Mercedes-Maybach S650: Luxury Al Fresco

Giving Bentley and Rolls-Royce a run for your money.

by on Nov.16, 2016

The Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet is described as the “ultimate in open-air exclusivity.”

Daimler AG’s reborn premium luxury brand has been offering some tantalizing glimpses of its future, starting with the Mercedes-Maybach 6 concept, the nearly 19-foot retro-futuristic battery-electric vehicle revealed during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance last summer.

Now, it’s rolling into the Los Angeles Auto Show with another tempting model, the maker describing the Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet as the “ultimate in open-air exclusivity.” But the convertible isn’t just another show car, a grand total of 300 set to be produced, 75 of them for the U.S. market, and 12 of those are already claimed.

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Like the stretched sedan that marked the return of the Maybach name – also at the L.A. Auto Show in 2014 – the new ragtop is based on an upgraded version of the familiar S-Class. But it gets a number of details that will signal to those you pass that this isn’t just another Mercedes-Benz, starting with the Double-M Maybach emblem on the fender – and even projected from the car’s puddle lamps.

As a bit of background, Wilhelm Maybach was an earlier automotive engineer who was, in the 1890s, hailed as the “king of constructors.” He became the senior assistant to Gottlieb Daimler before setting out to create his own exclusive automobile brand.

The Maybach marque vanished in the ashes of World War II – before being revived as a luxury brand in 2002 by what was then DaimlerChrysler. But limp sales led what became Daimler AG to pull the plug in 2013.

Like the stretched sedan that marked the return of the Maybach name the new ragtop is based on an upgraded version of the familiar S-Class.

(Vision 6 Maybach looks back at the future. Click Here for the story.)

Instead of driving off into the sunset, however, the German maker decided to try one more time, seeing a way to push itself into a super-premium segment above relatively plebian products, such as the S-Class. The newly combined Mercedes-Maybach nameplate made an unexpected debut on the S600 Pullman model in Los Angeles in November 2014.

What justified a price tag starting at roughly 50% more than a stock S-Class? Or, in this case, an S65 convertible? The Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet has many of those distinctive – and often hand-worked – details found on other super-premium brands like Rolls-Royce and Bentley.

From the outside, the maker notes, there’s a new front bumper with “numerous chrome highlights to visibly enhance the overall exclusivity of this cabriolet.” If you miss those details, there are those Maybach logos, including one on each of the specially forged 20-inch wheels.

Inside, the S650 picks up on some of the design cues first seen on the Concept S-Class unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. These start with a fully leather-trimmed cabin with waterfall-like “flowing lines” on the car’s seats, as well as diamond quilting on the seat bolsters. Unique trim elements are assigned to each of the limited-edition models, determined by the color and grain a customer chooses.

(Click Here to see more about Daimler promoting its design chief Wagener.)

There are a series of special color and trim packages: Zircon Red paint with a Porcelain and Black interior, Cote d’Azur Blue paint with Porcelain and Saddle Brown, and designo Diamond White paint with Porcelain and Yacht Blue.

The new model will feature a biturbo 6.0-liter V-12 making a hefty 612 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.

Buyers will also receive as standard equipment a package of customized and numbered travel luggage.

Under that long hood, meanwhile, the Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet will feature a biturbo 6.0-liter V-12 making a hefty 612 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. Power goes to the rear wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.

(To see more about how Mercedes’ strong sales boosted Daimler’s bottom line, Click Here.)

Pricing will be well above $200,000, though official numbers won’t be released until closer to the U.S. on-sale date in 2017.

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