By on February 24, 2021

Today’s Rare Ride is a custom-built version of an already-exclusive car. Originally a large sedan, Xenatec’s 57 S coupe was built only in the single digits.

And this particular example was ordered by a dictator.

The Maybach 57 was the smaller of two sedans offered by the resurrected Maybach marque in 2002. The brand was brought back to life by Mercedes, who felt there was a market for ultra-luxury German sedans to compete with the likes of Rolls-Royce and Bentley, British sedans which were (for the most part) also German underneath.

Though Mercedes had moved on to the W220 S-Class by the time Maybach came to market, both its sedans were based on the prior W140 S-Class from the Nineties. The standard 57 and longer 62 were fitted with all sorts of wood, leather, suede, and luxury appointments like champagne glasses, curtains from a conversion van, and a glass roof that turned from clear to opaque at the push of a button. These features combined for a look that was terribly dated by about 2007.

Intended to be as expensive and exclusive as possible the 57 started at around $366,000, and the 62 sold for an eye-watering $431,000. Keep in mind these are base prices, and the S “special” upscale models asked $417,000 and $492,000, respectively. Above either of those was the 62-based Landaulet version, which had a retractable roof and came with granite trim and other things for $1,350,000.

Mercedes found over the years that a remodeled Nineties S-Class for a half-mil was a bit less than a hot seller, and Maybach moved just over 3,000 of them between 2002 and 2012. After that, Maybach shifted to a trim-level focus and set to work luxing up other Mercedes vehicles.

Meanwhile, enter Xenatec. In fall 2010 the German customization firm announced they were in development of a 57 S coupe, intended to be even more exclusive than the standard Maybach. At $934,000, the coupe was slightly less practical for people and your finances than its standard half-priced sibling. Two doors vanished, and the 57’s rear track increased by .8 inches. Front and rear windows were also relaxed in their rake, and the new form factor necessitated changing out nearly every exterior panel. Interiors were reworked as well per customer preference and included multi-toned leather and dark trim everywhere.

The coupe used the larger of Maybach’s factory engine options: a 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 good for 621 horsepower and 737 lb-ft of torque. It used the same (very sturdy) five-speed automatic as the 57, and Xenatec promised a top speed of 172 miles per hour. Fuel economy was around 10 in the city if you were light on the throttle and just over 21 on the highway, but honestly, that didn’t matter.

Xenatec set about building their coupes, and each was built-to-order in a limited run of eight examples. One Mister Gaddafi of Libya was interested in the Xenatec design and placed his order in 2010. Unfortunately by the time his new coupe was ready in 2012 he was a bit dead. He selected a very beige and cream exterior color scheme, which was carried through to the super-lux interior. His never-delivered Xenatec is for sale presently in Germany for $1.169 million.

[Images: Xenatec]

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