Maybach 57 by AUTOart

11 Dec 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Maybach 57 by AUTOart
Maybach 57

Maybach 57

by AUTOart

While a Mercedes-Benz S600 is a luxury car way beyond the means of most people, for the very wealthy any Mercedes-Benz, even a top of the range S-Class is just too common . Hence what do you buy (I wish I had those sort of problems!). At the very top of the luxury saloon/limousine tree are cars such as the Rolls-Royce Phantom, the Bentley Flying Spur and this car, the Maybach. That it looks like a Mercedes-Benz S-Class on steroids should be no surprise as that’s essentially what it is.

Daimler-Benz, manufacturer of Mercedes-Benz cars decided to revive the defunct Maybach brand (which it owns) to compete at the very top end of the luxury car market (where a Mercedes-Benz simply would not do!).

Wilhelm Maybach was the technical director at the Daimler Motor Company, manufacturer of Mercedes cars. The 1901 Mercedes 35hp. (the first Mercedes branded car) was one of his most successful designs while at Daimler. He set up his own company in 1909 together with his son Karl, and concentrated on production of powerful zeppelin engines until the Versailles Treaty of 1919 which prohibited Germany from manufacturing airships.

To survive, the company switched to building diesel engines for naval and railroad use, plus smaller petrol engines for use in road vehicles. The first Maybach branded car appeared in 1921, known as the W3. It had a six cylinder engine and was produced until 1928 when it was replaced by a more powerful car the W5.

In 1929 Maybach produced Germany’s first V12 engined car followed in 1930 by the DS7-Zeppelin which had a 7 litre V12 engine and luxurious bodywork.

The depression which hit Germany very hard in the 1930s meant sales of Maybach’s expensive luxury cars were slow and the company finished automobile production (until the revival in 2002) in 1940.

During the Second World War, Maybach built large petrol V12 engines which powered larger German tanks such as the Panther and Tiger.

After the war, the shattered Germany economy could not support the production of luxury automobiles so Maybach returned to manufacturing large marine and locomotive diesel engines. In the 1960s, the company merged with Daimler-Benz and the brand has been owned by Mercedes-Benz’s parent company since then.

Maybach 57

The new Maybach range went on sale in 2002 and the new car was essentially a larger Mercedes-Benz S-Class with every luxury available for a car crammed into it. Advanced air suspension, DVD players and screens, heated and cooled airline style rear seats and a powerful twin turbocharged petrol V12 5.5 litres in size and producing 550bhp are all standard features.

The car comes in two sizes, a short wheelbase (relatively short that is compared to it’s longer stablemate!) Maybach 57 and a long wheelbase Maybach 62. The names refer to the length of the cars at 5.7 and 6.2 meters respectively. Two tone paintwork was the norm on most Maybachs, although I believe you can order them in one colour only. No two Maybachs are the same as the options list is huge.

Buyers could either visit the factory or a specialist dealer to decide on the exact specification prior to placing an order. Options included a panoramic glass roof (which could switch from clear to opaque white at the flick of a switch) on the long wheelbase car and a division between the rear of the car and the driver. Armoured versions are also offered by Maybach.

Maybach also released sportier versions of both cars (called the 57S and 62S) which had their suspension tuned for more enthusiastic handling, bigger wheels and a larger 6.0 litre version of the standard cars turbocharged V12 producing over 600bhp.

Sales of the super luxury Maybach have not lived up to expectations, but it continues to be made in small numbers (as of June 2007). Reasons for the lower than expected sales include the huge price premium over a similar top of the range Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the fact that to many people the Maybach brand is not well known as a luxury brand in the same way as Bentley or Rolls-Royce, and the fact that it is frankly ugly!

British car journalist Martin Buckley likened it to a slug that had swallowed a bungalow and I’d have to agree with him. Additionally the worldwide market for super luxury cars is very small and hasn’t grown in the way Mercedes-Benz had hoped. Many very wealthy potential customers did not get to be rich by spending money un-necessarily and therefore often choose a relatively cheaper luxury car such as an S-Class.

This model by AUTOart represents the shorter wheelbase Maybach 57. Aa did a nice job recreating the Maybach in 1:18th scale, with excellent interior detail, good quality two tone paint and a realistic looking engine bay. The proportions and scale of the model appear to be spot on.

I have the longer wheelbase Maybach 62 in my collection (also by AUTOart) which displays well beside it’s shorter sibling and AUTOart have also released a 1:18th model of the 57S (and I believe plan to release the 62S as well). A must have model for fans of luxury cars.

Maybach 57
Maybach 57
Maybach 57
Maybach 57
Maybach 57
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