The poshest 4x4xfar: Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet unveiled

2y ago


Ever looked longingly at a Nissan Murano Crosscabriolet and wished there was a rival offering with a bit more badge and presence? Well, you’re in luck – because Mercedes has just unveiled a top-flight Maybach version of its fabled G-class off-roader.

It’s dubbed the Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet, and it’s the first off-roader to take its place in the high-class Maybach stable. The biggest change is the fitment of a rear-mounted folding top, which drops at the press of a button. So, out back – in new luxurious reclining seats – passengers can revel in a clear view of the sky above.

Prefer to take in the open air while being chauffeured in your G-class? This is just what you need...

Fear not, though, the classic G-class traits haven’t gone amiss in this conversion to luxury drop-top. Under that seemingly five story-high bonnet you’ll find a twin-turbocharged V12, which dispenses a mighty 621bhp and 738lb ft to all four wheels via three lockable differentials and trick ground clearance-increasing ‘Portal’ axles.

Dr Jens Thiemer, head of marketing at Mercedes-Benz, says: “The name Maybach dates back to the beginnings of the automobile. It stands for supreme luxury with tradition, combined with high-tech. In 2015, we took the logical step of opening a new chapter in the luxury class with our Mercedes‑Maybach sub-brand.

“Since then, over 15,000 Mercedes-Maybachs have been produced. Hence, one in every ten vehicles sold in the S‑class segment was a Mercedes-Maybach. With the Mercedes-Maybach G‑class Landaulet, we are now extending the Mercedes-Maybach portfolio to include the world's most iconic and prestigious off-roader”

So, how has Maybach further turned the stoic G-class into a top-end luxury car? Well, the current conventional model was hardly rough and ready (underpinnings aside, perhaps) - but besides the new top, the Landaulet features hot-stone massaging seats, thermal cupholders for the rear seats, high-res displays and two fold-out rear tables. Yup, if you’re in the back, you’re going to have a very pleasant time. There's even a glass partition that can separate the front of the cab from the rear.

Those with a keen eye will spot further touches that are exclusive to the Landaulet, including embossed branding in the flanges of the 22-inch alloy wheels - shod with mighty 325/55 tyres – and electrically extending steps to aid entry and carbonfibre arch flares.

Despite its sheer size - it’s over 5.3m long and 2.2m tall – it’ll be no slouch. Mercedes hasn’t revealed any official performance figures, but the ‘conventional’ G65 gets from 0-62mph in just 5.3sec. Make good use of that performance and you’ll pay regular visits to the pump, though, because the claimed average consumption is just 16.6mpg.

If the ‘Landaulet’ name rings a bell, that’s because it’s been used on other range-topping drop-top Mercedes and Maybachs before, including the 2008 Maybach Landaulet and the Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman Landaulet. This isn't the first convertible G-class in Mercedes’ history, mind, but it is the first Maybach version.

A new G650, not in its natural environment of Sloane Street.

The new G650 Landaulet is the fifth model in the recently relaunched Mercedes-Maybach brand’s range. We’ll see more of it at the 2017 Geneva motor show, at which point the car will also go on sale. Only 99 of these Maybachs will be made, however, which will no doubt make them a rarer sight on Sloane Street.

No word on price, yet, but you can expect it to be in the region of around £400k, based on the cost of previous limited-edition G-classes. Still, more appealing than a Range Rover Evoque Cabriolet, isn't it? Have your say below...