NEW FOR 2009:

For 2009, the Maybach line-up is unchanged.

The premier nameplate in the Mercedes-Benz stable, the Maybach models are named for their lengths – 5.7 and 6.2 metres, respectively. The 57 and 62 models use a 5.5-litre V12 engine with twin turbochargers. The 57S and 62S, for "Special", use a turbocharged 6.0-litre V12, with stiffer suspension for performance-oriented driving. Each S engine is built entirely by hand by a single craftsman, whose signature appears on the engine cover.

Each Maybach is built to customer specifications, and appointments can include leather-covered dashboard, rear-seat refrigerator, remote-activated memory seats, television receiver, heated and ventilated seats with massage function, folding rear-seat tables, rear window curtains, two telephones and individual front and rear automatic climate control systems. If you haven’t spent enough, you can also order the keys in gold plating.

Possibly the world’s most exclusive sedan, the 57 and 62 are incredibly powerful, the 57S and 62S more so, but they’re not really supercars in the tradition of Ferrari or Lamborghini. The styling is more elegant than standout, and the luxury is such that you’re sitting in a living room that moves; should you be in this tax bracket, shop it against Rolls-Royce.

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