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Mercedes gives Maybach an upscale model

Automotive expert , Updated:
Adding more power to a slow-selling model is a classic car marketing move, and that is exactly what Mercedes-Benz has done with its hugely expensive Maybach range.

Maybach 57 S
The Stuttgart-based firm unveiled the Maybach 57 S (for Special) at the Geneva Motor Show this week, powered by a new 6-litre bi-turbo V-12 that develops 612 hp and somewhere in the neighborhood of 740 lb-ft of torque, which are marked improvements on the 5.5-litre V-12 providing motive force for the current Maybach 57 and 62 models.

Because this new V-12 was created in cooperation with the AMG gnomes responsible for making super-sporty Mercedes models, the latest Maybach will go from 0 to 100 kmh in only five seconds, which is quite remarkable for a car that weighs over 2,700 kg.

Great launch in every situation is ensured by the fact that the maximum torque level is available from 2,000 and 4,000 rpm, which should exceed any legal demands an owner can put on a vehicle anywhere in North America.

Every 12-cylinder engine features a redesigned cover with a plate bearing the serial number of the unit and the signature of the Mercedes AMG specialist who built the entire engine by hand in accordance with AMG's traditional ''one man, one engine'' philosophy.

The modified, firmer suspension set-up which the Maybach development team have created for the 57 S was meant to ''perfectly reconcile differing requirements.'' The suspension is designed to ensure that the engine's ''impressive performance and particularly high dynamic potential can be put down on the road safely and reliably at all times. But it is also able to maintain the extremely high level of ride comfort which is offered by all Maybach luxury saloons and which is characteristic of the brand.''

According to Mercedes, ''With its enhanced performance and additional individualization features, this variant of the Maybach 57 meets the exclusive wishes of demanding customers for even greater engine output and agility. To match the increased power, the suspension of the Maybach 57 S is set up for a somewhat firmer response -- making it the ideal high-end luxury saloon for owner-drivers who appreciate an engaging experience at the wheel.''

The interior of the 57 S also features luxury touches that set it apart from the run-of-the-mill Maybachs. In particular, the interior ''features a carefully balanced combination of piano lacquer and carbon fibre elements -- especially in the areas within the driver's reach and immediate field of view -- creating an atmosphere of dynamic elegance.''

The aim was for the Maybach 57's interior to be ''deliberately distinctive and particularly exclusive.''

So that people can tell you're not driving the entry-level version of this $500,000-plus sedan, Mercedes has given the Maybach 57 S a unique look.

So, ''discreet and tasteful exterior visual highlights emphasize the distinctly dynamic character of the new Maybach 57 S.''

These include an exclusive monochrome colour scheme featuring special black or silver paint finishes, a modified front section with an enhanced radiator grille and revised lights, a discreet "57 S" legend on the front fender below the A-pillar and on the trunk lid, as well as striking new 20-inch multi-spoked wheels.

At the rear, the two redesigned tailpipes of the exhaust system are integrated in a revised rear apron which signals the high-performance capabilities of the 57 S.

Even when the new Maybach is stationary, ''its dynamic and elegant presence clearly identifies it as an exclusive luxury saloon with outstanding performance -- characteristics which make it a compelling choice for the sportier owner-driver.

Pricing on this new Maybach model is not known yet, but you can expect it to go well north of $500,000 before taxes when it arrives this fall.
photo:Mercedes-Benz AG
2006 Maybach 57
maybach 57 2006
2006 Maybach 57
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