It’s easy to forget today, but the Maybach automobile was arguably the most prestigious car manufacturer in the 1930s Germany had ever seen. Wilhelm Maybach, the man who designed the first Mercedes vehicle in 1901 and the face behind the marque, was one of the first few engineers in Germany. With the help of his son, Karl Maybach, he went on to create the first Maybach W1 prototype in 1919, which made its debut at the Berlin Auto Show of 1921 as the W3.
It was propelled by a 5.7-liter V6 engine, which he later sold to Spyker, a fellow luxury car manufacturer based in Holland. Maybach also partnered with Graf Zeppelin on engines for airships with a similar name. However, after World War II (in 1960 specifically), Daimler-Benz acquired his company and made it an ultra-luxury car marque of Mercedes-Benz. Through this brand, Daimler went on to produce a high end version of the S-Class, which was quite successful… until recently.
After almost an entire decade of losses, Daimler had finally had enough of the ultra-luxury Maybach brand and decided to introduce the lethal injection. This basically meant that there wouldn’t be a successor model. After two years of silence, Mercedes announced the renewal of the Maybach brand under the Mercedes-Benz S Class (W222) ultra-luxury sub brand. Perhaps now is the perfect time to reflect on the Maybach epitaph.
Here are the top five Mercedes Maybach models in history.
2004 Mercedes Maybach Exelero
If the name sounds familiar, it’s probably because this is the same car that musician Birdman ordered for $8 million but was reportedly not able to pay at first. The 2004 Maybach Exelero was a very unique car. It involved the incorporation of high performance tires from tire manufacturer Fulda, who needed a car that could exceed the 217mph (350kmh) mark for testing. The company always had a Maybach model at its disposal that served as their test car since the late ‘30s, and this connection received a shot in the arm a few years ago.
The partnership saw Klaus Ludwig (racing driver) take the Maybach Exelero to the Italian streets in 2005, boasting Fulda tires, and achieve an impressive speed of 351.45kmh. This set a new world record for limousines. At a glance, the Maybach Exelero is part sports coupe and part high end limousine. It’s a car that manages a maximum speed of 350 kmh plus, with the dimensions of a small van and an unloaded weight of 2.66 tons.
Its tires were specifically meant to not only cope with the aforementioned speed, weight, and dimensions, but to also give the car comfort, safety, and stability.
2012 Mercedes Maybach 62S
The Maybach 62S was one of the first two models in the Maybach lineup to be introduced after the brand’s revival, the other being the Maybach 57. The car featured a 12-cylinder engine generating 630 HP, and could sprint from standstill to 100kmh in a mere 5 seconds on its way to a top speed of 250kmh. For entertainment, two 9 1/2 –inch flat screen monitors are fitted at the back of the front seats with internet capabilities thanks to the integrated WiFi connection.
Surround sound is also available in the form of twenty one Bose speakers, which are strategically positioned throughout the car for concert-hall quality. A center console allows you to control everything at the comfort of your seat via a remote control. The interior received a piano black finishing and the renowned carbon fiber in a vehicle weighing 2855kgs.
2010 Mercedes Maybach BRABUS SV12r Biturbo 800
Dubbed as the most powerful luxury sedan in the world, the 2010 Brabus SV 12 used the Mercedes S600 platform and could produce a stunning 800HP power output, as the name suggests. For this, the car employed a 6.3-Liter V12 engine with flow-optimized cylinder heads, high performance camshafts, new air intake, and an improvised Biturbo system featuring 2 unique high performance manifolds with incorporated turbochargers and turbine housings.
It also benefited from a new stainless steel exhaust system with 4 exhaust tips and sport catalysts, leading an impressive 1,420Nm of torque. Overall, the car could pace from zero to 60mph in just 3.9 seconds and manage a maximum speed of 217mph. On the exterior, it boasted a new rear spoiler lip, a horizontal brace, an integrated air vent designed with clear coated carbon fiber, customized aluminum front fenders, custom cutouts, and centrally located reflector.
The interior, on the other hand, featured a leather outline, all the latest technologies, and exclusive wood trim sets.
1938 Mercedes Maybach SW38 Roadster
The SW38 was one of the most popular Maybachs in the ‘30s. It was powered by a 6-cylinder engine that could propel it to speeds of 100mph and above, which was quite noteworthy during that time. Maybach himself was involved in the manufacture of this aero engine, giving it a high quality finish in the engine bay. The interiors featured simple yet elegant wood trim, and strategically positioned instruments and switchgear at the dashboard.
The integrated 3790 cubic centimeter 6-cylinder motor helped the SW38 generate an inspiring 140HP. The forceful powerplant was paired to a DSG 4-speed manual transmission, which was further mated to a pre-selector at the center of the steering wheel. This elegant blend of form and function resulted in a car of high style and wonderful quality, which deservedly matched its royal attitude and vast cost.
2015 Mercedes Maybach S600
The 2015 Mercedes Maybach was advertised as the car that would bury the ghost of the generally failed Maybach project. For this reason, it was received a significant facelift, featuring a longer, taller, and more spacious body than ever before. The length was expanded by 207mm and the height by 2mm but with an innovative styling that gave the headroom an allowance of 12mm. The cabin could be trimmed in a variety of roof-liners, woods, leathers, and stitch arrangements without raising the listed price.
The car also introduced a wide range of luxuries, all focused on improving passenger comfort. Notable features included armrests that could be warmed, heated & massaging seats, air conditioner, a system for pumping scented, ionized air around the cabin, as well as a 1540W 3D 21 speaker surround system from Burmester.