Centre is also included in the service package
offered for the prestige car brand.
Reclining seats, DVD player and surround sound system as standard
The design, specification and technology of the Maybach Saloons meet even the most discerning expectations. With the
Maybach 62, the brand is building on its tradition of creating spacious saloons and presenting a high-end luxury car which
moves into new dimensions in more ways than one. With a wheelbase of 3.83 meters, the rear passengers enjoy the opulence of
individual seats, which they can adjust into an extremely comfortable reclining position with automatically extending leg
and foot supports, all at the touch of a button. In the interests of entertainment and information, the rear compartment is
also equipped with cutting-edge electronic systems such as the TV tuner, DVD player, CD changer, telephone and universal Dolby
surround sound system. The powerful telecommunications system comprises a mobile phone as well as a permanently installed
Similarly, the exclusive appointments featured as standard in the Maybach 57 make a definite statement too. It also includes
a TV/DVD entertainment system in the rear, Dolby surround sound system, four-zone climate control and multi-contour seats
for all passengers. A refrigerated compartment in the rear, two-tone exterior paintwork and the tilting/sliding sunroof are
all available for both Maybach models at no extra charge.
Personal Liaison Managers for uncompromising standards of customer care
DaimlerChrysler is currently setting up the Centre of Excellence (COE) at the Sindelfingen site, in the immediate vicinity
of the Maybach Manufaktur facility. This will in future be at the heart of the Maybach brand and is where Maybach customers
will be offered comprehensive help and advice. Further Maybach Centers are to be established in Europe, the Middle East, Japan,
Hong Kong and the United States. Here, customers will meet with their Personal Liaison Manager (PLM), who will be on hand
at all times to assist them with any questions they may have about the car. Maybach is thereby setting a standard for other
luxury car brands to follow when it comes to customer care services too.
Leading-edge technology à la Mercedes-Benz
Maybach benefits greatly from the technological superiority of its sister brand Mercedes-Benz. It was from Mercedes-Benz
that innovations such as the electronically controlled AIRMATIC DC (Dual Control) air suspension and the electro-hydraulic
Sensotronic Brake Control (SBC) were first derived and then redeveloped for use in the Maybach. The luxury Saloon's new twelve-cylinder
powerplant develops a maximum output of 405 kW/550 hp, with torque peaking at an immense 900 Newton meters; these power and
torque figures are unmatched by any other series-production passenger car engine in the world.
Auto spies Perspective:
Look for the next generation S-class to emulate the look, style and feature set
of the Maybach in a ‘scaled down’ version.
This is a brilliant strategy by MB…they make everyone
in the world lust for this car and then make an affordable one for the masses…(the very well to do masses)
they were really smart, they would make a killer brochure, almost like a soft cover coffee table book/interactive CD and sell
it on the retail stands as a ‘limited edition collectors item’.
They should also get Bill Gates and
Steve Jobs to come in as focus group consultants to help them map a course for the future of automobiles…Give them a
free Maybach for their time…Imagine all the press that would garner!
Check out the picture below of the
original Maybach…It sure has come a long way from the ‘Colonel Klink’ car! Ahh…we’re dating
ourselves…we had a little too much “Saturday night after your bath, in your pajamas, late night TV”!