Maybach Laundalet convertible to go into production
22 February 2008

In a move that will astonish many, Maybach has decided to build the Laundalet convertible limo concept that we saw at the Detroit motor show last month. And Mercedes’ luxury marque intends to charge an absolutely staggering £680,000 for its most opulent model yet. For many it will seem a difficult move to understand given the negative reaction the topless Laundalet concept received in Detroit, where many observers described it as 'vulgar'. Its unconventional design harks back to luxury cars of the fifties, with the rear section of the 62S-based cruiser opening hydraulically so that all and sundry can see the wealthy owner lounging within. Maybach insists that this, its fifth model, is a “masterpiece of automotive engineering” and has “distinguished, authentic style”. And besides, the premium marque is not trying to impress average consumers. This is a car aimed squarely at the decadent super rich; think Russian oligarchs, Arabian oil barons and African dictators. And although that exposed rear cabin may look like a dissident sniper assassin’s dream, this is a luxury car to be driven in.

Behind the wheel

If a Landaulet’s stately owner ever decided to enter what Maybach describes as “the chauffeur’s workplace” he’d find himself surrounded by a premium, leather-trimmed, bespoke cabin with a piano black lacquer or carbon fibre dash finish. Underneath his right foot, 612bhp will be on offer courtesy of the tuned up, twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre V12 Mercedes engine from the 62S. Maybach also claims that air suspension and an Adaptive Damping System ensures a first class ride and makes the massive Landaulet surprisingly agile too.

How does the roof work?

A switch drops the fully automatic, and huge, rear cabin roof onto the rear parcel shelf of the car, before your chaffeur goes to wrap it up in a leather tonneau cover. The fine leather’s embroided with the words ‘Maybach Landaulet’ positioned just so that they are visible to following traffic. This, says Maybach, “completes the picture of outstanding elegance”.

What’s it like in the back?

In the opulent rear of the Landaulet passengers recline in deep seats finished with Grand Nappa leather and can enjoy an unbroken view of the sky above. There’s even a special wind-shielded intercom allowing them to talk to the driver. Luxury yacht-like cabin fixtures and fittings are similar to the standard Maybach 62S’s, but the Landaulet has also been kitted out for open-top motoring with larger head restraints and a rising wind deflector to reduce wind turbulence at speeds above 43mph. As with the 62S limo, Maybach will cater for almost any taste with a wide selection of high-quality materials, colours and personalisation options available when the car’s specified.

Is anyone really going to spend £680k on a convertible limo?

Mercedes obviously thinks there’s a market - perhaps most prominently with buyers in the oil-rich Middle East and brash billionaires in America. The company claims that, in a recent survey of 531 US millionaires, Maybach was voted the most prestigious car brand. But it’s been underperforming in Europe, posting a relatively small number of new registrations, and faces stiff competition for wealthy buyers from the likes of Rolls-Royce. In fact, Rolls’ wonderful Phantom Drophead Coupe seems an utter bargain compared with this Landaulet, costing just £260k, or less than half the price.

Will Powell

Join the debate

Comments
18

22 February 2008

Regardless of the cost, which is frankly laughable, this car is vulgar and simply an illustration as to why Maybach is a struggling brand. The 57 and 62 are simply a large version of Merc's previous S-Class, with similar design language inside and out. Ok, the quality of build and materials in the Maybach are equisite but who wants to buy a vulgar S-class copy?

Unlike the other German marques Mercedes appears to have problems understanding and developing brands. Smart hasn't been a runaway success and then there was the disasterous partnership with Chrysler and Mitsubishi because Mercedes wanted to take control with a blinkered view and didn't understand the other brands and didn't want to listen. And there are often a few losses direction with some of Merc's own models, such as AMG and the SLR McLaren. And Maybach is just the ultimate expression of why Mercedes is unable to develop the success and profitability of brands owned by BMW and the VW Group such as Bentley, Rolls, Mini, Lamborghini and Bugatti.

22 February 2008

The overall design of this car is brilliant. How to make one of the world's more luxurious cars/limos better? Make it into a convertible of course. It looks like one of the coolest cars rolling on any street, if not the coolest. Pull up next to a Veyron is a parking lot, and this limo will get all the attention. Merc will have no problem selling this to million/billionaires around the world.

22 February 2008

Vulgar, hideous, tasteless, ill-proportioned. The ugliest car in the world just got uglier. Fortunately there will be so few around we won't have to do that much looking away. Truly astonishing that for this money you get a car that's uglier than a Tata Nano. Have Mercedes no sense of shame?

22 February 2008

Woo, that's astoundingly naff. Clearly a car for the Chinese nouveau riche!

[quote GI Joe]
The overall design of this car is brilliant. How to make one of the world's more luxurious cars/limos better? Make it into a convertible of course. It looks like one of the coolest cars rolling on any street, if not the coolest. Pull up next to a Veyron is a parking lot, and this limo will get all the attention. Merc will have no problem selling this to million/billionaires around the world.
[/quote]Unlike Rolls-Royce, Bentley, or Aston Martin, Maybach as a brand stands for nothing outside car circles. It's also not a car young people aspire to own. You're only going to impress the odd forum nerd when you turn up in one - everyone else will think you've bought an S-Class that's been in an accident with a giant tin-opener. And when they hear the price they'll just laugh.

22 February 2008

The citizens of Africa will be paying more tax from today. Dictator's vehicle.

I have just spent a pleasant day at Mercedes-Benz World (highly recommended). They had Maybachs parked three abreast in the car park. I spent a bit of time in the showroom looking at one and formed the opinion that they look like a car that would be made by a Korean company that you've never heard of. They have that "made-for-Korea-but-not-for-export" look about them. Personally, I can't see why anyone would have one when you could have Rolls-Royce instead.

22 February 2008

i hope that your tongue is firmly in your cheek.i would not pay £6.80 let alone £680,000 for that thing.there cannot be that many super rich with such bad taste.can there?

22 February 2008

[quote ThwartedEfforts]

Woo, that's astoundingly naff. Clearly a car for the Chinese nouveau riche!

Unlike Rolls-Royce, Bentley, or Aston Martin, Maybach as a brand stands for nothing outside car circles. It's also not a car young people aspire to own. You're only going to impress the odd forum nerd when you turn up in one - everyone else will think you've bought an S-Class that's been in an accident with a giant tin-opener. And when they hear the price they'll just laugh.

[/quote]

Find me someone that is interested in a car of this league who does not know about Maybach and I'll find you Big Foot.

How many young people can afford this?

A giant convertible limo is not the product of a 6 inch device in my kitchen. No one will think you bought an S-Class, because it looks nothing like one. No one will laugh when you drop that much money on a car, they will drool.

You are really bad troll kid. Try to use logic next time. It will make you look less like a moron.

22 February 2008

At the risk of offending others, I find the Rolls Royce just as ugly. At least with a Maybach you can 'blend in' a bit, its a bit understated. Bottom line is most of these uber expensive cars are ugly!!

22 February 2008

GI Joe...please take your personal insults and rudeness elsewhere. If you don't like what other people say then just ignore them. Its not hard.

22 February 2008

[quote GI Joe]

The overall design of this car is brilliant. How to make one of the world's more luxurious cars/limos better? Make it into a convertible of course. It looks like one of the coolest cars rolling on any street, if not the coolest. Pull up next to a Veyron is a parking lot, and this limo will get all the attention. Merc will have no problem selling this to million/billionaires around the world.

[/quote]

Then this is a car designed and built for America. It is without doubt the most hideous, ill proportioned and tasteless car currently being offered for sale, and I include all that yank trash we keep getting over here and the Ssangyong Rhodius.

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