The Mercedes-Maybach G65 4x4² Landaulet, a limited-volume, V12-powered semi-convertible version of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, has been leaked online ahead of its official debut at the Geneva motor show in early March.
A Russian journalist has posted an image and video on his Instagram account, Automailru, of the model which is yet to be revealed officially by the car maker. However, Mercedes-Maybach released an image of the rear right of the car yesterday, hinting at its imminent arrival.
Set to act as a swansong model for the existing 38-year-old G-Class prior to the introduction of a heavily upgraded variant of the original military-based off-roader later this year, the lavishly equipped model revives the evocative Landaulet name of some of Mercedes' most flamboyant and expensive pre-war models.
Details remain scarce prior to its officially unveiling, but we do know that like the Maybach 62 Landaulet that launched back in 2007, the new G65 4x4² Landaulet features an electrically operated folding fabric roof which opens over the rear seats.
The new Mercedes-Maybach model appears to retain the same body structure as the G500 4x4², but the centre of the roof aft of the B-pillars and rear screen have been removed to create a large opening. which is covered by a sturdy multi-layer fabric hood. When opened, the hood stows in an exposed position at the rear of the car.
The G65 4x4² Landaulet is likely to be powered by the latest version of Mercedes-AMG’s twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre V12 petrol engine. Now produced at Mercedes-Benz’s factory in Mannheim, Germany, this produces 621bhp at 5000rpm and an abundant 737lb ft of torque between 2300 and 4300rpm.
Those heady reserves are channelled through a seven-speed torque converter-equipped automatic gearbox and sturdy four-wheel drive system with three separate differential locks. In the standard 2505kg G65, it provides 0-62mph acceleration in 5.3sec and a 143mph top speed together with combined cycle fuel consumption of 16.6mpg and average CO2 emissions of 397g/km.
Pricing for the highly exclusive S65 4x4² Landaulet is yet to be announced, though insiders suggest it will surpass that of the Maybach 62 Landaulet, which was offered in very limited numbers and cost £303,000.