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Maybach 57

Broadcast dates : 4th July 2004
8th July 2004

Even knowledgeable enthusiasts are mystified as to the origins of the Maybach nameplate.

Wilhelm Maybach was associated with Mercedes-Benz in the early part of this century, before leaving the German luxury car maker to help design engines for the famous Zeppelin airships.

From 1921 to 1940 Maybach built his own super-luxury cars, starting with a 5,7-litre six-cylinder tourer in 1921.

Between 1931 and 1940 the V12, eight-litre Maybach Zeppelin luxury car was built and it rivalled the best Mercedes-Benz cars of the day.

The Maybach nameplate was revived in 2002 to enable DaimlerChrysler to compete with the likes of Rolls Royce and Bentley.

Rolls Royce had been bought by BMW, while Bentley had been sold to the VW-Audi Group.

And in the corporate battle amongst top German automotive executives, it was important that DaimlerChrysler had a super-premium brand, a couple of notches above the most luxurious of Mercedes super-saloons.

The appearance of the Maybach is not as dramatic as that of the Bentley, or especially the latest-generation Rolls Royce.

In fact it has leanings to British styling lines in its flowing curves and dual-tone body colours.

But its sheer size is what impresses.

This is the "baby" Maybach, the 57, relating to its length of 5,7 metres.

And the long-wheelbase Maybach 62 has a 6,17 metre length.

The Maybach is hand-built in a dedicated plant in Stuttgart, the home of Mercedes-Benz.

Technical highlights include a four-hundred and five kilowatt V-12 engine that enables the Maybach 57 to accelerate to 100 km/h in just five comma two seconds.

The engine uses twin turbochargers and is a development of the Mercedes S-600 engine, but with considerable more power.

Torque is nine hundred Newton metres available at just two thousand three hundred rpm.

These figures make the Maybach the most powerful production sedan in the world.

Top speed is electronically limited to two hundred and fifty kilometres per hour, at which speed the Maybach is just hitting its stride

So this car offers supercar levels of performance in a cosmic stratosphere of luxury.

Other technical highlights include a total of ten airbags and eight separate braking circuits for safety.

And it goes without saying that it comes with every reasonable type of mobility guarantee, should the unthinkable happen and something go wrong with the car.

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