For the exceedingly well-heeled who have decided that only the biggest and best will do, there's the V12-powered Maybach 62 ultraluxury sedan. Resurrecting the nameplate from a line of indulgent, custom-built and mostly chauffeur-driven cars from the 1920s to the '40s, it's one of the most exclusive automobiles in the world.
Actually, there are two different Maybach sedans: the 62 and its smaller 57 stablemate. The difference is their length in meters (6.2 and 5.7), with the 62 -- as the longest production sedan currently available -- using its extra length for the benefit of rear-seat passengers. But its size alone is only part of the story, as virtually every conceivable premium luxury is part of the opulent Maybach experience. From world-class leather and wood trim to its multiple lighting schemes and feathered-pillow head restraints, the sumptuous Maybach 62 caters to nearly every reasonable (and even unreasonable) demand.
For those wishing to add even more speed to their surroundings, the 62 S model is also available with an absurdly powerful V12. Regardless, the real action is out back where highly adjustable twin seats split by a center console offer lucky passengers not only DVD and CD entertainment but also a refrigerated compartment in which to store the bubbly.
With a base price of nearly $400,000 when new, each Maybach 62 is built to order according to its buyer's individual whims from a Maybach "studio" located within select Mercedes dealerships. Though it has few rivals, its obvious primary competition is the Rolls-Royce Phantom. Although each sedan will provide a suitable ultraluxury experience, personal taste will be the deciding factor. If we had to choose, we'd likely go with the Roller due to its unrivalled heritage and more conspicuous styling.
Current Maybach 62
The Maybach 62 ultraluxury sedan is offered in two styles: the regular 62 and the higher-performance 62 S. While similar to the Maybach 57, its greater length and interior volume make it more suitable as a chauffeur-driven vehicle. Just about everything is "standard," but there are plenty of opportunities to customize the vehicle with optional features like three-across rear seating, a glass partition and intercom, as well as specific paint colors and interior trim. The S version offers its own unique visual cues like carbon-fiber cabin accents, a restyled grille and dual exhaust tips.
Both Maybach 62 models are powered by variants of the twin-turbocharged V12 Mercedes-Benz uses in its most exclusive vehicles. The regular 62 makes do with a merely prodigious 543 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque from its 5.5-liter engine, but the 62 S features an otherworldly 604 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque from a 6.0-liter engine.
One of the more notable features inside the 62 is the optional Business Package, which converts this ultraluxury sedan into a rolling executive suite. It includes a dual-port wireless Internet router, Bluetooth capability and a multipurpose rear storage area. A Bluetooth Canon printer integrated into the center console is also offered separately.
As the Maybach 62 is intended to have a chauffeur up front, the primary focus is on ride quality -- and the 62, of course, doesn't disappoint. The driving experience itself is much like that of the shorter 57's, with the V12 generating an abundance of thrust and brakes that are capable of effortlessly bringing motion to a halt. Although it wouldn't be our first choice for negotiating tight, congested cityscapes every day, it is shorter than the typical stretched American limousine for those with such a need. Plus, it's a tad nicer than a Town Car.
Past Maybach 62 Models
The Maybach 62 made a fashionable splash as a debutante back in 2004. It satisfied in most every way, as one might expect of a car costing more than twice as much as the next most expensive Benz-built luxury sedan. The Maybach hasn't changed much through the years, except for 2006 when all models came standard with the Parking Assist System and a new Business Package was offered that turned the 62 into an office on wheels. In 2007, a high-performance 62 S model joined the lineup with its more powerful engine, sport-tuned suspension and unique appointments inside and out.