The Maybach 62 occupies a part of the market few super-luxury cars can ever aspire to

The Maybach 62 is the car you never knew you wanted. And starting at £320,000 when new, few will be able to park one on their driveway (which, incidentally, will have to be a minimum of 6.2 metres long to accommodate the aptly named 62).

The standard 62 is an imposing model but for another £47,000 – the price of a Mercedes Mercedes-Benz CLS – the 62 S packs an additional 62bhp, cutting the 0-62mph time by 0.2sec to 5.2sec.

For the price of a Maybach 62, you could buy a S63 AMG, an SLS and a E-class

Other changes include a revised grille, new wheels and modified light clusters. The interior is finished in piano black and, get this, carbon fibre – in a car weighing 2855kg. The suspension remains unchanged, as does the restricted top speed.

Maybachs are fabulous to fall asleep in the back of, preposterously fast, fine riding and awesomely refined, but it is still hard to think of them as anything more than very stretched Mercedes Mercedes-Benz S-Classes with more powerful engines.

Few would argue that the 62 is an attractive car, and in these days of austerity, it is a symbol of conspicuous consumption few could live with. The stark fact is that, for all its pomp and huge price, it does not feel sufficiently special to warrant a price nearly three times that of the considerably more charming and no slower Bentley Flying Spur.

Where the 62 does feel rather special is inside. Maybach claims there are more than two million possible interior combinations, so given the tiny numbers the company sells, it’s entirely possible that no two 62s are the same.

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Grand nappa leather, in 210 separate hand-sewn sections, covers most of the surfaces not trimmed in quality carpet or wood. There are also more than 100 pieces of handcrafted wood trim.

The only Maybach that makes any sense is the standard 62. For a tycoon with an empire that needs running from the back seat of a car, there is none better. That said, putting the more powerful engine into the 57 S has helped improve sales considerably.

Apparently, there will always be a small constituency of people who want the biggest, fastest and most expensive limo money can buy, even if it’s not the best model in the range.

Maybach 62 2003-2012 First drives