Maybach - The World Premiere | Part Three


"Mercedes Benz and Maybach - during the 1920s and 1930s these two were the leading luxury car brands in Germany. And they will be again in future. A symbiosis of pioneering Mercedes developments with typical Maybach exclusivity and individuality has produced an incomparable object of prestige: the new Maybach. With more than 100 years of experience and great technical expertise in the development and production of luxury motor cars, DaimlerChrysler is no less than predestined to resurrect the name Maybach and fulfil the wishes of customers at the very top of a small but highly exclusive market segment."

Professor Jürgen Hubbert, member of the Board of Management of DaimlerChrysler AG with responsibility for Mercedes Benz Passenger Cars, Maybach and smart

"As in former years the name Maybach will once again become a byword for consummate automotive exclusivity and elegance. We feel we have an obligation to maintain the reputation of this legendary luxury brand. The new Maybach sets standards in the world of top-class automobiles in every respect - with its technical perfectionism, stylish elegance and incomparable luxury. Personal attention to every customer with respect to the configuration and appointments of this high-end vehicle, as well as the ability to meet the most demanding personal requirements through skilled craftsmanship in a modern manufacturing facility, make each example of the new Maybach a unique, tailor-made masterpiece."

Dr Joachim Schmidt, member of the Divisional Board for Mercedes Benz Passenger Cars, Maybach and smart, head of Sales and Marketing

"In the 1920s and 1930s the name Maybach was a synonym for the highest stylistic and technical perfection on wheels. The same ambitious aims inspired our engineers during the development of the new Maybach. The high-end luxury motor car benefits from the innovative strength and trailblazing new developments of its sister-brand Mercedes Benz. A smooth transfer of know-how within the Mercedes Benz Technology Center (MTC) ensures that in important technical areas such as safety, reliability, durability, innovation and design the new Maybach provides what discerning customers all over the world appreciate: well-proven Mercedes quality."

Dr Hans-Joachim Schöpf, member of the Divisional Board for Mercedes Benz Passenger Cars, Maybach and smart, head of Development

"High-tech and craftsmanship form a unique combination during the production of the new Maybach. They result in the highest level of perfection and precision. At the plant in Sindelfingen, where top-class cars have been being made for over 80 years, we have created a modern manufactory, or hand-crafting facility. Here, a large number of prototypes were built during the development phase, and it is here that production of the Maybach for customers will be starting in the autumn - each car a unique example built to the personal taste and individual requirements of its owner. High technology is particularly predominant in bodyshell production, where we have developed new processes to produce the aluminium doors by laser, for example. These processes are being premiered with the new Maybach."

Helmut Petri, member of the Divisional Board for Mercedes Benz Passenger Cars, Maybach and smart, head of Production Maybach 62

The highlights at a glance

(* = standard equipment; ** optionally available at no extra cost)

  • AC twin-spark ignition with ionic current diagnosis*
  • Activated charcoal filter*
  • Active ventilation for front and rear seats
  • Air recirculation function with tunnel setting*
  • Airbags with adaptive control depending on accident severity*
  • AIRMATIC Dual Control*
  • Aluminium doors, roof, wings and bonnet*
  • Ambient lighting while the car is on the move*
  • Anti-theft alarm system with motion sensor*
  • Automatic transmission*
  • Auxiliary heater with ventilation function
  • Auxiliary ventilation with solar power
  • Belt tensioners and belt force limiters on all seats*
  • Bi-xenon headlamps*
  • Boot lid with remote opening and closing*
  • Braking system with four brake callipers at the front*
  • Business package with notebook
  • CD changer for six CDs in the rear*
  • Child seat recognition (automatic) with transponder technology in the front passenger seat*
  • Climate control with separate automatic climate control for front and rear*
  • COMAND APS with colour display, navigation, DVD player and TV receiver*
  • Crash-responsive backrests in the rear reclining seats*
  • Curtains for the rear window* and side windows
  • Dashboard leather-covered *
  • Dolby surround sound on every seat*
  • Dust/pollen filter*
  • DVD-player in the rear*
  • Dynamic multicontour backrests for front and rear seats*
  • Electronic ignition key with memory chip for seat and climate control settings*
  • ESP*
  • Exterior mirrors electrically folding*
  • Fine wood trim in burr walnut, amboyna or cherry*
  • Folding tables for rear passengers*
  • Four-zone climate control*
  • Front-end structure with forked members and upper level of side members*
  • Headlamp Assist*
  • Headlamp cleaning system*
  • Headphones with cordless technology for rear passengers
  • Heated seats front and rear*
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Infrared-reflecting glass*
  • Instrument cluster with central display and black screen technology*
  • Instruments (tachometer, clock, exterior temperature) for rear passengers*
  • Integral seats for driver and front passenger with electric adjustment*
  • Intercom
  • Lamellar trim strips of fine wood with discreet chrome highlights*
  • Leather upholstery with Grand nappa and nubuck leather*
  • Light-alloy wheels, 19-inch*
  • Memory package (front and rear) for seat, steering wheel and mirror adjustments*
  • Mobile phone in the rear
  • Navigation system with dynamic route guidance*
  • Panoramic roof with electro-transparent glass and illuminated sliding liner
  • Partition with retractable window and electro-transparent glass
  • Pollution sensor for the outside atmosphere*
  • Power locking for doors and boot lid*
  • Rain sensor for the windscreen wipers*
  • Reclining seats for rear passengers with electric adjustment*
  • Refrigerator compartment with separate compressor in the rear**
  • Remote control for all entertainment systems in the rear*
  • Residual engine heat function*
  • Sensotronic Brake Control (SBC™)*
  • Side walls with robust tubular reinforcement of the A and B-pillars*
  • Sidebags for all four seats*
  • Sliding/tilting sunroof in glass, electrically operated**
  • Sound system with Dolby surround sound on every seat, 21 loudspeakers*
  • Steering wheel covered in wood-leather*
  • Sun sensor for interior climate control*
  • Tail lamp functions with 528 LEDs*
  • Telephone system with two cordless handsets*
  • TFT colour monitor in the rear*
  • TV receiver in the rear*
  • Twin turbochargerswith water intercooling*
  • Two-tone metallic paintwork*
  • Type 12 engine with twin turbochargers (405 kW/550 hp)*
  • Tyre pressure monitoring on the move*
  • Tyres with run-flat properties
  • Up-front sensors for rapid, situation-related airbag activation*
  • Windowbags, two on each side*
  • Windows of thermally insulated, laminated glass with an acoustic membrane*


At the highest level

  • Comeback: one of the most exclusive German automobile brands in a new lustre
  • Design: customers in personal dialogue with designers and engineers
  • Care: innovative concept for round-the-clock customer service
  • Tradition: homage to the designers Wilhelm and Karl Maybach

Maybach - a name as a trademark. A name with a particular ring. The embodiment of timeless automotive beauty, precision craftsmanship and technical expertise.

Maybach has been fondly remembered as a luxury car brand for more than six decades, and now it is awakening to a new life. With the same ambition as before, Maybach is re-establishing itself at the very top of the luxury car market to define the standards in this small but highly exclusive segment.

The top model by this luxury brand is designated the Maybach 62 to indicate the majestic size of this unique motor car: with an overall length of 6.17 metres it offers all its passengers unique spaciousness and seating comfort. The second high-end luxury car which will celebrate its premiere in autumn 2002, is designated the Maybach 57 in accordance with its overall length of 5.73 metres.

In every detail the new Maybach motor cars benefit from the technical leadership, know-how and enormous experience of the sister-brand Mercedes Benz, whose trailblazing innovations also characterise the new, high-end luxury models - from the AIRMATIC DC (Dual Control) air suspension for consummate ride comfort to the electrohydraulic braking system Sensotronic Brake Control (SBC™) for a high level of handling safety; from large windowbags for exemplary side impact protection to bi-xenon headlamps for the greatest possible lighting efficiency.

Advice: customers in dialogue with designers and engineers

In addition to technical perfection and stylish elegance it is particularly the care of discerning customers in realising their individual wishes that has the highest priority for this automotive luxury brand. In order to exchange ideas about the appointments and configuration of the vehicle, Maybach invites every customer to the newly built Center of Excellence (COE) in Sindelfingen. This features a Maybach studio covering an area of approx. 2200 square metres where an extensive range of the highest-quality materials, exclusive finishes and innovative technical features is presented to the customer. This variety of choice is the basis for the highly individual configuration of each Maybach car, which is the result of a dialogue between the customer and a Personal Liaison Manager together with designers and development and production engineers.

Further Maybach Centres are being created In Europe, Japan, Hong Kong and the USA; these will enable Maybach customers to communicate directly with design, technology and manufacturing specialists by video conference.

Customer care: personal Liaison Manager for every Maybach customer

Intensive, personal customer care at all times is the watchword for Maybach - when ordering the vehicle, during its manufacture and especially after delivery. The central figures in this unique concept are the Personal Liaison Managers. Each of these is assigned to care for a very small circle of Maybach owners, providing advice on all vehicle-related matters and performing numerous other services on request, e.g. organising visits to the Maybach manufacturing facility or planning service and maintenance schedules. The Personal Liaison Manager is available to his customer around the clock; pressing a button on the car telephone is enough to establish contact.

Service: global transport logistics and a comprehensive warranty package

Comprehensive service planned down to the last detail for Maybach customers and their unique cars is an important part of this customer care concept. The point of contact for all matters relating to vehicle maintenance or - if necessary - repairs is always the Personal Liaison Manager, who will plan and coordinate all the necessary steps in consultation with the customer. In many countries, free transport of a Maybach from its point of use to the nearest Service Centre is part of the service provided by the high-end luxury brand. This also includes comprehensive warranty services: for a period agreed with the customer Maybach bears the costs of all servicing and maintenance, also providing a mobility package exclusively developed for this high-end luxury motor car.

Homage: Wilhelm Maybach, the designer of the first Mercedes

Mercedes Benz and Maybach - two automobile brands with a great tradition and much in common: Wilhelm Maybach (1846-1929), for many years the engineering companion of Gottlieb Daimler (1834-1900), was the Technical Manager at Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) and designed the first Mercedes - which is also considered to be the first modern passenger car - in 1901. For this reason he was respectfully referred to as the "king of designers".

Gottlieb Daimler had made the acquaintance of this talented designer in Reutlingen in 1865, and also worked with him at Maschinenbaufabrik Karlsruhe and Gasmotorenfabrik Deutz. After spending 10 years in the Rhineland, where Maybach brought the four-stroke engine invented by Nikolaus Otto to series-production maturity, Daimler and Maybach returned to southern Germany in 1882 and made a number of pioneering automotive engineering inventions in subsequent years. These were also the foundation stone of Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG), which was formed in 1890.

Wilhelm Maybach left the company in 1907, and from 1909, together with his son Karl, he devoted himself to the manufacture of powerful engines for the dirigibles built by Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin. Accordingly they moved their operations to Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance in 1912, where they were in the immediate vicinity of the Zeppelin yards. From 1919 Karl Maybach (1879-1960) made a name for himself as the designer and developer of exclusive and technically sophisticated luxury cars. Up to 1941 he produced approx. 1800 of these high-quality automobiles, whose bodies were designed and equipped precisely to customer requirements by specialist coachbuilders. The flagship of the Maybach model range was the model DS 8 "Zeppelin" of 1931. With a length of approx. 5.50 metres

this luxury model was the most prestigious German passenger car of its time -- "an automobile which meets every wish with the most distinguished elegance and power", to quote a Maybach brochure.

The market: a small segment with high expectations

DaimlerChrysler feels obliged to meet these expectations to the present day. The objective of the new Maybach luxury automobile brand is to establish itself at the very top of a small but highly exclusive market segment in which customers require the highest standards in terms of technology, design and quality. The most important regions for sales of this high-end luxury vehicle will be the USA, Western Europe and Asia. Production of the Maybach is limited to approximately 1000 units per year.

The comeback of this luxury brand also resurrects the striking double-M emblem, a legendary symbol of the highest automotive exclusivity, in shining form. The two letters entwined within a curved triangle originally signified "Maybach Motorenbau", but now stand for "Maybach Manufaktur".


Comfort and style

  • The language of shape: synthesis of classic and avant-garde features
  • Individuality: choice of 17 paint finishes and six leather colours
  • Materials: the finest leather and fine wood
  • Interior lighting: discreet ambient lighting on the move

The design of the new Maybach is the embodiment of a core claim by this luxury automobile brand: sophistication.

The harmonious interplay of shape, colour and materials lends this high-end luxury motor car a design quality which matches that of its engineering, its perfectionism and its appointments. Both the overall lines and the design details characterise the serene nature of this car, accentuate its uniqueness and give it an unmistakable identity.

The Maybach is a modern work of art on wheels. It is the result of expertise and creativity, technology and aesthetics; it is a car for people with the highest expectations with respect to perfection of form, style and lifestyle.

The high-end motor car shows majesty in the most elegant way - with harmonious proportions and classic lines. A fine balance between classic and avant-garde features already distinguishes the new Maybach from the conventional at first glance, and constitutes its special stylistic appeal. The designers have intentionally combined gentle, sweeping lines with elegantly modelled contours to give the bodywork a flowing appearance. The proportions - a relatively long front end and a short rear end - reinforce this impression in conjunction with the striking wedge-shape of the front and give the car muscular dynamism.

Timelessness is another outstanding characteristic of the Maybach's design. The formal features of the new luxury model are long-term in their appeal. The lines of the Maybach are intended to retain their validity for a long time to come - an ideal which applies to both the exterior and interior design. In every sense of the word this makes the new Maybach an automobile for life.

Side aspect: harmonious proportions, elegant contours

Two chrome strips extending along the entire body at different heights lend a formal structure to the side aspect, divide the plane surfaces and characterise the majestic appearance of the stretched silhouette as additional stylistic features. A third chrome section extending from the A-pillar, along the roof edge and into the rear end provides a visual frame for the large side windows.

The design of the waistline likewise accentuates the powerful and at the same time dignified appearance of the Maybach. The waistlines act as broad "shoulders" in carrying the side windows, roof pillars and roof, extend from the front to the rear end and thereby lend strength to the appearance of the body. The bonnet and boot lid are expressively delineated from the wings, their convex form issuing harmoniously from the A and C-pillars as further, distinctive stylistic elements of the high-end luxury motor car.

If a Maybach customer decides in favour of two-tone bodywork, the central panels of the doors and wings delineated by the chrome strips are painted in a second colour. A total of 17 exterior paint colours are available -- 16 of them metallic finishes - and all can be combined for a two-tone finish. The Maybach therefore offers several hundred possibilities for individual body design.

Interior: a lounge on wheels

The interior also imparts a clear message: sheer luxury - unobtrusive yet unmistakable; stylish elegance and the utmost perfection in every detail.

The first impression of the interior is of exceptional spaciousness. The rear seat passengers, particularly, are intended to feel they are at the centre of things, and entitled to enjoy the comfort of a lounge on wheels. The large rear doors are the portals to this dignified world; they open to an angle of 85 degrees, so even just entering the car becomes an experience.

Two comfortable individual seats invite one to sit down, and one immediately notices one of the very special features of the Maybach interior: Grand nappa - one of the finest types of leather available, and finished with a previously unprecedented standard of care. In short, a product unequalled in its tangible quality. Used for the first time, and exclusively in the new Maybach, this Grand nappa leather upholstery shows slight folds as it extends across the seats, making their surfaces unusually soft and comfortable.

The upper section of the dashboard, the armrests on the centre and rear consoles and the flaps in the side doors are likewise upholstered in nappa leather. Specialist suppliers cut a total of approx. 210 leather sections to size for every Maybach and sew them together into 62 larger units - all by hand of course. These include another new feature in regular automobile production, namely nubuck leather, which holds a very fine nap as a result of special processing. The lower section of the dashboard and the interior door panels of the Maybach are lined with this soft material, which creates an exquisite and discreet contrast to the nappa leather.

Customers are able to decide the interior colour scheme of their Maybach in personal discussion with designers. There is a choice of six tasteful upholstery colours:

  • Labrador anthracite
  • Galapagos grey
  • Barrier reef red
  • Maori pearl
  • California beige
  • Maldives blue

Fine wood: more than 100 hand-crafted items of decorative trim

In combination with another exquisite natural material, Grand nappa, nappa and nubuck form a unique blend which likewise exudes a high-class lounge atmosphere and gives new meaning to the term exclusive: fine wood.

Stylish wood trim sections which tastefully embellish most of the surfaces in the doors and centre consoles attract the attention, and a careful count reveals that the Maybach 62 has more than 100 of these - all carefully hand-crafted and individually selected by experienced specialists to ensure a matching grain and colour shade. Three fine wood veneers are available to the discerning Maybach clientele:

  • Cherry, a light-coloured wood with a generous, arched grain which is contrasted with the impact-resistant, jet-black, high-gloss lacquer known as piano lacquer;
  • Amboyna, a brown exotic wood with a fine, circular grain;
  • Burr walnut, a reddish-brown, finely grained veneer from the root of the Californian walnut tree.

The three sections of lamellar trim - a new feature in automobile design - are a particular masterpiece of the wood craftsman's art. With a total length of 563 centimetres, a width of 3.9 centimetres and a height of 3.3 centimetres this extends across the instrument panel and the door panels in a gentle, elegant curve. This exquisite lamination of exotic wood is made up of seven individual lengths, around 20 work stages are required to join different, millimetre-thick veneers with equally fine aluminium inlays by hand - with a final layer of cherry, amboyna or burr walnut at the top. The 3.3-centimetre thick, laminated trim section consists of 63 different layers in all. Perfection through stylish detail.

There is also fine wood above the heads of rear passengers in the Maybach 62: fine strips arranged in squares embellish the inside surface of the optionally available, electro-transparent panoramic roof and form an elegant cassette structure which curves across the rear section of the high-end luxury car.

Leather and fine wood are without doubt the predominant materials which contribute to the dignified interior atmosphere of the Maybach. Soft alcantara and high-quality velour complement this ensemble of materials: alcantara is used to give the roof pillar linings, the sun visors and roof lining a surface which is pleasant to the touch, for example, while velour with a deep nap is used for the floor carpeting.

Interior lighting: light as a design feature

Apart from fine leather and wood the designers have also used light as a design feature in the interior of the Maybach. In addition to numerous lights which switch on automatically when the doors are opened, or reading lights which come on at the touch of a button, they have developed a feature known as ambient lighting. This creates a pleasant, diffused lighting effect which remains switched on even when on the move and provides a special atmosphere in the interior.

This ambient lighting feature includes two light panels in the front roof operating console, four lights in the roof section between the two B-pillars, three upward floodlights on the inside of each B and C-pillar, a downward LED in the rear-view mirror, lighting strips in the roof lining between the B and C-pillars and lighting in the front and rear footwells.

But without doubt the main attraction of this sophisticated lighting concept is the sliding liner for the optionally available panoramic roof in the Maybach 62. This is lined with an electro-luminescent membrane (EL membrane) which is switched on at the touch of a button when closed and emits a pleasant, diffused light over its entire surface. This is another new feature in automobile engineering, as such EL membranes have previously only been used to light up small areas such as mobile telephone or clock displays. Operating principle: the different, micron-thin layers in the EL membrane contain luminescent pigments which can be made to emit light when stimulated by an ac-voltage. A small potentiometer in the rear centre console enables rear passengers in the Maybach 62 to regulate the lighting intensity of the EL membrane.


A world apart

  • Dimensional concept: new standards in ride comfort
  • Seats: travel in a relaxed, reclining position
  • Equipment: DVD player, colour monitor and refrigerator compartment in the rear
  • Dashboard: high-quality, hand-finished leather surface
  • Climatic comfort: two systems for efficient, four-zone climate control

The new Maybach is an automobile that distinguishes itself and its owner while excelling in every respect - especially in the interior. Elegance, comfort, equipment and technology are at a previously unattainable level, meet the most demanding requirements and represent the peak of automobile development.

Merely glancing at the dimensions of this high-end luxury car shows that the Maybach 62 is a world apart: 6165 millimetres long, 1980 millimetres wide and 1573 millimetres in height - no other series-production car approaches these dimensions and is able to offer its passengers so much space and wellbeing. Only the legendary Mercedes Benz 600 (model series V 100) exceeded the length of the Maybach by 75 millimetres, however the comfort-related dimensions such as head and shoulder-room were more modest in this 1964 VIP limousine. This illustrates the intelligent dimensional concept of the Maybach 62, whose sole aim is to achieve the maximum possible comfort. A few facts and figures:

  • The interior length - measured from the driver's accelerator heel point to the rear passenger's hip reference point -- is 2682 millimetres.
  • The distance between seats (front hip reference point to rear hip reference point) is 1570 millimetres.
  • The distance between the front seats is 840 millimetres - measured from seat centre to seat centre.

The boot capacity also significantly exceeds the figures usually encountered in this vehicle class. It is 605 litres - approx. 40 per cent more than in other luxury cars. This means that the luggage compartment of the Maybach has enough room to accommodate five large suitcases or four golfbags. Should a Maybach customer require a spare wheel (available at no extra cost) instead of the standard tyre sealing kit TIREFIT, the boot capacity is reduced to 500 litres.

Rear seats: first-class comfort and convenience

Two newly developed, individual seats lend the finishing touch to the wellbeing of passengers in the rear of the Maybach 62. Their special feature is the unique reclining position, which travellers have previously only encountered with the First Class compartments of modern passenger jets.

If the rear passenger selects the pre-programmed reclining position by pushing a button, the seat backrest slowly reclines to the rear by up to 47 degrees, and at the same time a thigh support and footrest are pivoted forward from the lower seat section. In this way the passenger is able to enjoy the journey in a very relaxed resting position and adjust the seat to his personal comfort requirements with just a few operating commands. The following individual adjustments are possible:

  • The fore-and-aft position of the rear seat can be adjusted by up to 135 millimetres.
  • The backrest can be individually adjusted to an angle between 25 and 47 degrees.
  • The head restraint is adjustable by 115 millimetres in height, approx. 60 millimetres fore-and-aft and by 25 degrees in angle. The side padding is also individually adjustable to improve head support in the reclining position.
  • The seat cushion is extendable by up to 60 millimetres in the seated position, and its angle can be varied by 14 to 24 degrees.
  • In the reclined position the thigh support can be adjusted by up to 85 millimetres.
  • The lower leg support has a two-stage, telescopic length adjustment by up to 240 millimetres. The angle of the lower leg support may be adjusted by up to 75 degrees.
  • The footrest is individually adjustable by up to 110 degrees.

Seven electric motors carry out the adjustments in this technical masterpiece - with three operating simultaneously depending on the operating command. An electronic control unit monitors the complex procedure involved and controls the logical sequence. The kinematics of the individual seat components are programmed to ensure that the occupant's body - including the lower legs and feet - is always fully supported even in positions between the normal seating and maximum reclining positions.

The memory function makes operation of these innovative reclining seats even more convenient, as it allows three individual seat positions to be stored for retrieval. Simply pressing a button is enough to move the rear seat to the most comfortable position for each individual.

Multicontour backrest: gentle back massage at the touch of a button

Seating comfort is further improved by pneumatically adjustable air cushions in the backrest and a program-controlled massage function. Pressing the "Pulse" button fills and empties the central air cushion in the lumbar region at precisely defined intervals and with changing intensity, thereby relieving the back muscles of stress and stimulating the vertebral metabolism according to orthopaedic findings. This gentle back massage continues for five minutes and can be repeated at any time.

On request the reclining seats are available with active seat ventilation: eight miniature ventilators in each of the two rear seats take cause air to flow evenly from the perforations in the seat surface via special air ducts and a permeable fabric. This cools down seat contact surfaces for all passengers and ensures a pleasant seat temperature. The airflow may be adjusted in three stages.

Safety: sophisticated integral system with crash-responsive backrest

In addition to maximum comfort the newly developed reclining seats in the Maybach 62 naturally provide the greatest possible safety -- in any position. The restraint system with belt tensioner, belt force limiter and sidebag is integrated into the backrest, ensuring that the seat occupant has maximum protection even when reclining. Other safety features include the innovative, crash-responsive backrest, which moves to the upright position in the event of a frontal collision, and a tensioner on the belt buckle which tightens the lap belt during an accident.

Folding table: a stable workplace elegantly surfaced in fine wood

Since the Maybach 62 will not only be used as a prestigious and comfortable luxury motor car by its owner, but also on occasion as a mobile office, the engineers in Sindelfingen have developed a folding table for each of the two rear seats on the basis of experience gained by their colleagues in the aviation industry. Intricately machined aluminium is used as a material. The table surfaces are of two-part construction and are veneered in fine wood, while the undersides are covered in nappa leather. A chromed aluminium frame protects the edges of these high-quality features. Both folding tables are infinitely adjustable for reach and inclination, and are suitable for use as an oddments table, writing table or support for a notebook. They are housed in special compartments on both sides of the rear centre console to save space and may be conveniently raised into position by means of a leather strap.

Rear console: centrepiece for entertainment, communication and pleasure

Numerous stowage facilities allow the rear passengers to accommodate small and larger items conveniently. The cleverly designed interior door panels alone provide ten stowage compartments whose covers gently open at the touch of a button. However, the centrepiece of the stowage concept in the rear of the Maybach is the multifunctional centre console between the seats.

This is where the Maybach engineers have located everything required for the entertainment and convenience of the rear seat passengers: a DVD player, six-disc CD changer, two telephone systems, a refrigerator compartment with its own electric compressor and a sophisticated system which holds glasses and a champagne bottle securely in place. The champagne goblets of fine sterling silver specifically designed for the Maybach (or other stemmed glasses) are retained by clips which automatically engage over the base of the glass when this is put down. The retaining clips are immediately released if the glass or goblet is lifted slightly.

The rear centre console also contains various stowage compartments and a keypad with controls for the central locking system, the interior lighting, the intercom system (if the Maybach 62 is equipped with a partition) and the rear window and side window curtains. Sockets for connecting a camcorder, MP3-player or video games are also provided.

To ensure that passengers in the rear are always informed about the current vehicle speed, outside temperature and time of day the engineers have developed three attractively styled dial instruments which are installed in a console in the roof lining.

Front seats: integral system on a robust aluminium structure

Like the innovative reclining seats in the rear the seats for the driver and front passenger are based on the integral concept. This means that all the seat belt components are directly connected to the seat structure and can therefore perform their full protective functions in any position. This also applies to the sidebags, which are located in the backrests. In order to control the forward movement of the occupants during an accident the seat backrests and seat frames must be particularly capable of withstanding heavy loads. This requires a robust seat base: the base structure for the seat cushion and backrest is a welded construction of extruded aluminium sections and formed steel components which has passed all crash tests with excellent results. The reclining seats in the rear of the Maybach also feature this robust structure.

The greatest possible seating comfort is provided by the sophisticated spring core principle with its unequalled vibration damping characteristics. Polyurethane foam inserts provide the spring core with additional support and work in conjunction with a rubberised hair mat to improve damping even further. The dynamic multicontour backrest with three air chambers in the lumbar region and the programmed "Pulse" function are standard features in the front seats, as are electric seat adjustment and the memory function with five programmable keys. The system automatically transfers two individual seating positions - including the steering wheel, mirror and multicontour positions - to the microchips in the two electronic ignition keys, therefore no adjustments need be made after entering the vehicle. As in the rear, active seat ventilation is also available for the front seats on request; two-stage heated seats are standard equipment for both front and rear.

The front seats and head restraints in the Maybach may be electrically adjusted in 12 ways:

Fore-and-aft 270 millimetres
Seat height 66 millimetres
Seat angle approx. eight degrees
Seat cushion length 59 millimetres
Backrest angle 43.5 degrees
Head restraint height 160 millimetres
Head restraint angle 23 degrees

Colour monitors linked to the TV receiver and DVD player are integrated into the rear of the front seat backrests. These are likewise electrically adjustable for inclination.

Partition: glass partition with electrically controlled transparency

If a Maybach customer requires a partition between the front section and the rear of the car, the adjustment possibilities for the front seats are slightly reduced but the unique seating space in the rear remains unaffected. Aluminium, wood and glass are the materials used for the partition: the lower section is a laminated wood-aluminium construction, while the electrically retractable upper section is of laminated glass. This glass possesses the same special technical characteristics as the panoramic roof of the Maybach 62: electrotransparency. As an intermediate layer the glass has a liquid crystal membrane of electrically conductive plastic whose crystals arrange themselves in such a way that the glass is transparent when subjected to an electrical voltage. When the voltage is switched off the liquid crystals lose their ordered structure and the glass becomes opaque.

To allow the rear passengers and the chauffeur to communicate even when the partition is closed, an intercom system is included in the standard equipment of the Maybach with a partition.

Dashboard: hand-crafted for the height of luxury

The owner of a Maybach also enjoys the same stylish elegance and luxury which makes the rear of this high-end motor car so incomparable if he drives the vehicle himself. The form and function, aesthetics and appointments in the front section are just as unique a symbiosis as in the rear. The surfaces of the interior features are exquisitely finished as hand-crafted masterpieces, with fine leather upholstery, discreet chrome strips, exquisite wood trim and highly polished switches.

The upper section of the instrument panel, knee bolster and glove compartment lid feature three-layer padding and feel particularly soft as a result. The first layer is formed of four-millimetre thick foam material followed by a three-millimetre layer of polyester. This is then covered by the actual leather with its striking, hand-sewn double seams.

The ventilation outlets are precision-fitted and feature fine chrome surrounds as a decorative effect. The ventilation grille directed at the windscreen has an additional stowage compartment with room for spectacles.

Instrument cluster: black screen technology for outstanding clarity

The instrument cluster bears elegant Maybach lettering on the faces of the fuel gauge and coolant temperature gauge (both left), the tachometer (centre) and rev counter (right). The cockpit instruments are not visible at rest, but only come to life once the doors are unlocked by remote control or the KEYLESS-GO system and the driver takes his seat. This automatically activates what are known as cold cathode tubes and white light-emitting diodes to illuminate the instruments. Thanks to this technology, which replaces conventional bulbs, the displays in the instrument cluster have a particularly brilliant quality. The light intensity is regulated by a sensor as a function of the ambient lighting conditions.

Directly in the driver's field of vision lies the instrument cluster's central display, whose information can be accessed by pressing the illuminated keys on the steering wheel. This information is grouped into eight main menus:

  • Trip recorder (trip and overall mileage)
  • Audio equipment (radio, cassette player, CD player)
  • Car telephone
  • Auto Pilot System (APS)
  • Trip computer
  • Fault memory and display
  • Individual settings

The driver is able to access various detailed information within the main menus using scroll-keys.

Steering wheel: wood/leather combination, with heating on request

The rim of the four-spoke steering wheel (diameter 384 millimetres) is exquisitely clad in nappa leather and fine wood which are separated by slim chrome rings. The leather segments can also be electrically heated on request.

The driver is able to make individual adjustments to the height and reach of the steering wheel using a small lever on the steering column. An electric motor moves it to the desired position.

Centre console: near-perfect in form and function

The centre console is the principal command centre in the Maybach. This is where the driver or front passenger operate the COMAND system and the automatic climate control.

The buttons for shock absorber adjustment, the DISTRONIC proximity control system, the PARKTRONIC parking aid, the Electronic Stability Program ESP and the intercom system are arranged on the transmission tunnel trim. Two cup holders are to be found beneath the cover of the stowage compartment in front of the centre armrest.

The cordless front handset of the phone system is located to the right of the centre console; its rear counterpart is accommodated in the rear centre console. The front handset is concealed in a separate compartment between the centre console and the glove compartment and pivots into view at the touch of a button. The covers of the telephone and glove compartments are lined in soft nubuck leather.

Air conditioning: two separate systems for exemplary climate control

Two things are required if an interior as spacious as that of the Maybach 62 is to be efficiently air conditioned: a great deal of experience and excellent technology. The Maybach developers in Sindelfingen possess both, and have come up with a climate control system which is second to none. In fact the Maybach is equipped with not just one, but two state-of-the-art automatic climate control systems - one for the front section and one specifically for the rear.

Both systems are sensor-controlled to take into account the temperature, the humidity, the intensity of the sunshine and pollutant levels in the outside atmosphere; they are also linked to each other via a CAN databus. In order to achieve the best possible cooling performance the new Maybach features two separate, infinitely adjustable refrigerant compressors. Their high efficiency is illustrated by the example of a measurement carried out at an outside temperature of 48 degrees Celsius and a solar heating effect of 1000 Watts per square metre. Within minutes the climate control systems in the Maybach 62 cooled the interior temperature of up to 70 degrees Celsius (measured at the driver's head level) down to a pleasant 25 degrees Celsius.

The two climate control systems are able to circulate up to 750 kilogrammes of fresh air through the interior of the luxury motor car per hour - this too is a new record in passenger car air conditioning.

Thanks to its high performance, sophisticated sensor system and intelligent control the system in the Maybach enables each of the four occupants to adjust and program the air conditioning to suit individual requirements. In automatic mode the system regulates this four-zone climate control by itself and ensures that the set temperature remains constant and virtually draught-free for every seat.

The personal climate control settings for the driver and the three passengers are automatically transferred to the appropriate electronic ignition key for the Maybach and stored in memory.

Rear climate control system: individual settings for each seat

While the front air conditioning unit in the Maybach is located beneath the dashboard, the engineers have accommodated the rear unit in an extension to the front centre console. The rear end of this console also features an array of operating controls for the rear climate control system, allowing both rear passengers to select numerous individual settings: automatic mode, temperature selection, air distribution and also independent fan settings for both sides. Two sensors monitor the temperature in the rear of the Maybach at various points and transmit their data to the electronic control unit, which simultaneously evaluates the information provided by the sun sensor (position and intensity of the sun) and calculates the individual air volume required for each seat.

Air distribution: electric motors for the ventilation outlets

Thermal and airflow calculation models played an important part during the development of this complex and efficient system. Long before the first prototype tests it was with the help of these that the engineers were able to examine the effectiveness of various ideas and optimise the most promising concepts. The question of the best possible size for the ventilation outlets, and where they were best located, was a major topic for these climatic simulations. The result is a combination of ten outlets for the rear of the Maybach: two in the footwells, two in the B-pillar linings, two in the rear roof frame and four outlets on the rear face of the centre console.

With the exception of the footwells, the volume of air can be infinitely varied by control wheel at each outlet. Precise positioning of the closing and distribution flaps is then carried out by electric motors which are controlled by the climate control microprocessor. This makes it possible to vary the air distribution without affecting the volume of air flowing into the interior. The result is rapid cooling of the rear section, without draughts. If the Maybach 62 is equipped with a partition the ventilation outlets in the B-pillars and rear roof panels are fitted with additional fans to ensure a pleasant atmosphere even when the partition is closed.

Effective ventilation of the front section is provided by twelve air outlets, most of which are pivotable, whose air volume can be infinitely varied by a control wheel. A total of 14 electric motors inside the climate control unit regulate the airflow as required, or when in automatic mode according to a computer programme. As in the rear climate control system the fan speed may be individually adjusted for each side.

Using the operating unit in the centre console the driver and front passenger are able to select the interior temperature, air distribution, fan speed (in seven stages) and automatic mode separately, and also control a number of other climate-related functions:

  • Defrost setting for rapid defrosting of the windscreen and side windows.
  • Air recirculation for the entire interior, including the useful tunnel switch, which closes all open windows and the sunroof at the touch of a button. During recirculated air operation a pollutant sensor automatically closes the recirculated air flap if the concentration of pollutants in the outside atmosphere exceeds a certain level.
  • Activated charcoal filter function for fresh and recirculated air operation to absorb airborne pollutants and reduce unpleasant odours. A pollutant sensor closes the recirculated air flap if the concentration of pollutants in the outside atmosphere exceeds a certain level.
  • The dust/pollen filter is active at all times and filters the air entering the vehicle, or - if the recirculated air function is activated - the air circulating within the interior.
  • Residual engine heat utilisation, which provides 30 minutes of heating or ventilation for the interior when the engine is switched off.
  • Heated rear window with an automatic time interval.

The rear climate control system may also be operated from the front by pressing a key. The system then shows the settings chosen by the rear passengers in the front display, where the chauffeur can adjust them as required.

Ventilation: energy from sunlight

On request Maybach will equip the high-end luxury car with a specially developed solar module, which is accommodated in the front section of the roof. Covering an area of approx. 0.5 square metres, 30 solar cells convert sunlight into electrical energy and achieve an output of up to 63 Watts. This solar-generated current begins to flow as soon as the ignition is switched off, powering the ventilation fan in the front climate control system. This provides a constant circulation of fresh air in the interior, which means that the dashboard, seats and other interior features become less hot in the summer. At an outside temperature of 35 degrees Celsius the interior temperature in the Maybach 62 is reduced by up to 15 degrees Celsius thanks to this air circulation.


On the safe side

  • Lightweight construction: roof, doors, bonnet and wings of aluminium
  • Crash structure: well-proven forked member concept for maximum safety
  • Occupant protection: adaptive front airbags and four side and windowbags
  • Noise comfort: all windows of laminated glass with an integral acoustic membrane
  • Panoramic roof: electro-transparency and an illuminated sliding roof liner
  • Lighting technology: 526 LEDs in the tail lights

Lightweight construction plays a major part during the development of an automobile as majestic in size as the Maybach. Using the latest calculation methods, innovative design processes and high-quality, lightweight materials the engineers were able to achieve significant results in reducing the weight of the bodyshell without compromising strength, rigidity and vibration comfort. On the contrary, with a static distortion of 1.82 millimetres per metre (between the axles) and a static deflection of 0.22 millimetres (at the side members) the new Maybach 62 achieves unequalled results in its vehicle class.

The fact that the bodyshell including all external fittings tips the scales at "only" 622 kilogrammes, and yet passes the most stringent crash tests with flying colours and offers its occupants the highest level of safety, is due to intelligent body design and the widespread use of high-strength steel alloys. These achieve maximum strength (= safety) with the minimum of material (= weight). The proportion of total bodyshell weight accounted for by these high-strength steels is approx. 38 per cent.

Five large aluminium components also contribute to the exemplary, low weight of the Maybach bodyshell: the roof, bonnet, doors and front wings. The boot lid and spare wheel recess are made from high-quality glass-fibre reinforced plastics.

Doors: "superplastically" formed aluminium

The Maybach engineers broke new technical ground when designing the doors, which are made wholly of aluminium. A low weight with large dimensions was the criterion which favoured this material. Another important aspect was the structural rigidity of the slim window surrounds, which in turn has a major influence on the aero-acoustics or noise comfort at high speeds. The result of these complex analyses is a masterpiece of modern bodyshell design:

  • The window surrounds consist of welded, high-strength multi-chamber extruded sections with outstanding structural rigidity.
  • For the first time the complex internal door components and hinge reinforcements have been produced using the technique of "superplastic forming". This involves forming the aluminium components at temperatures of up to 500 degrees Celsius under increasing pressure. Owing to the relatively long time it requires, this innovative process is particularly suitable for exclusive, limited model series such as the Maybach and guarantees the highest precision, quality and crash stability.
  • The interior door components and window surrounds are directly laser-welded together.
  • The integral side impact protection likewise consists of multi-chamber extruded sections, which exhibit impressive rigidity with a low component width. These are
    arranged horizontally in the front doors, while the engineers decided in favour of a diagonal arrangement in the rear doors for the greatest possible safety.

In addition to high-tech lightweight construction and a high level of safety the doors of the Maybach 62 have functions which make access and egress more convenient. A newly developed hydraulic system ensures that from an opening angle of 15 degrees the doors are arrested in any position - even on gradients or in strong winds. Pneumatic power locking ensures reliable lock engagement for all the doors of the Maybach (and the boot lid).

Crash structure: robust forked members in the front end

When designing the front-end structure the Maybach developers drew on the unique expertise of the Mercedes Benz brand, using a feature which offers numerous advantages in passenger cars of this size, namely the forked member. This refers to robust, straight longitudinal members on both sides of the front body structure which fork towards the transmission tunnel and side skirts in front of the firewall to disperse impact forces efficiently during an offset frontal collision. This imposes uniform loads on the tunnel, floor and side wall, thereby reducing any deformation of the passenger cell to a minimum. The Maybach also features two flexurally rigid cross-members: one at the very front of the front-end structure, where it acts as a tensile structure and activates both side members to absorb energy during an offset frontal collision, and a second transverse structure consisting of two separate cross-members at wheel height in front of the firewall. This prevents any penetration into the footwell in the event of an accident.

 The body structure also absorbs crash energy at a second longitudinal member level above the front wheel arches. These robust sheet metal sections of high-strength steel extend from the front end to the A-pillars. The two side members beneath the doors are equipped with special impact-absorbing elements at the front. These brace the front wheels during a crash and thereby protect the integrity of the firewall.

Passenger cell: systematic, all-round protection

The extremely rigid passenger cell is the heart of the body structure, and therefore also of the safety concept. It is designed to provide its occupants with the best possible all-round protection thanks to a sophisticated package of individual measures:

  • Beneath the dashboard a tube of high-strength steel bolted to the A-pillars on both sides ensures a high level of transverse rigidity. This is supported by a strut on the transmission tunnel and also provides a firm mounting for the dashboard, the steering jacket tube and various major assemblies.
  • In the form of an integral tubular frame, both side walls of the Maybach have a special design feature which considerably improves occupant protection during frontal and side impacts, as well as in the event of a rollover. The high-strength steel tube of
    28-millimetre diameter reinforces the A-pillar, the front section of the roof frame and the B-pillar. The multi-part construction of the side wall enables the engineers to adapt the material thickness to the loads encountered in the different impact areas, while welded-in bulkheads in all structural components lend additional stability to the large side walls.
  • The understructure consists of a separate central tunnel with a steel sheet thickness of 1.4 millimetres, an additional tunnel reinforcement and floor panels welded to the side members on both sides. In addition four die-cast aluminium cross-members bolted to the tunnel increase the longitudinal and transverse rigidity of the floor. In the event of a side impact three robust cross-members beneath the seats and at the rear of the passenger cell absorb the crash energy.
  • During a rear-end collision a robust structure of high-strength steel sections at the rear end of the luxury car provides the passengers with protection. These large box-sections are able to absorb very large forces, and as in the case of the front-end structure a robust cross-member ensures that both longitudinal members help to dissipate the energy. This is particularly important during an offset rear collision. The steel fuel tank is located above the rear axle, i.e. outside the impact area.

Equipped with this sophisticated all-round protection package the new Maybach was subjected to numerous crash tests at the Mercedes Safety Centre, where it passed even the most stringent with flying colours. These included

  • ...a frontal 40-per cent offset impact against a deformable barrier acc. to the European NCAP procedure (New Car Assessment Programme);
  • ... a 100-per cent frontal impact against a rigid barrier acc. to US-NCAP;
  • ... a lateral 90-degree impact acc. to the Euro-NCAP standard;
  • ... the mast impact test acc. to Euro-NCAP and US regulations (FMVSS 201);
  • ... the US-NCAP side impact at an angle of 27 degrees.

Airbags: activation according to accident severity

A highly-effective, adaptive restraint system provides the highest level of occupant protection. Adaptive means that the driver and front passenger airbags automatically adapt to the severity of an accident. Moreover, the electronics register the weight of the front passenger and also take this value into account when activating the front passenger airbag as the situation requires.

Acceleration sensors mounted on the radiator cross-member in the front end - known as up-front sensors - allow the severity of an impact to be recognised at an early stage and thereby create the conditions for adaptive airbag control. Accordingly the front airbags are activated in two stages depending on the accident severity: during a minor frontal impact the electronic control unit activates only one chamber of the two-stage airbag gas generators, and the airbags are inflated to a lower internal pressure. If the system detects a heavy frontal collision, however, it also activates the second chambers in the airbag gas generators approx. 15 milliseconds later; the airbags are then inflated to a higher pressure and provide the vehicle occupants with protection suited to the severity of the accident. Accident researchers have found that this adaptive airbag control is particularly advantageous during collisions in the speed range between 13 and 21 mph, as the occupants are restrained more "softly" thanks to the first airbag stage.

The early crash detection made possible by the up-front sensors also shortens the time between the impact and the start of belt tensioner activation, ensuring that the occupants are optimally restrained by the seat belts.

The weight of the front passenger is automatically measured by a special membrane in the seat upholstery. To be precise, it is not the actual bodyweight but the distribution of the pressure on the seat cushion that is measured. This enables the electronics to allocate the front passenger to one of four weight classes -- 1 to 30 kilogrammes, 31 to 50 kilogrammes, 51 to 70 kilogrammes and over 71 kilogrammes -- and influence airbag activation accordingly. This means that in a less severe accident both generator stages would be activated to give the best possible protection to a heavy front passenger. In the case of a lightweight front passenger, however, the second airbag stage would only be activated during a more severe accident. The front airbags in the Maybach have a volume of 64 litres on the driver's side and 125 litres on the front passenger side.

Seat belt system: fully integrated into the seat

The three-point seat belts with automatic comfort-fit, high-performance belt tensioners and belt force limiters, the indispensable basic components of a modern occupant protection system, are integrated into the seats of this high-end luxury vehicle. This ensures that the belt is optimally positioned in any seating attitude and can therefore carry out its full protective role. The position of the diagonal seat belt is automatically adjusted to the shoulder height of the driver and front passenger via a guide slot.

As a world first the engineers in Sindelfingen have developed a "crash-responsive" seat backrest for the comfortable reclining seats in the rear of the Maybach 62. In the event of an accident the backrests move back into the upright position, thereby ensuring the best possible occupant rebound protection. This is achieved by deformable torsion bars located between the backrest and the rear bulkhead.

The submarining effect - in which rear seat occupants wearing a seat belt slip beneath the lap belt during an accident - is prevented by a buckle-mounted belt tensioner acting on the lap belt and a precautionary seat adjustment feature: in any seat position - including the reclined position - the rear seat cushions are automatically set at a slight angle so that the occupants are firmly supported during a frontal collision and cannot slide forward beneath the lap belt.

Side impact protection: sidebags for all occupants

With sidebags for each seat and two windowbags on each side as standard, the restraint system in the Maybach also meets the highest expectations in terms of side impact protection:

  • The four sidebags (volume: 10 litres each) are integrated into the seat backrests. During a crash they instantly interpose themselves between the occupant and the door at chest level, reducing the loads acting on the thorax.
  • The four windowbags complement the protective effect of the sidebags; during a side impact they deploy across the side windows like a large curtain within 25 milliseconds, thereby providing the passengers with head protection over a wide area. The volume of each front windowbag is 15 litres, those in the rear having a volume of 20 litres each.

The latest accident research findings have led to the development of a new rollover sensor whose information is used by the airbag control unit to activate the windowbags when a rollover is imminent. The air cushions remain inflated for some time after the crash and can also improve occupant protection in this eventuality. The standard occupant restraint system in the Maybach at a glance:

Aerodynamics: Cd-figure of 0.30 to 0.31

Despite its majestic size the new Maybach 62 also cuts a very fine figure in aerod

Front seats Rear seats
Inertia-reel seat belts with height adjustment and automatic comfort-fit integrated into the seat integrated into the seat
High-performance belt tensioners integrated into the seat integrated into the seat

Belt force limiters integrated into the seat integrated into the seat, additional buckle-mounted tensioner for the lap belt
Automatic child seat and front passenger recognition with weight classification on the front passenger side --
Head restraints, adjustable for height and angle o o
Front airbags, two-stage o --
Sidebags in the backrests in the backrests

Dynamic terms and illustrates the high capabilities of aerodynamic development at DaimlerChrysler even in this vehicle class. Expressed in figures: with a frontal area of 2.62 square metres and a Cd-figure of 0.30 to 0.31 the wind resistance is 0.79 square metres.

Nonetheless the aerodynamic specialists in Sindelfingen only regard their work as successful if they are able to show respectable results in the field of handling safety as well. This is where the coefficients of lift at the front and rear axles are the measure of all things. These are extremely low in the case of the Maybach, and form the aerodynamic basis for exemplary handling stability at high speeds or when braking. The speed-related level control function of the AIRMATIC DC (Dual Control) air suspension system also improves handling safety at high speeds: from 87 mph the system automatically lowers the suspension by 15 millimetres at both axles.

The Maybach developers have reduced both the wind resistance and lift with a number of detailed measures, for example:

  • The aerodynamically optimised shape of the bonnet ensures a low airflow resistance across the windscreen wipers.
  • The A-pillars are contoured for a particularly low wind resistance. The slight curve of the roof and rear window also has a favourable effect on the airflow characteristics.
  • The engine compartment trim directs the airflow to the rear and prevents turbulence in this area.
  • The large, smooth area of plastic underfloor panelling allows the slipstream to pass beneath the vehicle body with very little turbulence.
  • The discreet spoiler lip integrated into the boot lid reduces lift and provides a clearly defined airflow breakaway edge.
continues... | Part Four
Published 2 July 2002 Melanie Carter

The information contained this Mercedes Benz Maybach news article may have changed since publication on the 2 July 2002. Our car specifications, reviews, and prices may only apply to the UK market. You may wish to check with the manufacturer or your local Mercedes Benz dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce our car news in full or part, in any format without our written permission. © 2018