What happens when you go to the extremes twice over in one mud-chewing machine? That’s what Daimler has in mind with the new Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet.
Start out with the German maker’s most rugged off-roader, the fabled G-wagen, outfit it with a 630-horsepower V-12, and then load it up with the sort of exotic luxury features you’d expect to find in a more mundane Mercedes-Maybach S600 Pullman.
The open-top Landaulet becomes the fifth model in the reborn Maybach brand – not including the Vision 6 concept car unveiled last summer. Unfortunately for Americans, even if you’ve got deep enough pockets, you won’t be able to order one State-side. You’ll have to check with Mercedes to see what other country it’s going to be available in when the G650 rolls out later this year.
Think of the Mercedes-Maybach G-wagen as the ultimate in safari vehicles. It will attack just about any possible road with aplomb, offering all the accoutrements you’d expect of a Maybach, and a fold-away roof so that you can get a maximum view of the world around you.
(Mercedes adding 603-hp Wagon to new E-Class line-up. Click Here for the story.)
Better yet, on the open road, it goes one better than Maybach’s earlier offerings, packing a twin-turbo V-12 under the hood capable of churning out 630 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. The G650 delivers all that power to all four wheels through its own version of the Mercedes 4Matic system. A unique solid portal axle system ensures extra ground clearance and durability.
The G650 is a hungry beast, we’ll warn you, delivering a mere 13 miles a gallon.
Visually, you’ll find no major surprises with the Landaulet, beyond the electrically operated softtop. “The rear passengers enjoy the majestic open-air experience from their single seats,” the maker notes. “On demand, an electrically operated glass partition separates the rear compartment from the driver’s section. In addition, the glass can be changed from transparent to opaque at the press of a button.”
The Landaulet boasts a total length of 5,345 millimeters, or 210 inches. The wheelbase, at 3,428 mm, is 578 mm longer than other versions of the G-wagen. It boasts nearly a full half meter, or almost 19 inches, of ground clearance, meanwhile, “allowing the open-top all-terrain vehicle to overcome even extreme obstacles in masterly fashion,” Mercedes boasts.
(Click Here for more about the impact of AMG and Maybach on Mercedes sales.)
Like the other Maybach models, the G650 is loaded with luxury touches, starting with Business Jet-style seats that can fully recline in the rear. There’s not just a massage function but a hot-stone feature. There’s also a large console that can heat or cool your beverages. And two individual tables fold in and out of the center console.
Rear-seat passengers also have access to twin 10-inch high-definition video displays.
The Mercedes-Maybach G503 Landaulet will be custom built at the Magna Steyr plan in Graz, Austria. Only 99 will be produced, with the four-seater set to start rolling off the line in Autumn 2017. Mercedes isn’t yet revealing the price tag.
The Landaulet suggests there’s a lot more life left in both Maybach and the G-wagen, incidentally. Parent Daimler killed off the standalone Maybach brand early in the decade due to sluggish sales, but it brought it back as Mercedes-Maybach two years ago, and is promising to roll out an assortment of new models meant to challenge the likes of Rolls-Royce and Bentley in the coming years.
(Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 looks back at the future. Click Here for more on this retro-futuristic concept.)
As for the G-wagen, many thought it was going to end its quarter-century run in 2016, but Mercedes decided to keep it around until at least 2019. And we wouldn’t be surprised to see it last even longer.