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The big sedan is idling on the tarmac as we step off our Gulfstream G4. No mad crush at the gate, no waiting in line for luggage. This is how the other half lives. Or more precisely, the other tenth of one per cent, the folks for whom money really is no object.When it comes to automobiles, their list of extravagant options is about to get a bit bigger with the imminent launch of the all-new Maybach brand. Actually, to be more precise, the revival of one of Europe’s most elegant and exclusive brands which, from 1921 to 1941, sold an average of barely 90 automobiles a year.
In 1998, when Rolls-Royce Motor Co. went on the auction block, DaimlerChrysler briefly bid on the esteemed British brand. But it quickly decided to instead bring an ultra-luxury brand of its own to market, reaching into its archives and finding the long-dormant Maybach marque.
After a five-year gestation, the reborn brand is back, and buyers willing and able to plop down at least $300,000 will have two distinct models to choose from. The substantial M57 and downright huge M62. The numbers refer to the vehicle length in meters, meaning the bigger of the two measures in at almost 20 feet bumper to bumper.
2003 Maybach M57Enlarge Photo
That’s actually longer than the Ford Excursion SUV, making the M62 one of the longest passenger vehicles ever built. Not surprisingly, it’s also positioned as the car for the chauffeured set. The M57, meanwhile, is billed as the “driver’s car,” and with a V-12 producing 550 horsepower and seemingly endless amounts of torque, there’s no question it’s got more than enough muscle to burn up the Autobahn.