Super-exclusive Merc goes semi-convertible
2 November 2007

Mercedes-Benz’s struggling Maybach division has unveiled a new semi-convertible version of its opulent 612bhp 6.0-litre V12 powered 62 saloon. The new car, which revives the evocative Landaulet nomenclature used on some of the upmarket German car maker’s most flamboyant and expensive pre-war models, has been conceived as a chauffeur driven limousine, with the opening section of its roof dedicated exclusively to those seated in the expansive rear. In a bid to achieve the high levels of rigidity required to retain Maybach’s customary refinement, the 62 Landaulet retains the same four-door steel body as the 62 saloon, however, the centre section of the roof aft of the B-pillars and rear screen have been removed completely to create a large opening that is covered by a sturdy fabric hood. When opened, the multi-layer arrangement automatically retracts back and stows in an exposed position atop the parcel shelf, with a colour-keyed tonneau cover used to cover it. Planned to make its public debut at the Dubai motor show on November 13, the 62 Landaulet is presently described as a one-off design study. However, Autocar can reveal that the new open-top limousine is planned for limited production at Maybach’s workshop located on Mercedes-Benz’s sprawling Sindelfingen manufacturing plant on the outskirts of Stuttgart in Germany from early in 2008.Details remain scarce, though our sources suggest volume will be low even by Maybach's exclusive standards. Along with its modified exterior, the 62 Landaulet also receives a revised interior that sees the front and rear quarters divided by a glass partition which can be rendered opaque through a liquid crystal membrane. Further distinguishing front from rear is the colour of the trim; the front receives black leather with the rear decked out in white. Maybach is not providing any pricing details for its latest model, although prospective customers are set to pay handsomely for the open top experience given the 62 saloon’s breathtaking £303,000 price tag.

Greg Kable

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