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Welcome arrow Articles arrow Car Reviews arrow Magnificent Maybach
Magnificent Maybach PDF Print E-mail

The new Maybach from DaimlerChrysler sees the resurrection of one of the 20th century’s most respected names.  Although dormant for more than 60 years, the heritage remains the same with luxury and opulence the definitive bywords from an era gone by.

Wilhelm Maybach was Gottlieb Daimler’s partner in early motor cars, but left the company in 1907 to develop airship engines for Count Zeppelin.  During the First World War, Maybach built engines for the Zeppelins as well as for Gotha bombers, but it was his son Karl Wilhelm Maybach that created the famous luxury motor cars. 

After the war, the factory was forbidden to build aero engines and instead made engines for cars and trucks. In 1921 Karl launched the first Maybach passenger car.  Exhibited at the Berlin motor show, the Maybach featured a 5.7 litre, six cylinder engine with light alloy pistons and dual ignition.

Production of cars lasted for 20 years, but ceased in 1941, the company turning to making diesel engines for military vehicles, including that of the famous Tiger tank of Hitler’s crack Panzer division.  Karl Wilhelm is also credited with the 410 hp V12 diesel motor that powered the Fliegende Hamburg train. In 1960 Maybach became a division of Daimler-Benz which subsequently became DaimlerChrysler.

Magnificent MaybachAt the Tokyo motor show in 1997 the company displayed a beautiful, pin-striped, two-tone concept Maybach luxury saloon which was greeted with great critical acclaim from the world’s press. This concept vehicle was further shown at other venues around the world creating unprecedented demand for a high-end luxury motor car which could be tailor-made to each customer.  Fabrics, colours, interior appointments would be decided by each individual buyer and is feasible no two Maybachs would ever be identical.

The Maybach is a separate brand within the DaimlerChrysler stable and bears no immediate relationship to any other marque.  Built at Sindelfingen, south-west of Stuttgart, Germany, the Maybach models are produced to individual customer order with virtually no stock inventory.  Each customer is allocated a personal liaison manager who will oversee production of the car and assist the future owner in his choice of paint finish, interior matches and other options from a vastly extensive list.  The personal liaison manager will arrange visits to Sindelfingen if desired to view the car during the build stage.  Every Maybach will be equipped with a telephone linked directly to the personal liaison manager in Germany.

Magnificent MaybachA state-of-the-art Centre of Excellence has been established at Sindelfingen with a further 10 such centres located across Europe.  Customers are able to select whether they would like to collect their finished car from the Centre of Excellence or from one of the regional Maybach centres, or have it delivered to their door. In Hong Kong a dedicated service point and customer centre will be opened to provide Maybach purchasers every opportunity to view the choices available and to communicate with the factory by video conferencing.  Virtually anything a client wants can be specified for the Maybach, including armour plating, individual computer systems, hand-held cordless telephones, DVD players and television tuners. All Maybach models feature the ultimate 600-Watt sound system with Dolby surround in every seat generating concert-hall reproduction.

There are two Maybach models available: the 62 and the 57, both designations referring to the cars’ extended length of 6.16 and 5.72 metres respectively.  The makers envisage the longer 62 being more of a chauffeur’s car while the comparatively smaller 57 may be owner-driven. 

Both the 62 and the 57 are powered by hand-built 5.5 litre, aluminium V12s featuring twin turbochargers.  Output is a healthy 550 bhp (405 kW), but it is the torque figure that is particularly impressive.  A sledgehammer 900 NM is generated as low as 2,300 rpm.  In terms of performance, it is worth noting the Maybach 57 is capable of accelerating from rest to the benchmark 100 km/h in as little as 5.4 seconds.   Truly remarkable for a luxury sedan.  Both the engine in 57 and the 62 are able to comply with the stringent Euro 4 emission regulations which come into force in 2005.

The individual rear seats of the Maybach 62 are to first class air cabin standards and fully recline at the touch of a switch. Extended leg and footrests ensure maximum comfort for occupants of the rear compartment.  In addition, a refrigerated box takes care of chilling the champagne, while a titling/sliding sunroof is available at no extra cost.  A total of 10 airbags throughout the passenger compartment provide maximum accident protection, while three-point seat belts with an automatic comfort-fit facility, pre-tensioners and belt-force limiters are fitted.

The Maybach 62 made its global debut in New York on July 2, 2002.  The original slogan attributed to Maybach was, “On land, on sea and in the air”, a reference to the uses to which its engines were applied.  To follow this line, the initial Maybach was transported from Sindelfingen by road and was loaded on the luxury passenger liner Queen Elizabeth II in Southampton.  Arriving in Manhattan, a giant air crane helicopter lifted the Maybach off the liner’s deck and transported it to the full unveiling ceremony in Wall Street, heart of New York’s financial district.

Every Maybach is offered with a four-year warranty and should problems arise, a special team is on standby in Sindelfingen, able to offer technical support by telephone or video.  In addition a team known internally as the ‘Flying Doctors’ is capable of flying directly to the location of any stricken Maybach within a matter of hours.

To promote Maybach, the company is becoming involved in many prestigious sporting events, including the Cartier Polo World Cup on Snow in St Moritz, as well as golf at the world-renowned St Andrew’s course in Scotland.  More recently, Maybach has become the first make of car ever to be honoured with this year’s “Five Star Diamond Award” presented by the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences. This accolade, which has previously been reserved primarily for the world's top luxury hotels and restaurants, was conferred on the Maybach for “perfectly encapsulating a sense of fascination and legend”.

The Maybach may be a legend and a respected name from a different era, but there is no doubt whatsoever, the new cars represent the very highest achievement in the quest for ultimate luxury.

 
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© 2018 Jeff Heselwood. All rights reserved.
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