By on January 9, 2007

maybach_62_s-img_280.jpgWhen Maybach unveiled its tiny, cordoned-off piece of turf at the COBO Center on Sunday, its offerings were pinned against the back wall, stuck behind all the glitz that its corporate parent had to offer. Up front: the new Mercedes S-Class with 4-Matic replete with ice rink and the perkalicious Ocean Drive concept. And only one stand (and a world) away: Honda, whose inexorable rise stands in direct contrast to Maybach’s inevitable decline. The Maybach reps had to feel outpaced, out-planned and outdone. In truth, their golden goose is well and truly cooked.

The upmarket German luxury marque has had its day– again. Armchair analysts have watched with little shock and much awe as Mercedes-Benz took the venerable old Weimar marque off the dusty shelf in Stuttgart, refinished it, and sent the four wheeled Phoenix soaring into the luxury marketplace; only to be unceremonious shotgunned by older nameplates from drizzly Albion. And now Maybach’s a hit-and-run victim of Mercedes’ corporate ADD, hoping against hope its masters didn’t sign a DNR.   

281206-l-rr-l222.jpgContrast these sad affairs of state with Maybach’s drop-dead gorgeous, German owned, British branded rivals. Detroit sees Rolls Royce unveil their stunning drop head coupe. Bentley is performing a lovely reprise of its seven– count ‘em seven– sterling models, including the GTC that scooped The Robb Report’s COTY. While there’s something to be said for evolutionary consistency rather than radical overhaul (911 anyone?), Maybach has no postwar history to live up to. They’re set to hawk the sporting version of the for-chauffeurs-only 62S to a yawning media circus.

A “normal” Maybach 62 will haul its overstuffed, elongated, business-class carriage from standstill to 60 in an impressive if almost completely irrelevant 5.9 seconds. The new and improved 62S will perform the same task in– drum roll– 5.2 seconds. Oh and the springs stiffen just that bit more in sport mode, the brakes are a little sharper, and so on.

blur.jpgThe owner of the first 62 variant is best advised to keep that AMEX centurion card holstered in his alligator wallet; thereby saving himself the $100k swap-out expense. He should then instruct his deprived driver to simulate the difference by mashing the go-pedal when traveling downhill while there’s a stiff, direction-matching breeze.

It seems like only yesterday that the Queen Elizabeth II and the Maybach 62 sailed into New York together before the eyes of an admiring world. For that one, brief, shining moment– the interval between the Maybach’s helicopter ride off the Cunard ship and BMW’s introduction of the all new Rolls-Royce Phantom– Maybach owned the $300k+ market. 

chaueffeur.jpgIts reign was short lived, and rightly so. Let’s face it: the mighty Maybach was born old hat. When it made its début, the Maybach models were already a relic of 1990’s design. Fast, comfortable; sure. Stylish and sexy? Nein. Maybach never really delivered the competitor crushing excellence that the born-again division had set out to achieve. That special, bespoke quality that the Spirit of Ecstasy embodies, the M&Ms never owned. The Maybach looked too much like the (W220) S-Class, and its passenger flew business, not first. In its intended price bracket, soullessness is a felony offense. 

The killer blow: Maybach’s Mercedes masters decided to give the new S-Class a glamorous reskin and left the Maybach just so. The current summit of the Tri-Star’s achievement is a bolder and bigger design that exchanged creased sides for elegant curves and bulging arches. In fact, the new S (not to mention the semi-Maybachian CLS or the equally customer-challenged SLR-McLaren) makes the Maybach 57 and 62 look dowdy and demure. And while the Maybach’s motors are Herculean, there’s nothing slow about the uber-schnell S-Class models; the S65 AMG is 1.2 seconds quicker from zero to 60 than the new Maybach Sport, and far more agile in the bends. So how much is that extra legroom (and optional plasma TV) worth?

exerlero.jpgOn that point, the market has spoken. You can buy a 12k mile ’05 Maybach 62 from a New York dealer for $229k (or less); down $156,600 from the as-new ’07 price of $386,500 (without options). The Maybach’s forty percent depreciation suffers in comparison to “lightly used” examples of the popular Rolls Royce Phantom (27%), or a very bad night at the craps table. Sure, buyers at this price point can afford to take the hit, but that doesn’t mean they want to.

The best indication that Maybach is a floundering division: dealers are leasing them to hotels. When your most exclusive model becomes a glorified Lincoln Town Car, you’re done. Well, perhaps not. If Maybach builds the Exelero, there’s a shot. If ever there was a high-priced motor car that speaks of bespoke, the extreme Exelero is it. Why Maybach is NOT building the Exelero is a mystery almost as profound as why they started this whole business in the first place.  

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66 Comments on “Wither Maybach?...”


  • avatar
    ash78

    You can’t apply common sense, value, and depreciation to the mentality of people who buy these cars, so why try? Or maybe you can, which could explain the slump…but then again, I’m not of the consumption class that might ridicule a person’s A8 purchase as if it were a Chevy Aveo. These make about as much sense as quite a few Ferraris and Lambos–ie, you can buy much cheaper cars with similar performance–but I just don’t see luxury cars as being able to maintain that same cachet and emotional appeal as the Italian supercars. When Rolls and Bentley own the name recognition AND make a better value car, where do you go?

    dealers are leasing them to hotels
    Enjoy our livery with some fava beans and a nice Chianti :D

  • avatar
    JJ

    dealers are leasing them to hotels.

    Did someone say fleet sales??? rental??? :)

    Never liked the thing. Hugely overpriced version of the already not so great value S-class (especially the previous S-class) with little distinguishing features.

    They CAN’T build a new model yet either…there’s not enough “new quality” and technology in the meantime to make a new model for it. Which was kind of the concept for the first one, best quality and most technically advanced car (unfortunately, it wasn’t, at least not long). Besides, if they would make a new model, this one would be worth about $3…(ok, maybe a little more).

    Still though, in a view decades, I think this will be looked at as a great car and engineering feat, much like the 600 Pullman (the old one). It’ll be worth more than the Roller.

  • avatar
    kasumi

    Thanks for the article.

    Everyday I see one of these going being driven home. Previously by the owner, now by a chaffeur in a cap. Its drive is about 2 miles. How much plasma screen watching or seat massaging can be done in that time? Sometimes when I am picking up the baby it gets behind my 7 year old Volvo and I just wonder – why? There are a bunch of other cars that do the same thing and look better without screaming “Pass the Grey Poupon!”

    K.

  • avatar
    audimination

    Everybody keeps asking why? why buy this? why get it when you can get better performance/etc. AND better value somewhere else.

    You must remember, this car is not just bought because it’s nice. It’s a car that’s bought so the owner can tell people “I’ve arrived”, “I’ve finally made it.” I’ve seen quite a few of these Maybachs on the road over the last few years, and I must say, without fail, it always belongs to a rapper and his posse. I think, people that want to pay for a car in that price-point, and want class, will undoubtedly go towards the Bentley/Rolls. The failure of the Maybach, in my opinion, was that it targeted the wrong market to make a quick buck, and that was the damning blow to it down the line…

  • avatar
    Ronan

    The problem is that it does not have a distinct enough identity from the S class. Bentley for example had a lot of the basic running gear from the VW Phaeton, but a very different market position.

    I don’t think there’s too much hope for Maybach.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Spot on – the market for uber-limos is very limited and very much attached to the strength of the brand which Mayback lacks. The design is completely lacking in imagination and comes off like a Korean interpretation of a late model S class limo. It just looks like they didn’t try very hard.

  • avatar
    Alex Rashev

    It looks like a Hyundai.

  • avatar

    I think the precipitous depreciation is because anyone who can afford a slightly used one, could also afford a brand new one. There’s so much customisation involved in buying a new one (they probably fly you out to Bavaria so you can personally shoot your own choice of cows for the leather) can you imagine going round to the used lot of the local Mercedes dealer with your mechanic buddy to check for oil leaks just to save a few $$$’s on $350k.

    Once used, their only value is as a curiosity.

  • avatar

    I never understood a car that looked like (and was) a dressed-up S-Class, which was then outclassed by the next S-Class.

    I got to see a 62 up close and personal in Vegas, and I didn’t see the extra money anywhere in the car. The new S-Class has as much visual presence, so the Maybach is a heavy, expensive rolling redundancy.

  • avatar
    ash78

    Zanary
    I never understood a car that looked like (and was) a dressed-up S-Class, which was then outclassed by the next S-Class.

    Yup. But then who buys an Audi A3 when the VW GTI 4-door is so much less money? Naturally, that analogy assumes there are people who see Mercedes as low-end, which is well outside of my realm.

  • avatar
    dolo54

    I’ve sat inside one… and it’s freakin nice. my favorite part. the trick sunroof that dims at the turn of a knob. I would like to see that feature in all my windows (car and house).

  • avatar
    bestertester

    after carguy and ronan have put it perfectly, there is not much left to say.

    except this: the maybach, with its advanced engineering and unlovely interior, is like a mcmansion built by a guy who knows everything about pipes, heating and airconditioning but nothing about architecture or style. it looks good on paper but bad in person.

    maybach could have done something bulthauptish, something in the tradition of bauhaus, but instead they made a stuttgart engineer’s interpretation of a luxury car. probably cliniced well in saudia-arabia though.

  • avatar
    tom

      1) The S in the 62S (and the 57S) doesn’t stand for sport, but for “Spezial” (=special, in case you wondered). 2) I think the main problem of Maybach is indeed its styling. Other than that, it beats the competition (Rolls Royce) pretty much everywhere. The second problem of course is the lack of a brand identity, 60 years after they stopped producing cars. 3) I see another way for the brand. Obviously they should redesign their lineup drastically, but maybe they should try to truly go back to their origins. I don’t know how much people know about Wilhelm Maybach, but he was the mastermind behind Daimler’s firs motor car. It was his genius in engineering that made it possible, to build engines small enough to build a car around them. After Daimlers death he left the company to establish his own. He wanted to concentrate on engine development since he figured that the increasing number of manufacturers at the beginning of the 20th century couldn’t all finance all the R&D to develop their own motors and he thought that in the future, car manufacturers would buy their engines from subcontractors. Obviously he was wrong and Maybach only sold engines once to Spyker. So Maybach started advertising his engines by building his own cars, but more like a coachbuilder. They offered their different engines on different platforms which could be combined with a number of different coaches. So there were few Maybachs that ever looked the same. If Maybach would go back to that more coachbuilder like existence, I think it could help them. Of course the price would rise even more, but I guess that all the potential buyers have enough of that anyway. Another way would be to go downmarket and do it like Bentley. All their new offerings are basically VW Phaetons. So Maybach could do the same and base some additional models on the S-Class. But in any case Maybach has to drastically improve their design and above all differentiate themselves more from Mercedes…or die. By the way, the original “Maybach Motorenbau” lives on to this day in form of the “MTU Friedrichshafen”. They returned to their origins and only build commercial engines after cars weren’t profitable for them anymore. Here are some pics of pre-war Maybachs in case anybody is interested. I think they really built some great vehicles. The only way of todays Maybach is to recapture the spirit those cars of the past had: http://www.maybach.de/images/182_1.jpg (1931) http://www.maybach.de/images/38.jpg (1932) http://www.maybach.de/images/194.jpg (1933) http://www.maybach.de/images/248.jpg (1935) http://www.maybach.de/images/121.jpg (1938)

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    not having a spare 400k around, i never really looked at these cars Kinda bland, but i guess that was the idea. Certainly a curiosity when thet were introduced. At less than 200k , its still a curiosity. BUt i agree with the writer here who said that they will look fabulous in car shows in about 20 years.

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    I saw an article somewhere noting that Bugatti doesn’t have much of a future, either.

    I’ll suggest renaming this article Exotics (Maybach, Bugatti, etc.) Extinction Watch #1.

  • avatar
    NoneMoreBlack

    This was touched upon briefly by others, but I would ascribe the cliff face depreciation to, amongst other things, the intensely personal nature of buying this car. You’re paying all that money for not just a hotted up S-Class, but a custom tailored (500 HP) suit. Some day down the line you might sell that suit, but it will be difficult to find someone whom it fits well enough to justify the high price you have to charge given what you paid for it.

    The Phantom is similar, and you’ll notice that they are both depreciating to around the same amount; the Maybach simply started more expensive, and so had farther to fall. Thus, the lightly used examples go for around the same price as their next logical competition, a (relatively) non-personalized new high end S-Class.

  • avatar
    blue adidas

    This car might as well be called the Homermobile. It’s just ghastly. A well-known architect in my building used to be driven around in one. Actually, it sat with the driver idling the engine most of the day. But once it became synonomous with basketball players and Wall Street bonuses, he “downgraded” to an A8. He is much happier with the understated design of the Audi than he was with the unrefined new-money design of the Maybach.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    The best indication that Maybach is a floundering division: dealers are leasing them to hotels.

    OMG…that’s gotta hurt. The Town Car analogy is spot on.

    I never understood the allure of the original Maybach. Maybe that’s because I was born in the 1970s, but if I wanted to spend major coin on a custom body pre-war whip, its gonna be something French, Spanish, American, British or Italian. Aside from the Merc 500k, I just missed the “coolness” of German cars from this era.

    So when the new Maybach came out, I wasn’t too surprised it looked more like a Hyundai. IIRC, the Maybach’s design study was a car created by a group of Asian design students. I wish I had more info on it, not just my vague memory.

    No matter, I’m sure the business model is sound (no Maybach Death Watch, please! LOL) but the car just doesn’t work.

    (oh, and if anyone is getting offended: this Asian/German styling isn’t a race thing…its a “true to your heritage” and culture thing.)

  • avatar
    audimination

    “I saw an article somewhere noting that Bugatti doesn’t have much of a future, either.”

    Well, that’s not entirely true. The Bugatti thing was basically an internal struggle between the execs from Porsche and the execs from VW, with the Porsche execs trying to strongarm their VW counterparts right after they increased their stake in VWAG. Fortunately, VW has stated and restated that Bugatti is here to stay for the forseeable future, and that in fact they will be putting out a sort of mini-veyron which will be around the 200K price point…

  • avatar
    Ronan

    The Erdmann & Rossi-bodied cars of 1938 or so were just gorgeous… much lighter and more elegant than the big Benzes. I think one of the was best of show at Meadowbrook a few years ago..

  • avatar
    NickR

    I am relishing the thought of Maybach tanking. Mercedes would have been much better of investing time and money in improving the quality of their vehicles. Having a marquis car like the Maybach isn’t much good when the cars that most people buy have a/c, electrical, emissions and God knows what else problems. My C Class was the worst car I or anyone I know has ever owned.

    I knew Maybach was in trouble when they had some advertising tie-in with Donald Trump’s Apprentice.

    As an aside, I believe that Bugatti is in trouble…the Veyron has been plagued by production difficulties and a recent decision forcing them fo conform to US safety requirements is apparently a major crisis.

    A pox on both of them….dredging up storied names from the past always strikes me as an admission that they’ve run out of ideas.

  • avatar
    webebob

    I live in SoFlo and see nuff exotics to understand that I am not in the class to afford one, and accordingly to appreciate their finer points of design. (the Emperor has no clothes!) Rollers look like Peterbilts with that blunt front end and Bentley coupes don’t look apart enough from anything else to stand out from all the rest of the Euro and Asio lookalikes ( I first think “Crossfire” when I see one go past!; Maybachs are perhaps the worst offenderblenders: with all the rest of the swoopy shapes currently out there they are the chamelon, I don’t see them at all.

    JJ said it best: I bow down only to the original Mercedes 600 riders as mi-lords and mi-ladies of the realm. Everything else is a poseur or nouveau riche ride.

  • avatar
    Terry Parkhurst

    A woman who is as dear to me as if she was my own mother, 82 year old mom of my best friend from high school, was born in Germany and came over in the aftermath of World War II, married to a GI. When I mentioned the return of Maybach to her, she piped right up; she remembered the grand old cars of the Thirties. It led me to look up the marque and discover that after leaving Mercedes, 100 years ago, Wilhelm Maybach collaborated with Graf Zeppelin to build aero engines for airships. (Mr. Maybach also built marine and motorcycle engines, before debuting a car in 1921.) This is all good and well for those of us who love automotive history; but sad to say, many of those who buy luxury cars could care less. I think it is the same thing which will ultimately do in Bugatti: the name has been off the market for too long to mean much to anyone who might buy the marque. There's that, and also the fact that indeed the new S-class is an uber-wagon. It even looks more than a bit like the current Maybach (saw one on the street one evening and did a double-take trying to decide if it was a Mercedes or a Maybach). However, I don't think giving Maybachs to hotels will hurt them; anything they could do to make the name something other than an interesting footnote to automotive history might – just "might" – help Maybach survive another year or two.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    What I like about modern Maybachs is, if you don’t understand their appeal, they are not for you.

    Seriously — no one who has ever sat in teh back seat of a 62 would have an ill thing to say about these grand cars.

    That said — they should have built the Excelero.

  • avatar
    Sid Vicious

    Homermobile? Mmmmmmmmm…..Maibock…ruby red fermented malt beverage……

    (Blank stare, eyes rolled back in my head, drool)

    Sorry – couldn’t resist.

  • avatar

    Maybach sponsored the last Newport RI Concours D'Elegance (pictures of which are in Terry Parkhurst's most recent post on car collecting). The last place you want to park a Maybach is next to an Auburn Boattail Speedster or a Cadillac V16 or any pre-war behemoth. The Maybach is instantly revealed for what it is: a 70's upmarket German hotel lobby/presidential suite on wheels. Now the Exelero… If TTAC was a car, it would be an Exelero. At least, I'd WANT it to be.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    If TTAC were a car… I like that.

    I think you have a QOTD, Robert.

  • avatar
    Colinpolyps

    Seriously, why even bother reviewing cars in this class. Is there one reader of this site who could afford buy a copy? I’m sure most of us could get from here to wherever just as comfortably for about a quarter of the price and retire on the difference. Will North American sales reach the one dozen mark of a Hyundai look alike?

  • avatar
    jazbo123

    This is very upsetting to me, almost as bad as if the top of the line Lazzara yacht was going out of production.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Colinpolyps:

    Yeah, there are actually a number of readers (and a writer or two) who can afford cars just like this (eyes on you, Shoemaker).

    So, the question goes back to you; if you are not interested, why bother reading and commenting?

    As for me, I’ll keep scratching my lottery tickets, as I simply must have a Drophead Coupe. Possibly just for the name alone.

  • avatar
    willbodine

    What’s in a name? You can invent one from whole cloth (Edsel, Lexus), buy an existing brand and re-engineer it (RR and Bentley) or resurrect a name from the far distant past (Maybach, Bugatti) and attach it to modern technology. The success (or failure) is in the pudding, not the name. When the final Maybach (pronounced My-bock, not May-back) rolls off the assembly line, the post-mortem will have to include styling not far enough removed from the S Class and the drab, dour, somber colors used outside and in.

    Living in Palm Springs, one sees a lot of mega-buck rides around (I think PS ranks with Beverly Hills and Hong Kong for most Rolls/Bentleys per capita.) On a recent drive to nearby Palm Desert I saw 4 new Bentley Continentals (usually driven by women, for some reason) and I always find them eye-catching if maybe 90% of the size they should be.

    Mercedes has long had marketing problems caused by their strange, cumbersome alpha-numeric model name systems. Back in the 70’s, my awesome W116 6.9 (sort of an early day AMG S Class) was going to be named, correctly, a 690 SEL. But because the Grosser 600 was still in production (!) it wouldn’t do to have a lesser car with a bigger number, so they came up with the 450SEL 6.9 moniker. I guess the current use of the Maybach name was an attempt to go beyond this sort of situation.

  • avatar
    Slow_Joe_Crow

    The big problem is that no matter what they do it’s a glorified S class with styling that looks like the bastard offspring ofToyota Avalon and a Hyundai XG350.
    Bentleys may be based on A8/Phaeton architecture, but park an Arnage, an A8 and a Phaeton in a row and they are all different, plus the Phaeton looks doubly stupid, but that’s another rant for another story.

  • avatar
    gunnarheinrich

    Mr. Mehta > Yes, we do seem to have a morbid point of view here on TTAC.

    Mr. Farago > As for the Exelero – it’s a terribly odd car, but they’ve got to give us something else than what they’re pushing now.

    Slow Joe > You can rant about the Phaeton all you want – it’s a terrible premise and deserves the ranting.

  • avatar
    ash78

    You can safely criticize just about everything Phaeton except its styling. Along with its A8 platform-mate, those are two of the finest looking modern era cars out there. Far nicer, visually, than the Maybach IMHO. They look the way that class of car should look: Mellow and understated, but still large and imposing. Well above the Bangle 7 series and previous S-class.

    That’s the first time I’ve ever heard anyone call it ugly…

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    What?

    What on earth can you criticize about the Phaeton?

    That car is near-on perfect.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    What on earth can you criticize about the Phaeton?

    You can criticize the fact that it’s a $70,000 Volkswagen. It’s as insane an idea as a $70K Ford, or Chevy that isn’t a GT or Corvette.

    This brings me around to what I think was the greatest failure of the Maybach line. A potential owner is paying $300K for a car that really doesn’t deserve to be asking that much. It doesn’t have the pedigree of Rolls Royce or Bentley, it doesn’t have the technological ‘shock and awe’ of a Bugatti, and in the end, all you really had was a S-Class that looks more at home on the SEMA circuit than it does tooling old money patrons around upper Westchester. A good idea, but flawed execution, unfortunately.

  • avatar
    Ronan

    I drove two Phaetons for extended trips..a V6 (yes) in Europe and a W12 in Canada.
    Indeed the fit and finish was superb, but I found the experience very uninvolving and the car was so anonymous that it was suitable only for transporting Swiss diplomats.
    It was a car that was forgettable…hmm..what car was I talking about again?….

  • avatar
    gunnarheinrich

    Well put, Ronan & Quasimondo.

  • avatar
    Zarba

    Welcome to the dark side, Gunnar. You’re branching out, sir!

    Spot on about the Maybach. It’s going to whither and die, and DCX will be better for it. The 11/10ths S-Class styling really hurt, and the RR Phantom and Bentley Continental Flying Spur killed it.

  • avatar

    Frankly, if I had that much cash to spend on something that was distinctive, luxurious and exclusive, I’d find a 1966-70 Grand Mercedes limo and have it refitted. Those cars say “class.” Maybachs simply shout “nouveau riche.”

  • avatar
    dolo54

    I could criticize the styling of the phaeton. it’s boring… if you’re gonna spend 70k on a car you want a little something, perhaps you’re an understated stealth-wealth type of guy, but even still, the phaeton is just dull looking. that’s one of the main reasons they haven’t sold, that and the fact that nobody thinks vw=luxury.

  • avatar
    blue adidas

    Seriously — no one who has ever sat in teh back seat of a 62 would have an ill thing to say about these grand cars. ”

    I’ve sat in one. They’re like rolling screening rooms. Tacky and overwrought.

    “You can criticize the fact that it’s a $70,000 Volkswagen. It’s as insane an idea as a $70K Ford, or Chevy that isn’t a GT or Corvette.”

    Ford successfully sold a $150k+ exotic car. But there is a clear reason that this car was worth it. The problem is that a $100k+ sedan is a combination of emotion and snobbery, not just go-fast emotion. Understandably, people just couldn’t get past VW’s “people’s car” stigma when they could walk over to Audi and buy a fantastic, better performing aluminum-bodied A8 for less. The earthy-yuppie-crunchy “I’ll give money to the homeless before I buy an expensive car” VW brand is incongruent with the customer shopping for sedans costing this much.

    Regardless, the Phaeton is gorgeous, inside and out. Now you’re seeing a lot of its design cues in other cars today. Too bad it just didn’t make any sense in the marketplace.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    There was nothing wrong with the Phaeton.

    The problem was Volkswagen.

  • avatar
    kasumi

    I remember my local VW dealership had the buy a Phaeton get a free Jetta offer.

    People spending $100,000+ on a car did not want to be treated to the same crappy service prevalent through VW’s US dealers.
    Did they really expect these people to sit in smoke-filled waiting rooms- I remember my mom buying her baby blue Beetle in 1976 and waiting in the unchanged room while having my Passat serviced 20 years later! Watching Jerry Springer while you wait for a 3 hour oil change (oh you’re cars been done for an hour – we just were too busy to let you know) probably doesn’t appeal to Phaeton buyers. Hell, it doesn’t appeal to measly stripped Rabbit buyers.

    K.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Phaeton may have started as a $70K VW, but was a $40K VW a year later. At that price, a bargain.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    From Farago

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1530

    From Dan Neil

    http://tinyurl.com/yg4ntb

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    it is interesting that a lot of people here are talking about the VW Phaeton, after a piece about $350,000 cars… seems VW has got the right neighborhood anyway!

    I would buy a Phaeton in a New York minute if i see one for 40K. They are simply gorgeous on the inside, which is where I sit anyway. You can say what you want about the outside, I dont care. Personally, I’d rather look out of my car and see new Mustangs, which are beautiful on the outside, no so much on the inside. So it all works out.

  • avatar
    roadracer

    The new Mustangs are not beautiful inside or out. Not even close. I can’t wait for the day the retro fad goes away and imaginative styling comes back.

  • avatar
    Voice of Sweden

    1 I never understood why DCX didn’t badge engineer this car as a Duesenberg in the USA. Mix in a little development made in the USA and Jay Leno would have promoted the “Duesenberg” like crazy. (Remember how he pushed the Maybach?) I belive this at least would have convinced some people in the Cadillac/Lincon-crowd to buy it.

    2 I find it very interesting to analyze what it takes to have success in the Auto industry. DCX made the Maybach and is struggeling. VAG and BMW made the new fine Bentleys and RR:s that are great and they are doing fine with their ordinary products as well. I don’t find this a surprise.

    3 willbodine: Maybach (pronounced My-bock, not May-back) … well not in German anyway …

    4 RR have been talking about something like a 200k EUR RR motor car. Let’s hope that they pull of a Phaeton/Continental and separates that car enough from the 7-series – which I guess will be it’s base. RR have had a small and a large car on sale at the same time before – so that’s no problem – i.e. ending sales of the Phantom VI in 1990.

    5 And as Mr Lieberman touched, in the Phantom Drophead Coupé, Mr Shoemaker could have found what he has been looking for – a great V12. Personally I would still go for the ordinary Phantom. It’s more beautiful (at least I think so) and Sweden is no cabriolet country. I’d have it in this

    colour .

    6 As a final note I would like to comment on the Phaeton. If this car could have made it anywhere it would have been in Sweden – a country where people are supposed to be ashamed of being rich. But it didn’t.

    Well, time to go back to IMEP and MBT.

  • avatar
    wsn

    People criticize the Lexus LS460 for sub-par handling compared to the 7-series or the AMG S. Now, in terms of luxury cruising, I suppose the LS460 should beat the 57 with all the unnecessary features that don’t short circuit themselves every 5 minutes.

  • avatar
    philbailey

    Activate “find in page” and instruct it to substitute the word Phaeton for the word Maybach and you could write the same article all over again.

  • avatar
    blue adidas

    “Activate “find in page” and instruct it to substitute the word Phaeton for the word Maybach and you could write the same article all over again.”

    Except that the Phaeton is a beautiful car. Just irrelevant. The Maybach is a relevant vehicle and could have succeeded if it weren’t so damn ugly.

  • avatar
    nino

    I don’t understand these cars much in the same way I didn’t understand my buddy’s excitement in being “chosen” to pay $100,000 over sticker for a USED Ferrari F430 (can you believe it? They picked MEEEEEEEEE!).

    I’m sure the interior is beautiful and the ride very comfortable, but these kind of cars are just show off pieces without any real connection to cars other than 4 wheels and a motor.

  • avatar
    ash78

    btw, my comment that “you can criticize anything about the Phaeton but the styling” was basically pointed at the timing and execution of the thing, plus the crappy dealers and relative heft compared to the Audi experience. But man, you’d be hard-pressed to find a nicer sub-$40k sedan on the market (~2 years old, low miles). Or $50k for the W12….drool!

    Forget flashiness, I’d rather be a Millionaire Next Door type. Flashiness is for the nouveau riche with high levels of insecurity and debt ;)

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    I’ve been LOTS of W12 Phaeton’s with about 20,000 miles on the clock going for $33,000 or so.

    Yes, I’ve been looking.

  • avatar
    nweaver

    Simon Cowell in an interview said he owned a Maybach 62. Why? Because its the best car to be driven in.

    Interestingly enough, Napa CA is a real hotbed of cars. But I’ve yet to see a Maybach on the road up here. There’s been some Bentley coupes, lots of ferraris, packs of lambos (and they do travel in packs), and the Z06 Vette is practically the local equivelent of the Camry in its ubiquity. But no Maybachs.

  • avatar
    nweaver

    Jerseydevil:

    Craigslist:
    2004 V8 50k miles, $39K: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/car/258261214.html

    2006 V8 12K miles, $52K: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/car/259328309.html

    Both at a dealer, so could probably dicker them down a lot.

  • avatar
    Voice of Sweden

    Why did DCX build the Maybach? The answer is testosterone as far as I can understand. DCX missed out on buying RR/Bentley – they were in the game in the beginning. So they had to go for plan B – Maybach. Why? For good and bad – big balls matter in the German auto biz. For DCX not to have a mega expensive car would be a “shame”. You must realize how DCX see themselves – the oldest and the best. Then not to have a RR-competitior when BMW (“that Munich upstart”) have one would be unthinkable.

    Now one could suggest it would be an even greater shame to try and fail – but testosteronevice I’m not sure.

  • avatar
    Voice of Sweden

    Did WV intend to fail with the Phaeton? The name do come with a bagage. And even more so when the price of the car turns out to be the “stone” of the era. Sinking deep and fast. From wikipedia:

    The myth stated that Phaeton bragged to his friends that his father was the sun-god. His friends refused to believe him and so Phaeton went to his father Helios, who swore by the river Styx to give him anything he should ask for. Phaeton wanted to drive his chariot (the sun) for a day. Though Helios tried to talk him out of it, Phaeton was adamant. When the day came, Phaeton panicked and lost control of the white horses that drew the chariot. First it veered too high, so that the earth grew chill. Then it dipped too close, and the vegetation dried and burned. He accidentally turned most of Africa into desert; burning the skin of the Ethiopians black. Eventually, Zeus was forced to intervene by striking the runaway chariot with a lightning bolt to stop it, and Phaëthon plunged into the river Eridanos.

    In marketing terms the Phaeton is a failed upward stretch. But still – it can surely be a great car to drive and own.

  • avatar

    The 600 Limousine had much more presence than the modern Maybach. This can be seen in the opening scene in X-Men: The Last Stand. In the opening scene, Charles Xavier pulls up to the Grey residence in a 600 . Compare this scene with the later scene when the Maybach appears. The 600 looked special. On the other hand, the Maybach merely looks like a large sedan.

  • avatar
    Voice of Sweden

    JCHENNAV – talking about Mercedes and impressive cars you allways end up in the 770
    770k Google Image Search
    Wikipedia on the 770
    And perhaps that’s where we’ve found the reason why Mercedes have “problems” with really large luxury cars. They could never make something like the Phantom Drophead Coupé without people thinking “Hitler”. So they make something like the
    Mercedes Ocean Drive which mostly look like a stretched Volvo C70.

  • avatar
    Somethingtosay

    1. The Maybach would have done better as a Mercedes.

    2. I have never seen the appeal of the Excelero.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    Jonny Lieberman:
    January 10th, 2007 at 12:38 pm
    I’ve been LOTS of W12 Phaeton’s with about 20,000 miles on the clock going for $33,000 or so.

    Yes, I’ve been looking.

    I am is such trouble. This magnificent road car for the price of… most everything else. I am real trouble. I would probably buy the 8 tho… i am scared to death about maintence on the 12. Should I be? or go for broke with the 12? (no pun intended).

  • avatar
    Driven em All

    I don’t know why everybody’s comparing Maybach to Bentley, etc. That’s not what the owners do- they likely own 5+ more cars, so it’s not an either-or issue for those in that league. If you’d driven Maybach against its competition (didn’t see anyone here talking about seat time extending beyond that of an auto show), you might be able to offer a better informed opinion.

    Exelero would be fantastic.

  • avatar
    Voice of Sweden

    Driven em All:
    January 12th, 2007 at 2:16 pm
    I don’t know why everybody’s comparing Maybach to Bentley, etc. That’s not what the owners do- they likely own 5+ more cars, so it’s not an either-or issue for those in that league. If you’d driven Maybach against its competition (didn’t see anyone here talking about seat time extending beyond that of an auto show), you might be able to offer a better informed opinion.

    I respect your opinion, but I belive the term “what other people think of it” is even more important for luxury cars than ordinary cars. So if the public sees the Maybach

  • avatar
    jthorner

    The Maybach was a bad idea from day 1.

    Then again, anyone who thinks that the current Rolls Royce offerings are good looking cars needs a taste transplant :).

    Bentley is probably the one to own in this vehicle category if one absolutely must spend silly amounts of money for a sedan.

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