High & Mighty
A 700,000 USD jacked-up Suv-limo is, to all intents and purposes, a mad yet brilliant idea
We always knew Maybach, Mercedes-benz’ new sub-brand (as opposed to its former stablemate) would make an SUV but we never expected it to be based on the G500 4x4², with its heavyduty portal axle chassis (developed for the G63 6x6) that allows the wheels to be mounted lower than the height of the axle and thereby provide a huge 450mm of ground clearance and the fitment of massive 22-inch wheels. Meanwhile, the Maybach’s power comes from the same twin-turbo 6.0-litre V12 petrol engine used in the G65, which is good for 621bhp and 1000NM of torque. The car’s biggest talking points are though the fitment of a landaulet roof (meaning a rear-section convertible that offers an open-air experience for those riding in the back) and two S-class Pullman seats (complete with inflatable air chambers and hot stone massaging function) that recline to the point of a near lie-flat position. With retractable tables integrated in the rear centre console, and an additional cross member added between the front and rear seating rows that holds a glass partition this car has no qualms about being a limo. The glass divider even features an electronic tint feature for added privacy while just below this are two 10-inch monitors that form part of a comprehensive infotainment system. Nevertheless, with a redesigned G-class around the corner, this Maybach G650 Landaulet ultimately serves as a final swansong for an icon that has been with us since 1979. Only 99 examples will be made and, for those who can afford one, deliveries start in August.