Maybach rolls out its first convertible since the 1930s

Revived by Mercedes-Benz in 1997 after more than five decades since it stopped building automobiles, the Maybach brand and its modern limousines, the 57 and 62, were received with great enthusiasm. However, both cars were seen as slightly fancied-up versions of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class as soon as they hit the market and the company’s sales expectations were never met. When it was shut down in 2012, Maybach has only sold around 3,000 units. By comparison, Rolls-Royce sold more than 2,700 vehicles in 2010. The luxury brand was once again revived in 2015, but this time around as Mercedes-Maybach and as a sub-brand of the S-Class model. Two four-door models were launched immediately, following by sleek looking concept coupe. Although the latter has yet to be confirmed for production as of December 2016, Mercedes did launch a convertible version based on the S-Class. It’s called the Mercedes-Maybach S650 and its the first Maybach drop-top since the 1930s.

Although based on the standard S-Class inside and out, the Maybach S650 is actually pretty unique in the lineup. Its body features are heavily based on the AMG S65 model, thus having a sportier appearance, while the interior comes with bespoke leather upholstery and numerous accessories. Under the hood, the convertible is more than just a standard S-Class, using the most powerful engine available for the nameplate at this point. This makes the S650 the quickest and most powerful Maybach ever built.

The luxury convertible is also available in very limited numbers, with just 300 units to be built and sold globally. Naturally, these specs also make it highly expensive, to the point where a Maybach could cost more than its Rolls-Royce competitor. Find out more about it in my comprehensive review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet.

Exterior

2018 Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet High Resolution Exterior
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Design-wise, the Mercedes-Maybach S650 is obviously based on the latest S-Class convertible, featuring the same elegant but muscular lines. However, while the four-door Maybach bears a close resemblance to the standard S-Class, the S650 convertible is actually more similar to the range-topping Mercedes-AMG S65 Coupe. Up front, the luxury convertible sports the AMG-type grille, while the bumper section is heavily based on that of the AMG S65 model. There’s a similar, trapezoidal center section and large side intakes, as well as thick chrome trim. However, the Maybach wears a few cues of its own in this area. For instance, while on the AMG model there is no grille atop the trapezoidal section, the Maybach has a continuous, two-tier grille that stretches from one side of the bumper to the other. Also, the side intakes are larger and feature significantly more chrome. The front fascia is rounded off by Swarovski headlamps, which are optional on the AMG models, but standard on the Maybach.

Up front, the luxury convertible sports the AMG-type grille, while the bumper section is heavily based on that of the AMG S65 model.

Moving onto the sides, there are three features that set the Maybach apart from other Mercedes-Benz S-Class models. The most noticeable are the 20-inch forged wheels in a bi-chromatic finish. The rims feature a multi-spoke design, but a hubcap-like center section that reminds of vintage cars. But, even though they add an old-school vibe to the car, I’m not convinced they work with the S-Class design because of the massive amount of chrome. Speaking of which, just like the four-door Maybach, the convertible comes with additional chrome trim above the side skirts and on the rear bumper. The front fenders also sport small "Maybach" emblems. Finally, on opening the doors, the Maybach logo is projected onto the ground. This isn’t exactly a new feature for Mercedes-Benz products, but it’s nice that the company changed it to a Maybach logo.

Around back, the car is pretty much identical to the AMG S65 save for the "Maybach" and "S650" lettering on the trunk lid, but that’s not a bad thing. The current Mercedes design for coupes comes with a pair of sexy taillights and an angled trunk lid that highlights the beefy bumper. To some extent, the S-Class coupe, and in this case the Maybach too, borrow some of the iconic boat-tail styling of 1930s luxury automobiles.

The bespoke exterior is rounded off by a bright, metallic red, a color we rarely get to see on full-size luxury cars, which usually come in either black, white, silver, or dark shades of blue and gray. I don’t remember seeing too many red Maybachs since Mercedes-Benz revived the brand in 1997 and it’s a breath of fresh air to see a new product being showcased in red.

COMPETING DESIGNS

2016 Rolls-Royce Dawn
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2016 - 2017 Bentley Continental GT Speed Exterior
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Revived as a competitor for Rolls-Royce and Bentley sedans, Maybach can now go against two-door convertibles from the same companies thanks to the S650. First on this list is the Rolls-Royce Dawn (left). Launched in 2015 as a convertible version of the Wraith, the Dawn is the newest Rolls-Royce available as far as nameplates go. However, its design is actually four years old as of 2017. Despite this, the Dawn is an impressive car on the outside, featuring a boxy, imposing style that makes it stand out next to just about any luxury vehicle, including the Maybach S650. On the flipside, it lacks the sportiness of the AMG-inspired Maybach, staying true to Rolls-Royce’s classic recipe for elegance and opulence. The rear-hinged doors are a nice, unique touch compared to everything else on the market. On the right, we have the second British vehicle that competes in this niche. It goes by the name Bentley Continental GT and it’s actually more suited to go against the Maybach due to its sportier design. But the Conti GT is also significantly older than the S-Class, having been launched in 2003 and updated in 2011. Needless to say, it’s far from dated, but the upgrades it received in 2011 aren’t as extensive as they should be. Much like Rolls-Royce, Bentley has a very conservative strategy when it comes to facelifts and redesigns, meaning that a nameplate can soldier on for more than a decade with mild changes. The good news is that the Continental slots between its rivals in terms of aggressiveness and style. It’s not as sporty as the Maybach, but also not as serious as the Dawn. It’s somewhere in between and does a great job at combining sportiness and elegance.

Rolls Royce Dawn Bentley GT Speed Convertible Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet
Wheelbase (Inches) 122.5 108.1 TBA
Length (Inches) 208.1 189.2 TBA
Width (Inches) 76.7 87.7 TBA
Height (Inches) 59.1 54.8 TBA

Interior

2018 Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet High Resolution Interior
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Inside, the Maybach S650 is also heavily based on the S-Class, featuring the same imposing dashboard with massive screens behind the steering wheel and in the center stack, wide center console, flowing lines in the door panels, and bolstered, comfortable seats. But if you thought that the S-Class was the top of the line in terms of Mercedes luxury, the S650 is here to prove you wrong. Trimmed almost entirely in leather, the Maybach’s interior comes with a wide range of bespoke features, starting with the perforated, waterfall-like seat upholstery with outer diamond quilting on the side bolsters and "Budapest" piping. The presentation model features a white-and-black combo, but this is only one of nine options available, including pastel yellow and black to porcelain and saddle brown.

Trimmed almost entirely in leather, the Maybach's interior comes with a wide range of bespoke features.

On top of the upholstery, the Maybach-badged cabriolet also sports unique trim elements, fine wood veneer on the dash and door panels, and elements in Designo Nut Brown Magnolia - either with flowing lines or in a high-gloss finish. The trim element on top of the soft-top compartment was also revised to include an inlaid Maybach logo. Optional, customers can select the "flowing lines" design for a yacht-inspired appearance based on the Mercedes-Benz Style "Arrow 460-Granturismo" boat.

Other fine touches include Mercedes-Maybach logos on the front side of the seats (embroidered), on the back of the head restraints (embossed), and also inlaid in the stowage cover of the center console. The standard Mercedes floor mats have been replaced by deep-pile covers, while the cup holders has chrome-plated "1 of 300" lettering. The technology and all the gadgets are identical to the S-Class Cabriolet, but the Maybach S650 gets the optional Aircap and Airscarf features as standard. As a reminder, the Aircap is an automatic wind deflector that extends from the windscreen to deflect the air flow higher above the passenger compartment when the roof is down. The Airscarf is a system of adjustable air vents integrated into the head restraints of the seats that allows for direct heating to the passengers’ necks. If things get chilly driving with the top down, the Airscarf kicks in to create a more comfortable ride.

2018 Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet High Resolution Interior
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The technology and all the gadgets are identical to the S-Class, but the Maybach gets the optional Aircap and Airscarf features as standard.

But, the fancier interior isn’t the only extra you get from Maybach. The convertible is also equipped as standard with an exclusive travel luggage set. Called "The Affinity" and provided by Maybach - Icons of Luxury, the set comprises two large travel bags and two lifestyle bags made of the same leather as the upholstery. Coordinated with the interior of the car as far from and colors go, the bags can be securely attached to each other with straps to enable optimum use of the space in the trunk. Each comes with polished, chrome-plated "1 of 300" lettering to highlight the level of exclusivity.

Additionally, Maybach provides a car cover made of high-quality fabric in the same color as the soft-top with diamond quilting and embroidered "Maybach" emblem and lettering on the engine hood area. Also, each Mercedes-Maybach S650 is delivered with a special welcome pack that comprises a key ring made of the Nappa leather used in the vehicle and a certificate signed by Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

THE COMPETITION

2016 Rolls-Royce Dawn High Resolution Interior
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2016 - 2017 Bentley Continental GT Speed
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The Maybach just can't beat the Dawn's endless customization options.

The Maybach S650 and the Rolls-Royce Dawn (left) are equally impressive when it comes to materials and finishes, but they’re decades apart as far as design goes. And by this I mean that whereas the Maybach comes with an S-Class interior that feels modern and organic, the Dawn is designed around a vintage recipe with a big chunk of wood on the dashboard and simple lines all around. The thin-rimmed steering wheel is also inspired by Rolls-Royce interiors from the past, as is the instrument cluster that displays three large gauges. Technology-wise, the Dawn lacks many of the modern features you can in the Maybach, but makes up for that thanks to numerous customization features you can order. Granted, Maybach also offers a wide array of upholstery options, but at Rolls-Royce you can order the leather in just about any color you want, as well as opt between an immense number of wood options for the dashboard and the door panels. Mercedes has done a tremendous job at transforming the S-Class into an even more luxurious rig with a Maybach badge, but it just can’t beat the Dawn’s endless customization options no matter how many extra features it adds. The Continental GT Speed’s interior (right) also has a British vibe to it, but it feels a bit more modern than the Dawn’s. It’s sportier too, with the split dashboard and the wide, pronounced center stack giving the cockpit a race-inspired look. The soft leather, aluminum or carbon-fiber trim, and the exemplary fit and finish make the Conti GT Speed a solid competitor for the Maybach S650. On the other hand, the smaller infotainment screen and not-so-modern instrument cluster will make it less appealing to technology geeks. However, much like the Rolls-Royce, the Bentley is available with a wide range of customization options via the Mulliner division.

Drivetrain

The Mercedes-Maybach S650 gets its juice from the familiar biturbo, 6.0-liter V-12 engine, but the company replaced the regular unit offered in the four-door S600 model with the handcrafted version in the Mercedes-AMG S65 Cabriolet. This translates into massive power increase from 523 horsepower and 612 pound-feet of torque to 621 horses and 738 pound-feet, making the S650 the most powerful Maybach yet. The seven-speed automatic transmission also comes from the AMG S65 model.

2018 Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet High Resolution Drivetrain
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Mercedes replaced the regular unit offered in the four-door S600 with the handcrafted version in the Mercedes-AMG S65.

The brand had nothing to say about performance, but the Maybach S650 should be as quick as the AMG S65 Cabriolet from 0 to 60 mph and hit the benchmark in four seconds. Top speed is likely limited to 155 mph, which is pretty impressive for a large luxury car. As expected, the Maybach comes standard with the Airmatic suspension system with steplessly variable damping control for the utmost comfort behind the steering wheel or in the rear seats.

COMPETING PERFORMANCE

This is where the Rolls-Royce Dawn falls behind the Maybach S650, as the 6.6-liter V-12 under the hood cranks out "only" 563 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque. This is a bit surprising given that its coupe cousin, the Wraith, benefits from 624 horses and 590 pound-feet, but until Rolls-Royce rolls out an update, you’ll have to settle for less than 600 horsepower. Routed to the wheels by a ZF eight-speed automatic, the oomph pushes the Dawn from 0 to 62 mph in 4.9 seconds. That’s more than a half-second slower than a Maybach, but still impressive for a vehicle that tips the scales at 5,644 pounds. Top speed is electronically limited at 155 mph.

Moving over to the Continental GT Speed Convertible, the twin-turbo, 6.0-liter W-12 delivers more horsepower than the Maybach’s V-12 thanks to the company’s 2017-model-year update, which upped the oomph from 626 to 633 horses. Torque is also superior to the Dawn at 620 pound-feet, but not as impressive as the Maybach. Despite this, the GT Speed Convertible is just as quick, needing around four seconds to hit 62 mph from a standing start thanks to the quick-shifting ZF eight-speed automatic. The top speed is by far the Conti’s most impressive feature compared to its rivals, being estimated at a mind-boggling 206 mph.

Rolls Royce Dawn Bentley GT Speed Convertible Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet
Engine 6.6-liter V-12 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged W12 6.0-liter V-12
Horsepower 563 HP @ 5,250 RPM 633 HP @ 6,000 RPM 621 HP @ 4,800-5,400 RPM
Torque 575 LB-FT @ 1,500 RPM 620 LB-FT @ 2,000-5,000 RPM 738 LB-FT @ 2,300-4,300 RPM
0-60 mph 4.9 seconds 4.1 seconds 4.1 seconds
Top Speed 155 mph 203 mph 155 mph
Weight 5,644 Lbs 6,393 Lbs TBA

Prices

2018 Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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Pricing for the Maybach S650 starts from €300,000 in Europe. U.S. pricing information for the U.S. is not yet available, but the luxury cabriolet should retail from around $320,000, a significant hike compared to the Mercedes-Maybach S600 sedan, which costs $191,300. The Maybach-badged two-door is also a lot more expensive than its AMG counterpart, the AMG S65 Cabriolet, which fetches $247,900. The extra premium comes from the added standard features and unique interior appointments, but it’s also the result of a limited production run. Only 300 units will be built, with just 75 examples to cross the pond to the United States.

COMPETING PRICES

The Mercedes-Maybach S650 may be pretty expensive, but it’s not overly pricey compared to its main rivals. The Continental GT Speed Convertible, for instance, starts from $266,485, while the Rolls-Royce Dawn retails from around $330,000 before options. The Maybach may end up a bit less expensive than the Dawn, but we won’t know for sure until U.S. pricing become available. All told, each of these luxury cars cost as much as some houses.

Rolls-Royce Dawn $330,000
Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible $266,485
Mercedes-Maybach S650 $320,000 (est.)

Do You Have Other Options?

Aston Martin Vanquish S

2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S
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Not if you’re looking for a very similar product. This niche is pretty tight and luxury automakers such as BMW, Audi, and Lexus have yet to join in (although they’re planning to do in the near future). But if you can live with a few compromises, including a not-so-opulent interior and less interior space, you can have a look at the Aston Martin Vanquish S. Introduced for the 2018 model year as an update to the existing model, the Vanquish S gained minor updates inside and out and a slightly more powerful engine. Now rated at 592 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque, the 5.9-liter V-12 doesn’t seem to have what it takes to compete against the cars listed above, but it’s actually powerful enough to propel the British drop-top from 0 to 62 mph in 3.6 seconds. That’s because the Vanquish Volante S is significantly lighter than its rivals. Top speed is also pretty impressive at 201 mph. Pricing-wise, it’s nearly as expensive as the Maybach, starting from $294,950 in the United States.

Find out more about the Aston Martin Vanquish S here.

Conclusion

2018 Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet High Resolution Exterior
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Mercedes’ previous revival of the Maybach brand was far from successful, with the 57 and 62 failing to rise up as potent competitors for similar Rolls-Royce and Bentley products. The Germans hope that this will change with the new Mercedes-Maybach sub-brand and the S650 is proof that they’re using a different strategy. Sure, the S650 is also based on an existing S-Class, but instead of rolling out only sedans, Maybach is getting its first modern two-door outside the Exelero concept. Thanks to its AMG-based design and incredibly powerful engine, the S650 could change the way the market views Maybach and may open the door to other exclusive products.

  • Leave it
    • Likely the most expensive in its class
    • Not as customizable as a Rolls-Royce Dawn
    • Still a fancied-up S-Class

Press Release

The first cabriolet from the Mercedes‑Maybach brand is celebrating its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show and is all set to hit markets in the spring of 2017 – limited to 300 examples and with a net price tag of 300,000 euros. The high-end appointments in the interior make up part of the vehicle’s special characteristics. Unique features include nine additional colour concepts for the interior, the trim – optionally refined with "flowing lines" – plus the hand-finished craftsmanship of the leather seats with perforations in a waterfall-style look. The drive system requirements are catered for by the 6.0‑litre V12 engine with an output of 463 kW (630 hp).

A glimpse into the future of the luxury brand was provided by the Vision Mercedes‑Maybach 6, which celebrated its European premiere at the Paris Motor Show just a few weeks ago. This is now being followed by the Mercedes-Maybach S 650 Cabriolet, a series production model which, with its ultimate open-air exclusivity, embodies modern luxury and represents the design philosophy of Sensual Purity: it is both hot and cool at the same time. Worldwide just 300 examples of this open-top four-seater model will be produced.

The Mercedes-Maybach S 650 is based on the open-top S‑Class and has adopted the latter’s classic aesthetic proportions, among other features, with highlights which include the dynamic silhouette with coupé-like soft top and the sidewall dropping line which slopes down towards the rear. Exclusive Mercedes-Maybach features include a new front bumper with upgraded lower section and also numerous chrome highlights to visibly enhance the special aspirations of luxury. The Maybach emblem is discreetly but elegantly featured on the vehicle’s wing. Other special elements on the exterior include the high-quality 20‑inch Maybach forged wheels in a powerful design and a bichromatic finish. On opening the doors, the Maybach logo is projected onto the floor by means of entrance lighting.

2018 Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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Interior theme: "Everything flows"

In the interior, the fully leather-trimmed Mercedes-Maybach S 650 Cabriolet brings some of the visionary ideas of the Concept S‑Class Coupé show car (IAA 2013) to series production. These include the dynamic "flowing lines" in the seats. This waterfall-like seat upholstery layout is achieved with the aid of progressive perforations. An eye for detail is also demonstrated in the outer diamond quilting on the seat side bolsters and the Budapest piping.

The unique trim elements are commissioned individually for each vehicle based on the colour and grain. In addition to trim on the instrument panel and door panelling, the Mercedes-Maybach S 650 Cabriolet exclusively boasts a trim element on top of the soft top compartment with inlaid Maybach logo. As an option, the look can be refined with "flowing lines". In combination with the other trim elements a unique yacht ambience is created – inspired by the Mercedes-Benz Style "Arrow 460-Granturismo" yacht.

The flowing lines are generated by a combination of precision machining and traditional craftsmanship. As part of this, the substrate beneath the fine wood veneer of the three-dimensional trim element is exposed in a special process using a fine milling cutter (with a diameter of 0.8 mm). The individually milled lines follow the shape of the trim, thus reinforcing the three-dimensional effect.

2018 Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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Exclusive to the Mercedes-Maybach S 650 Cabriolet are trim elements in designo nut brown magnolia – either with flowing lines or in a high-gloss finish. Nine additional interior colour concepts – from pastel yellow/black to porcelain/saddle brown – provide for further individualisation.

Mercedes-Maybach logos are located on the front side of the seats (embroidered), on the back of the head restraints (embossed) and also inlaid in the stowage cover of the centre console. Other details include deep-pile floor mats, chrome-plated "1 of 300" lettering on the cup holder, and the steering wheel which features Maybach lettering on the lower bezel.

All of the optional extras of the S‑Class Cabriolet come as standard on the Mercedes-Maybach, including AIRCAP, AIRSCARF and Swarovski headlamps.

2018 Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet High Resolution Interior
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Elegant items of luggage: colour-coordinated to match the interior variant

The Mercedes-Maybach S 650 Cabriolet is equipped as standard with an exclusive travel luggage set from MAYBACH – ICONS OF LUXURY. "THE AFFINITY" set comprises two large travel bags as well as two lifestyle bags made of original vehicle leather. In terms of form and colour – which are coordinated with the interior variant selected by the customer – the bag set is tailored to match the Cabriolet. The bags can be securely attached to each other with straps to enable optimum use of the space in the boot. The polished chrome-plated "1 of 300" lettering serves to highlight the level of exclusivity.

Just like the vehicles from Mercedes-Maybach, the elegant items of luggage from the licence partner MAYBACH – ICONS OF LUXURY GmbH meet high standards in terms of design, materials and the German art of manufacturing.

2018 Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet High Resolution Exterior
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Supplied as standard: exclusive fabric cover and certificate

The scope of delivery of each Mercedes-Maybach Cabriolet includes a car cover made of high-quality fabric in the soft top colour, with diamond quilting and embroidered Maybach emblem and lettering on the bonnet.

In addition, each Mercedes-Maybach Cabriolet is delivered with a special welcome pack. This comprises a key ring made of the nappa leather used in the vehicle and in the interior colour, with Maybach emblem and "1 of 300" lettering, as well as a certificate signed by Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

2018 Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet High Resolution Drivetrain
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The powertrain: a fitting biturbo V12

The luxury cabriolet’s superior drive system relies on the 6.0-litre biturbo V12 engine with an output of 463 kW (630 hp). Power transmission to the rear axle comes courtesy of the 7G‑TRONIC, while the AIRMATIC suspension with steplessly variable damping control ensures a special driving sensation.

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