Not all has been rosy in the halls of Maybach HQ in recent times. The german maker of ultra-luxury vehicles has been comprehensively trounced by the likes of Rolls-Royce and Bentley who are currently at the top of their game â€“ thanks largely to their respective German owners. While Maybach dealers jump ship in the US, Rolls-Royce and Bentley are looking to increase production at their UK plants.
So it comes as no surprise that the following design study should come to light at a time when Maybach need all of the good attention that they can get. Maybach are claiming that their study of an open-top landaulet has re-enlivened the great art of building majestic automobiles.
True to the tradition of exclusive landaulets, the roof of this one-off study can be opened fully at the rear, while the chauffeurâ€™s compartment remains completely enclosed. The passengers are able to enjoy the open air in their opulent armchairs upholstered in white leather.
The Landaulet study is based on the Maybach 62 S â€“ which can claim to be the worldâ€™s most powerful series-produced chauffeured saloon. Maybach technicians have removed the rear roof module in order to afford passengers an unobstructed view of the sky above. The side walls remain, and have merely been invisibly reinforced with an integral tubular steel structure.
When closed the black soft-top of the Landaulet rests on the frame formed by the roof bows, and is wind and weather-proof. When requested by the passengers, the chauffeur operates a switch in the centre console. The roof then opens electro-hydraulically and is gently deposited on the parcel shelf in the rear, together with its integral rear window of single-layer safety glass. Opening and closing the roof takes 16 seconds. The chauffeur is able to enclose the folded roof with a fitted leather cover to ensure the elegance of the Maybach is maintained.
As in the Maybach 62 S, the rear console is the centrepiece for entertainment featuring a DVD-player, six CD-changer, a cooler compartment with its own electric compressor and an intelligent system which holds glasses, goblets and champagne bottles safely in position.
Not that it matters much in a car not intended for the owner to drive, the Maybach Landaulet study is powered by an uprated 6.0-litre V12 engine, a development of the V12 that powers the Maybach 57 S and Maybach 62 S. Thanks to some Mercedes-AMG tuning along with twin turbochargers and water intercooling, the V12 develops a maximum output of 450kW/612 hp and a whopping 1000Nm.
Electronically controlled air suspension AIRMATIC DC (Dual Control) and the Adaptive Damping System (ADS II) ensure the Landaulet rides the way a chauffeured limousine should without sacrificing handling â€“ technology available via Maybachâ€™s sister-brand Mercedes-Benz.
In addition to large, internally ventilated brake discs â€“ with twin callipers at the front â€“ both the study and the Maybach 62 S are equipped with two electro-hydraulic Sensotronic Brake Control (SBCâ„¢) braking systems working in tandem. Together with ESPÂ®, ASR, ABS and Brake Assist, this provides the Landaulet study with the very latest in effective, high-tech handling control systems.