Despite sales troubles in Australia and a general lack of interest in its Maybach brand, Daimler has chosen to go to production with its Maybach 62 Landaulet, shown first in concept form in Dubai last year, and again at the Detroit auto show.

The first examples will emerge 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 euros (approximately $1.35 million). But how can you put a price tag on the melodic symphony of a 612-horsepower twin-turbocharged V-12, the wind in your hair and the sun on your face–with room for a full bar and several of your closest friends?

Recent news has not been especially kind to Maybach, with their chief rival Rolls Royce outselling them by 250 percent. 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.

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.