Why Does the Maybach 62S Cost $500,000?
The Maybach isn't the most expensive car in the world, but it is the highest-price line of autos made by Mercedes-Benz. The 62S model of the Maybach — the automaker's answer to the Rolls-Royce and Bentley — costs 8 million Hong Kong dollars (about US$1 million). And that's without extras.
But the biggest reason for its high price is the Hong Kong luxury tax, about 50% in this Chinese territory. In the U.S., the car costs about $459,000. Even so, we found that as luxury cars go, the Maybach doesn't offer much beyond what other cars in this category offer, save for a couple of features.
The Maybach received a facelift last year, and small changes were made to the exterior, including a larger chrome-radiator grille in front, more aerodynamic mirrors, new wheels — with 12-spoke 20-inch alloy hubcaps painted in a sterling silver color for the Maybach 52S and 62S — and daytime LED driving headlights (daytime driving lights are mandatory on cars sold in the European Union; but experts disagree on whether they cut down on the rate of traffic fatalities). Of all the Maybach models available in Hong Kong, the 62S has the most powerful engine. Oh, and the “S” stands for “special.”
The 62S was a popular Christmas gift among Hong Kongers, according to the dealership, and all 60 of its available models sold out in eight months. Now, there is an eight-month waiting list for the car.
At the Maybach dealership in Hong Kong — a decked-out space with a terrace overlooking Repulse Bay and an open bar — senior manager Karin Hoo explains why the car costs seven figures.
More colors: Buyers can choose from 18 different exterior colors, including the newest Maybach “New Bahamas Blue” (a dark sky blue). That’s four more than the standard number offered in Mercedes Benz models. Of course, as with all luxury cars, the Maybach can be painted any color under the rainbow for an extra fee.
Sheepskin interiors: High-grade nappa-leather interiors are standard and each seat is upholstered with a single piece of uncut hide. Buyers choose between two colors: black or white.
Back-seat recliner: Most Maybach owners rarely sit in the front seat of their car; they have chauffeurs. Fashioned after first-class airplane seating, the Maybach back seat reclines to a nearly flat position and comes with a leg rest and tray table on the side “That’s why they call the Maybach a ‘jet on wheels,’” Ms. Hoo says. The back seat has 84.5 centimeters of legroom.
Perfume atomizer: Forget about those paper air fresheners that hang on the rearview mirror. Each Maybach 62S is fitted with a perfume atomizer — built into the air-conditioning vent. That’s guaranteed not to stain the fine leather interior or your (no doubt) bespoke or haute couture clothing, of course. Swiss flavor and scent manufacturer Givaudan custom-blended two scents just for the Maybach: a citrus-y green tea and more-masculine agarwood.
An extra meter: Most Mercedes S-series models are roughly five meters long; the Maybach 62S — as its name denotes — is 6.2 meters. “We name the car in the same way boats are named after their length,” Ms. Hoo says.
A glass roof: With the press of a button, the glass roof changes from opaque to clear to let in more light (it’s made from a liquid-crystal membrane of conductive polymer plastic, and an electric current in the crystals changes the view). Another button triggers a cover to close over the glass roof completely.
Lighting: Turn on the side LED lights, along the edge of the window, for softer interior lighting. “The idea is to have just the right ambience the owner prefers,” Ms. Hoo says.
Engine: With a 12-cylinder, 630-horsepower engine, the Maybach 62S can hit 100 kilometers an hour in just five seconds (that’s a second faster than most luxury sports cars). It can hit a maximum speed of 250 kilometers an hour. The Maybach name, in fact, comes from engineer Wilhelm Maybach, who designed the engines of the first Mercedes.
Entertainment system: Two 9.5-inch flat-screen monitors are installed in the back of the front seats. The monitors can play DVDs or connect to the Internet through the car’s built-in WLAN wireless connection. Sound is surround: 21 speakers, designed by Bose, are strategically placed throughout the car for what Ms. Hoo calls “concert-hall quality.” And everything is controlled via a center console with a remote control in the back and front seats.
Customizable add-ons: “Each Maybach is meant to be bespoke, and personalized to the customer’s own preferences,” Ms. Hoo says. Ask and you shall receive, the dealership says, from adding your family crest to the seats to installing a minibar in the back. But there isn’t a list of “extras” from which to choose — it’s up to the customer to ask. Previous add-ons have included the family crests etched onto the glass, fax machines and cigar humidors.
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12-Apr-2012 12:51 AM