The motto of Mercedes-Benz is “The best or nothing.” Factor in the explosive performance of its AMG models and you get “the best and probably fastest, too.” Trying to describe the Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet might keep copywriters working overtime. This car is opulence on wheels, complete with crystal-studded headlights, a matching luggage set, and entrance lighting that projects “Maybach” on the floor. At $323,000 and with only 300 models going into production, it becomes the new definition of exclusivity.
Remember that Mercedes electric vehicle line from Paris? This Maybach drop-top that debuted at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show could care less, if it ever noticed an EV existed. Sporting the same massive V12 (621 horsepower, 738 pound-feet of torque) as the S600 cabrio, S650 sees the power quotient and raises it several degrees in luxury.
The automaker says it will commission work on elements of the interior based on the orders it receives. Of the 300 Mercedes-Maybach will make, 75 will go to U.S. owners. This lucky group can choose Zircon Red exterior with porcelain/black interior; Cote d’Azur Blue with porcelain/saddle black interior; or Diamond White with porcelain/yacht blue interior.
In an interview with AutoBlog, Mercedes design chief Gorden Wagener described how far his team pushed things with the world’s most expensive Benz. “Each little detail, the wood, the wood under cover of the cabriolet, the leathers,” Wagener said. “All the super luxury details that make a luxury car into a super luxury car.”
Super luxury that’s “hot and cool”
Mercedes-Maybach is running with the concept of “sensual purity” that is “hot and cool at the same time.” From that lofty language, we gather the automaker is trying to shake things up on the luxury market while not trying to disturb the stately, elitist reputation it earned with ultra-wealthy consumers. We don’t see anything in this warm-weather rocket ship that would challenge any of those assumptions.
Certain choice details make the 300,000 euro price tag start sounding reasonable. Swarovski crystals are embedded in the LED headlights, so we’ll start there. Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz head Dr. Dieter Zetsche will personally sign a certificate of ownership for each car. Other choice standard elements include a set of “Maybach Icons of Luxury” luggage designed to fit perfectly inside the trunk. The colors will match the owner’s choice of interior design.
While the Maybach Cabrio has to deliver on impossible expectations as the peak Mercedes model, the details all seem to be in place. Think of it as the ultimate in refinement and elegance on what Mercedes considers its untouchable S-Class flagship sedan and the powerhouses under the AMG banner. Those cars already set the tone in performance and refinement, while this model takes the concept of comfort and finery to the nth degree.
Is there even a market for this car? Certainly, 300 wealthy individuals on earth will be happy to be part of this exclusive club, even if they already own a Benz. You can never have enough of the world’s best things. In that respect, a price tag exceeding a quarter-million dollars probably lands softly on its consumers’ ears. However exclusive you consider the 918 Spyder, Porsche made a whopping 918 editions. That’s more than three times the number of people who can buy a Maybach Cabriolet. Exclusivity gets more exclusive every year.