WaBenzi, in the Bantu language of Swahili, denotes politicians; it literally means “the people who drive sầu in a Benz.” When was the last time a car made you feel upper-crusty? We’ve sầu just had that sensation while riding in the rear seat of the most over-the-top vehicle imaginable, brought khổng lồ you by the fine people at Mercedes-Benz, who took their iconic G-class and converted it inlớn the Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet.

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You read that Mã Sản Phẩm designation correctly: The team working under Dr. Gunnar Güthenke, CEO of Mercedes-Benz G (yep, the Geländewagen platform has its very own CEO), started out with a basic G-wagen, took the portal axles of the ultra-aggressive 4×4² version, stuffed the G65 AMG’s twin-turbocharged V-12 under the boxy hood, stretched the wheelbase by 22.8 inches, và added the “first-class” rear seats from the Mercedes-Maybach S-class. For good measure, the rear portion of the standard fixed roof has been replaced by a power-operated fabric top (last available nearly four years ago). Sure, it’s a parts-bin production—but using only parts from the shelf above the top shelf. Cars don’t get much more extreme. Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsbịt reacted with enthusiasm when he first saw the project and jacked up the production target, originally planned lớn be minuscule, khổng lồ 99 units.


There should be no problem selling that many, as our impressions from the baông xã seat of this behemoth were mostly favorable. Perched on polished 22-inch aluminum wheels shod with 325/55R-22 tires, this glitzy beast looks as if it could conquer anything—và it certainly has the mechanicals to lớn cash the check the styling writes. Rarely have we experienced a vehicle that tackles off-road challenges with such ease. Craggy rocks, nasty holes, và muddy swampy bogs are simply nonissues, và there is so much ground clearance—17.7 inches—that chances are any bush you drive sầu over will emerge unscathed. As with every G-class, a low-range transfer case is standard, as are locking front, center, và rear differentials.

The hiss of the AMG-sourced 621-hp V-12 is muffled và refined for this Maybach application, but it’s still clearly audible. It serves as an appropriate indicator of the performance capabilities: The G650 Landaulet will charge khổng lồ 60 mph in well under six seconds by Mercedes’ reckoning, and the company says it could top 150 mph if it weren’t governed at 112 mph (good idea, that). Speed is not the primary goal of this G-wagene, but if the order arrives from the rear seat, the chauffeur can hurl it forward with gusto lớn.

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The G650 Landaulet forward cabin is relatively unchanged from that of a regular & fully optioned G-wagen; the instruments & switches have been taken from various Mercedes vehicles, and the surroundings are charmingly old-fashioned, elemental, and a far cry from any other modern SUV.

The rear compartment tells an entirely different story. Those “first-class” Maybach seats can recline nearly flat, they feature a vigorous mas sa system, and they’re accompanied by fold-out tray tables, as well as silver champagne flutes, supplied by Robbe và Berking, hidden in a separate compartment. To underscore the flair of the G650—& the Landaulet nomenclature—the rear also contains a near copy of the G’s front center console and two glove compartments with covers identical to lớn the ones up front. There are eight grab handles, and the electrically operated partition goes from clear khổng lồ opaque with a flip of a switch. Two cuddly Maybach pillows complete the most lavish passenger compartment we’ve experienced since, well, ever.


The amply padded fabric top can be lowered electrically in about 20 seconds & only by comm& from the rear seat. One of the great appeals of this vehicle is doing precisely that, the better lớn stand up và survey the surroundings, to lớn enjoy a breath of fresh air, or simply lớn be seen by adoring throngs.

The G650 Landaulet won’t be sold in the United States, officially, although we’re sure that those with the right plutocratic tendencies và the right connections could find a way to lớn get one here through semiofficial channels. What good is money or power if it doesn’t alleviate such problems with a wave sầu of your wrist? The price remains a secret, but we’re guessing a G650 Landaulet could be yours for around half a million euros, or about $550,000 at today’s exchange rates. And while it is very convincing as a Maybach, it sure made us feel lượt thích one of the WaBenzi.

VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, all-wheel-drive sầu, 4-passenger, 4-door landaulet


ENGINE TYPE: twin-turbocharged & intercooled SOHC 36-valve V-12, aluminum bloông xã & heads, port fuel injection

Displacement: 365 cu in, 5980 ccPower: 621 hp
2300 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 7-speed automatic with manual shifting mode

DIMENSIONS:Wheelbase: 135.0 inLength: 210.4 inWidth: 82.7 in Height: 88.0 inCurb weight (C/D est): 7300 lb

PERFORMANCE (C/D EST):Zero lớn 60 mph: 5.8 secZero to lớn 100 mph: 16.4 secStanding ¼-mile: 14.5 secTop speed: 112 mph

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