Revealed: the 621bhp Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet
Maybach's first off-roader is a biturbo V12, portal-axled luxury off-roader. Superb
A mashup to eclipse Danger Mouse's The Grey Album, perhaps: one part Mercedes-Maybach, one part AMG, all-parts excellent. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the (deep breath) Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet. It is a (even deeper breath) Maybach-badged, AMG V12-engined convertible Mercedes G-Class.
Why, you might quietly cry, does the 21st century need a limited edition, convertible, V12-engined G-Class? Well, we might quietly whisper back, why the hell not? Mercedes's argument is as follows: "The off-road icon demonstrates that the definition of unique luxury can always be taken to a new level."
And what a level. We begin our descent at 5.3m long and 2.2m high, with a ground clearance of more than half a metre (thanks, portal axles!). It's strictly a four seater, and here, if you excuse the pun, we uncover the first part of the mix. While the driver and front passenger get a proper roof, the rear passengers are treated to an electrically folding fabric roof that stows in an unspecified amount of seconds to reveal much sky. Press another button, and a glass partition further separates front and back passengers. Another push of a button, and said glass changes from transparent to opaque. Shady.
And the back is really where you'd probably want to be, because those individual rear chairs have been lifted from the S-Class, which means they can be fully reclined, offer massage programmes and get a calf rest. There's also a business console with cup holders that allow your chosen refreshment to be either cooled or heated. Even the tables have leather inserts to allow for a "comfortable writing surface".
Though quite how comfortable you'll be largely depends on your driver. Because while it might be a party in the back, it's all business up front. Courtesy of AMG's monster 6.0-litre biturbo V12, which - as in the G65 AMG - produces 621bhp and 737lb ft of torque. Maybach has yet to divulge the performance data on this Landaulet G-Class, but in a 'regular' G65, 0-62mph takes a little over five seconds. Brisk, for something so outrageously massive. And outrageous.
After all, it's got those portal axles, just like the 6x6 G63 and G500 4x4 squared. It's got 100 per cent diff locks. It's got a diamond-stitched, two-tone leather interior. There is chrome plating. There are also flared carbon fibre wheel arches, electric "entry aids" to allow easier access into the cabin, a pair of high res rear screens and, to say it again, heated massage functions. And a monster V12.
Just 99 of these Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulets will be built, for an unspecified sum of money. It will be a large, unspecified sum of money, be in no doubt. "The Mercedes-Maybach G 650 Landaulet is surely the most exclusive form of stylish open-top motoring," Merc explains. You'll see it proper at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.
Admit it, you want one, right?
Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter. Look out for your regular round-up of news, reviews and offers in your inbox.
Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.