The tradition-laden Maybach luxury brand is adding a fifth model to its line-up. The new Maybach Landaulet resurrects the legend of the classic luxury landaulets, a feature of which is that only the chauffeur's area is closed. An extra-large folding roof opens up over the pampered rear-seat passengers when required, leaving no obstructions between them and the blue sky above. The Maybach Landaulet thus offers a majestic open-air experience currently unrivalled by any other automobile. Boasting a certain romantic quality and allowing its passengers the opportunity to savour closeness to nature, this exceptional vehicle also features the ultimate in comfort and technological sophistication and as such sets the new standard for the world's most exclusive luxury saloons.
In November 2007, Maybach had revived the aura of the grand carriages of days gone by with its Landaulet study. The European premiere of this sparkling white one-off study is taking place at the 78th Geneva Motor Show. Even beforehand, however, the response from the public to this masterpiece has been overwhelming, so much so that Maybach decided to offer the hand-built Landaulet based exclusively on the customer's own specifications.
A limited number of vehicles will be built in the Manufaktur workshops in Sindelfingenover a restricted period. The finest materials are painstakingly handcrafted by select specialists to meet the customers' exacting requirements - just as the discerning Maybach clientele would expect. According to the latest Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI), a survey of 531 U.S.millionaires recently voted Maybach the most prestigious luxury automobile brand.
The Maybach name epitomises high-end luxury motoring. It stands for effortlessly superior automotive engineering at the very highest level, timeless and stylish elegance, and precision craftsmanship. Since approximately two-thirds of Maybach customers wish to tailor their cars exactly to their own tastes and ideas, Maybach is constantly expanding its exclusive range of customisation options.
The Maybach Landaulet was prompted by the clientele of Maybach. Experts understand the landaulet to be an automobile whose front section has a fixed roof, but whose rear has a folding top to allow the passengers to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Landaulets were formerly often used as parade cars in which the occupants could present themselves to the people at the roadside. However, security considerations have largely relieved the landaulet of this function today.
Of course, this has not detracted from the legends, which surround landaulet automobiles. Chauffeur-driven cars by nature, even today they still are ranked among the top products of the carmaker's art. This applies to a particular degree to the Maybach Landaulet: innovative, high-grade engineering, exceptional comfort and a luxurious ambience clearly place this Landaulet a cut above even the luxury car segment. This is down in part to select, high-quality materials, large amounts of which specialists incorporate into the Maybach Landaulet with meticulous attention to detail and craftsmen's skill. The vehicle displayed in Genevacomes with white Grand Nappa leather of highest quality and exquisite black granite as well as glossy piano lacquer for trim elements. The new Maybach Landaulet might best be compared to luxurious super-yachts - exquisitely beautiful and valuable masterpieces that combine sophisticated technology and exotic materials with a close-to experience of nature, which addresses all the senses, and take their owners far away from the conventional.
In technical terms the Maybach Landaulet is based on the Maybach 62 S - which can claim to be the world's most powerful series-produced chauffeured saloon. Maybach technicians have removed the rear roof module in order to afford passengers an unobstructed view of the sky above. The side walls have been invisibly reinforced with an integral tubular steel structure. As these measures have not altered the silhouette of the luxury saloon, the generously dimensioned doors and the complete interior with reclining seats remain unchanged.
When closed, the black soft-top of the Maybach Landaulet rests on the roof frame and is wind and weather-proof. When requested by the passengers, the chauffeur operates a switch in the centre console. Fully automatically, electric motors then open the two locks which fasten the folding top to the roof frame; the top is folded and gently laid onto the parcel shelf in the rear, together with its integral rear windscreen made of single-layer safety glass. One hydraulic cylinder each on the left and right side open and close the top virtually noiselessly. The necessary driving power is furnished by an electro-hydraulic motor hidden away in the side of the boot. The opening and closing of the roof are choreographed to take place in less than 20 seconds. Of course, even with the top down the luggage compartment is always fully accessible.
The chauffeur is able to enclose the folded roof with a fine leather tonneau cover, which both conceals the roof mechanism from view and completes the overall picture of outstanding elegance. The tonneau cover comes in the same colour as the interior of the rear compartment, thereby creating a harmonious, organic link with the exterior. A logo reading "Maybach Landaulet" in the colour specified by the customer is embroidered onto the cover, where it is visible to following traffic. The model on show sports an elegant and discreet white-on-white logo: after all, Maybach saloons do not wish to achieve their effect with superficial stylistic features, but rather with the distinguished air of a first-class butler.
The Maybach Landaulet is a masterpiece of automotive engineering and comes with its very own exciting, yet distinguished, authentic style. The interior colour scheme of the model shown in Genevais another point, which illustrates that the Maybach Landaulet is conceived as a chauffeur-driven car. The passenger compartment in the spacious rear of the vehicle is styled a tasteful white, whereas the chauffeur's area is entirely in black. Though this does make the respective roles quite clear, the seat behind the steering wheel of the Maybach Landaulet should certainly be one of the most coveted workplaces for a chauffeur. For here, too, only exceptionally high-grade materials are used.
The chauffeur's area is modelled on the successful Maybach 62 S, but has been upgraded in a number of important ways. The centre console and all trim elements have black piano lacquer surfaces. And for the extensive leather appointments Maybach uses an exclusive, smooth black leather.
The passengers in the rear with its optional contrasting colour scheme enjoy their place in the sun. Theytravel on opulent reclining seats upholstered in exquisite Grand Nappa leather in an environment of utmost luxury and exquisite style. The basis for outstanding comfort is the generous spaciousness of the rear passenger compartment, which the Maybach Landaulet has adopted unchanged from the Maybach 62 S. Two superbly comfortable individual seats positively invite the rear passengers to sit back and relax. As a highlight, the elegant individual rear seats allow even tall passengers to enjoy a comfortable reclining position, which travellers would normally expect to find only in the first-class sections of modern passenger jets. Rear passengers can call up a pre-set reclined position at the push of a button, whereupon the backrest smoothly tilts backwards by up to 47 degrees whilst, simultaneously, a lower-leg support and footrest extend forwards. This means that occupants can enjoy the ride in an extremely relaxed reclined position. Of course, the seat can easily be adjusted to each passenger's own particular comfort needs.
Seat comfort is further enhanced by pneumatically adjustable air cushions in the backrest and a program-controlled massage function. Pressing the "Pulse" button inflates and deflates the central air cushion in the lumbar region at precisely defined intervals and with varying intensity. As confirmed by orthopaedic experts, this pulsating action relieves stress in the back muscles and boosts the metabolism of the intervertebral discs. Each relaxing back massage lasts for five minutes and can be repeated as often as required.
Highly skilled craftsmanship, unerring taste, the use of unique materials plus the very highest standards of quality played a decisive role in the design of the rear, and have produced an outstanding result. Maybach Manufaktur has fitted out the passenger compartment of the vehicle on show almost completely in exquisite Seychelles White Nappa leather.
A contrast is provided in the vehicle on show by inserts and decorative trim in black. But white and black is not the only theme: warm and cool contrasts also help to create atmosphere. Some surfaces in the rear passenger compartment feature glossy black piano lacquer, while several elements are made of Star Galaxy granite from India. This rare stone is deep black in colour, with numerous warm, gold inclusions. The standard specification of the new Maybach Landaulet comes with a choice of three leather appointment options, and a choice of two trim element finishes - black piano lacquer combined with carbon-fibre trim or fine anthracite poplar.
Maybach has adapted the luxurious rear compartment to the requirements of open-top motoring. For instance, the rear head restraints are slightly larger than on the saloon and effectively help reduce wind turbulence. Another slim wind deflector is automatically raised at speedsabove 70 km/h to further reduce the risk of any uncomfortable draughts. The deflector, which measures around five centimetres, can be activated manually at any time. The switch is conveniently positioned for rear passengers in the centre console.
The intercom in the passenger compartment is fitted with an additional handset in the centre console, allowing passengers to communicate with the driver while the roof is down.
As well as being exceptionally comfortable, the reclining seats in the Maybach Landaulet offer an outstanding level of safety - in any position. The restraint system incorporating the belt tensioner, belt-force limiter and sidebag is integrated in the backrests, meaning that the rear passengers can enjoy optimal protection even when the seats are fully reclined. Further safety features include a crash-responsive backrest which is moved into an upright position in the event of a frontal impact and the tensioners on the belt buckles which also tension the lap belt in the event of an accident.
Designed from the outset as a chauffeur-driven limousine, the Maybach Landaulet is equipped with a partition. The lower section of the partition consists of an aluminium sandwich structure. The upper section comprises an electro-transparent laminated glass panel that can be lowered by electric motor.
Driving enjoyment of the highest calibre is further enhanced by the climate comfort afforded by the Maybach Landaulet. To provide effective climate control in the spacious interior, Maybach equips the vehicle with two of the most sophisticated automatic climate control units currently available - one for the front compartment and one specially for the rear compartment. Thanks to its high performance capability and intelligent control set-up, the system allows the occupants in the front as well as the passengers in the rear to adjust and program the climate control system individually. The parameters of the climate control system have been adapted to the conditions in the Maybach Landaulet and ensure that open-air travel remains a pleasure even under adverse climatic conditions.
The rear console is the centrepiece for entertainment, communications and travelling pleasure in the Maybach Landaulet. Numerous stowage compartments enable the rear passengers to tidy away both large and small items conveniently. The exquisitely designed interior door panels alone house ten stowage compartments whose lids open at the push of a button.
However, it is the multifunctional centre console between the seats that forms the heart of the stowage concept in the rear of the Maybach cars. This is where Maybach engineers have grouped everything relating to the entertainment and pleasure of the rear-seat passengers: a DVD player, six-disc CD changer, a cooler compartment with its own electric compressor and an intelligent system, which holds silver goblets and champagne bottle safely in position. The champagne flutes - specifically designed for the Maybach in high-grade sterling silver - are held by clips that automatically grip them above the base when they are put down. The clips are released as soon as the rear passenger picks up the flute again.
The Maybach Landaulet on show in Genevacomes with exclusive paintwork in Antigua White. This gleaming white paint finish is built up by specialists layer by layer ‑ almost twice as many layers as normally found on other high-quality automobiles. The new Maybach Landaulet is painted in Baltic Black or Nevada Silver in a sophisticated process that ensures the highest standards of quality.
Visual highlights are provided by 20-inch aluminium wheels, also available as an option at no extra charge painted in the vehicle colour or burnished to a high sheen in a special finishing process. These are shod in Michelin Pilot Sport high-performance size 275/45 R 20 tyres manufactured specifically for Maybach.
The Maybach Landaulet is powered by an uprated V12 engine which Maybach engineers have developed further for the Maybach 57 S and Maybach 62 S together with the specialists at Mercedes-AMG. Thanks to twin turbochargers and water intercooling, the V12 develops a maximum output of 450 kW/612 hp from a displacement of 5980 cubic centimetres. This is continuously available between 4800 and 5100 rpm, and the engine also delivers an impressive maximum torque of 1000 newton metres between 2000 and 4000 rpm.
In line with the Maybach approach, the twelve-cylinder biturbo engine is hand-assembled in the Mercedes-AMG engine workshops, or Manufaktur. The "One man, one engine" philosophy is reflected by the signature of the technician responsible on the characteristic model plate, which is attached to the engine cover of the V12 biturbo - a guarantee of the greatest care and highest quality.
Equipped with the AIRMATIC DC (Dual Control) electronically controlled air suspension system and the Adaptive Damping System (ADS II), the Maybach Landaulet achieves an outstanding level of ride comfort whilst at the same time proving that even a prestigious automobile can display excellent agility and handling qualities.
In addition to large, internally ventilated brake discs - with twin callipers at the front - both the Maybach Landaulet and the Maybach 62 S are equipped with two electro-hydraulic Sensotronic Brake Control (SBC™) braking systems working in tandem. Together with ESP®, ASR, ABS and Brake Assist, this provides the Maybach Landaulet with the very latest in effective, high-tech handling control systems.