Update: Maybach 62 Landaulet goes into production

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Update: Maybach 62 Landaulet goes into production

Update: Maybach 62 Landaulet goes into production

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Although we've known since the Detroit show that the Maybach 62 Landaulet was going into production, the details were a bit sketchy - but no more. The first examples will emerge from the Maybach Manufaktur in the third quarter of this year. No hard numbers yet, although 20 is tipped as the target. Sales price will be a bit higher than what was estimated in January - to cruise in what might be the ultimate open-top comfort, you'll need to invest €900,000 (US$1.35 million). But how can you put a price tag on the melodic symphony of a 612hp twin-turbo V12, the wind in your hair and the sun on your face - with room for a full bar and several of your closest friends?

Original: Despite sales troubles in Australia and a general lack of interest in its Maybach brand, Daimler AG has chosen to go to production with its Maybach 62 Landaulet, shown first in Dubai last year, and again at the Detroit auto show. A company official noted that the display model had already been sold – a good sign that Maybach may be on to something that will actually drive up interest in the brand.

The semi-topless superluxury sedan is set to go into production some time this year, although exactly when – and exactly how many units will be made – is still up in the air. Regardless, the base price of US$1.19 million ensures that only the truly wealthy will be able to get their hands on one – even if Maybach makes several hundred. Although in truth, such production numbers are unlikely, since the Maybach brand sold only 400 units total last year, according to Reuters.

Recent news has not been especially kind to Maybach, with their chief rival Rolls Royce outselling them by 250%. Striking out entirely in Australia despite a record-breaking year of auto sales certainly didn’t help the brand’s image either. But the new Landaulet seems to be grabbing eyes and winning hearts at a feverish pace, so things could be looking up for Maybach in 2008 – and that’s not something many car makers can claim.

The new model is based on the current Maybach 62 but adopts a sliding roof over the rear compartment. Opening and closing the roof takes 16 seconds. The Landaulet design was made popular in the early part of the century and is basically a regular sedan with a fabric roof-center that can be folded away.

The car also gets a revised interior with a removable glass panel dividing the front and rear quarters. Appointments in the rear include white leather, piano lacquer and black granite surfaces.

The Maybach Landaulet study is powered by an uprated version of the V12 engine from the Maybach 62 S. Thanks to twin turbochargers and water intercooling, the V12 develops a maximum output of 612hp (450 kW) from its 6.0L of displacement. This is continuously available between 4,800 and 5,100rpm, and the engine also delivers its peak torque of 1,000Nm between 2,000 and 4,000 rpm.

Like all Maybach models, the Landaulet also shares many of its features with its Mercedes-Benz siblings including items such as the electronic air-suspension, voice-activation control and the COMAND interface system.

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