Rare Rides: The 2012 Maybach 57 S Coupe by Xenatec, as Ordered by Muammar Gaddafi
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.
Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.
More by Corey Lewis
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- RobbyG $100k+...for a Jeep. Are they selling these in fantasy land?Twin turbo inline 6 paired to an 8-speed transmission. Yet still only gets 14mpg.Whatever money you think you would save over a V-8 will be spent 2-3x amount fixing these things when they blow up.
- Alan Well the manufacturers are catching up with stocks. This means shortages of parts is reducing. Stocks are building around the world even Australia and last year had the most vehicles ever sold here.
- Larry You neglected to mention that the 2024 Atlas has a US Government 5-Star Safety Rating.
- Alan Why is it that Toyota and Nissan beat their large SUVs (Patrol/300 Series) with an ugly stick and say they are upmarket? Whilst they are beating the vehicles with an ugly stick they reduce the off road ability rather than improve it.As I've stated in previous comments you are far better off waiting for the Patrol to arrive than buy an overpriced vehicle.
- Alan How many people do you see with a 4x4 running mud tyres? How many people do you see with a 4x4 running massive rims and low profile tyres? How many people have oversize mirrors for towing once in a blue moon? How many 4x4s do you see lifted? How many people care what tyres they run to save fuel? The most comfortable tyres are more or less the most economical.