Huge, expensive and very exclusive, the Maybach 57 and 62 models continue into 2005 unchanged.

Produced by DaimlerChrysler and with a heritage of luxury automobiles dating back to 1921 (the original company ceased car production in 1941 and merged with Daimler-Benz in 1960 as an engine manufacturer), the Maybach’s two models are named for their length: the 57 is 5.7 metres, the 62 is 6.2 metres. Both are powered by a 5.5-litre V12 engine with twin turbochargers.

Each Maybach is built to customer specifications with a wide variety of options and trim choices, but standard features include a DVD player, leather-covered dashboard, rear-seat refrigerator with sterling silver champagne goblets, remote-activated memory seats, television receiver, heated and ventilated seats with massage function, reclining rear seats with thigh support and footrest (in the 62), folding rear-seat tables finished in wood and Nappa leather, six-CD system, two telephones, electric tilt wheel, Parktronic parking aid, and individual front and rear automatic climate control systems. Should you wish to sit with the motor off, an optional solar module in the roof collects sunlight and converts it to electricity to power the ventilation fan.

Possibly the world’s most exclusive sedan, the Maybach comes with a list of standard and optional features that’s almost ridiculous in its length. The big V12 is capable of moving the 57 from zero to 100 km/h in just 4.9 seconds, and as might be expected, being chauffeured in the rear seat is like sitting in a living room that moves. The styling is more elegant than standout, although the two-tone paint treatment is a bit odd to some eyes. Ditto the rear window power sunshades which, to the cynic’s eye, bear more than a passing resemblance to the curtains on a hearse.

The Maybach is built in Sindelfingen, Germany.

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