With sumptuous interior appointments, eating trays, wine fridges and fully reclining seats, it was hard to imagine where Maybach would go next.
The answer seems to be another reach back into the past. The Maybach 62 Landaulet concept is a vehicle that takes the separation of driver and passenger that much further by introducing a passenger compartment with a sliding glass roof that starts just behind the driver’s head.
In this manner, the rear passengers can raise the polarized glass barrier (opacity-controlled, of course) and enjoy a ride out in the sunlight while the chauffeur toils away up front, completely protected from the elements.
Opening and closing this roof only takes 16 seconds, and is controlled via a switch in the driver’s compartment.
The 62 in Maybach 62 refers to the length of the wheelbase in inches. This extremely long sedan seems to have its size even more exaggerated once the roof is completely down and stowed in the trunk-mounted tonneau cover.
The fixed sides of the car maintain the streamlined look and keep noise and wind from irritating the prince or princess who happen to be riding in the back. The stretched wheelbase also allows for rear seating that most closely resembles first class airline accommodations – plush Barcaloungers that recline and allow you to stretch out as much as you want.
The concept is done with a completely white exterior, which matches the passenger compartment. The driver’s portion of the car is a study in contrast, with black leather matching the blacked out glass.
The Maybach 62 Landaulet concept is quite heavy, and as such it requires a considerable amount of power to match the performance expectations of its owners. The engine is an AMG-developed 12 cylinder beast, generating 612 horsepower via twin turbochargers.
Not forgetting that a heavy vehicle also needs better brakes, the Landaulet is fitted with what Daimler calls a dual Sensotronic Brake Control system, which is part of the overall electronic stability and traction management system. The entire platform rides on air suspension that is connected to the road through 20 inch wheels.
The Landaulet concept is probably one of the least practical vehicles that anyone could own. This is one of the factors that makes it so appealing to those who are in a financial position to appreciate it.
Owning a vehicle like the Landaulet is one of the most expressive ways to announce your arrival in the billionaire’s club, while at the same time enjoying the open top motoring so often denied in high-class limousines.
Daimler will undoubtedly find as many buyers as they need when this vehicle goes into production, but seeing one of the street will be a rare occasion indeed.