Maybach, the bespoke limousine division of Mercedes-Benz, have built the ultimate in aristocratic open-top motoring, the one-off Landaulet Study.
In the tradition of exclusive landaulets, Maybach have taken a standard 62 S - the worlds most powerful limousine - and reengineered it to allow its roof be opened fully at the rear, while the chauffeur's compartment remains completely enclosed.
The side walls remain, and have merely been invisibly reinforced with an integral tubular steel structure.
As these measures have not altered the silhouette of the luxury saloon, the generously dimensioned doors and the complete interior with its reclining seats - finished in white leather - remain unchanged.
When closed the black soft-top of the Landaulet rests on the frame formed by the roof bows, and is wind and weather-proof. When requested by the passengers, the chauffeur operates a switch in the centre console.
The roof then opens electro-hydraulically and is gently deposited on the parcel shelf in the rear, together with its integral rear window of single-layer safety glass. Opening and closing the roof takes 16 seconds.
Bespoke and opulent interior trim are very much the principle design parameters. All the interior trim is now surfaced in black piano lacquer, and for the extensive leather appointments Maybach has used particularly exclusive, glossy stromboli black leather.
Outstanding comfort is assured by the generous spaciousness of the rear, which the Landaulet study has adopted unchanged from the Maybach 62. Passengers are welcomed into the interior by two large, single seats.
These elegant seats also allow even very tall passengers to enjoy a reclining position which travelers normally only encounter in the first-class armchairs of modern passenger jets.
The study is designed as a chauffeured vehicle and features a partition. The upper section of the partition is a glass panel which the passengers can render opaque at the touch of a button, thanks to a liquid crystal membrane embedded in the glass.
Two ultra-modern automatic climate control systems, whose parameters have been adapted to the Landaulet study, ensure that open-air travel remains a pleasure even under adverse climatic conditions.
As in the Maybach 62 S, the rear console is the centerpiece for entertainment, communications and traveling pleasure: a DVD-player, six CD-changer, a cooler compartment with its own electric compressor and an intelligent system which holds glasses, goblets and champagne bottles safely in position.
Turbocharged V12 power
The Maybach Landaulet study is powered by the modified V12 engine which Maybach engineers have developed further for the Maybach 57 S and Maybach 62 S together with the specialists at Mercedes-AMG.
Thanks to twin turbochargers and water intercooling, the 6-litre V12 develops a maximum output of 450kW between 4800 and 5100 rpm. A massive 1000Nm of torque is available between 2000 and 4000 rpm.
The electronically controlled air suspension AIRMATIC DC (Dual Control) and the Adaptive Damping System (ADS II) endow the Landaulet with outstanding levels of ride comfort.
In addition to large, internally ventilated brake discs - with twin callipers at the front - are further boosted by the presence of both the study and the Maybach 62 S are equipped with two electro-hydraulic Sensotronic brake Control (SBC) braking systems working in tandem. Together with ESP, ASR, ABS and Brake Assist the Landaulet study has amble, stable stopping power.
Important innovations from Mercedes-Benz, successfully developed further for the Maybach saloons, are standard equipment in every Maybach and are of course also on board the Landaulet study - examples include the electronically controlled air suspension AIRMATIC DC (Dual Control), LINGUATRONIC voice control and the control and display system COMAND APS.