First Look – Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet
Brand’s First Off-Roader Features Portal Axles, V-12, and Wacky Half-Convertible Roof
The Mercedes-Maybach brand of luxury automobiles is getting its first SUV variant, based on the legendary G-Class off-roader. Called the G650 Landaulet, this wild creation was seemingly created by putting the best features of both Maybach and the G-Class into a blender and mixing it all up into one massive package. The ostentatious creation is a little (okay a lot) ungainly, but it’ll undoubtedly be equal parts capable and luxurious.
The most obvious change between this and a conventional G-Class is the half-cabriolet roof, mounted on a body with a wheelbase that’s been extended nearly 23 inches. The convertible top replaces the SUV’s rear windows and spans the roof above and aft of the rear doors. Maybach-specific exterior styling touches are limited to lovely double-M badging on the C-pillar and “MAYBACH” script above the G650’s left taillight. Blind-spot visibility with the roof up looks to be dreadful, aided only slightly by triangular quarter-windows in the relocated D-pillar. Out back, a swinging spare tire blocks part of the view from the glass rear window. We have to admit, it’s not a particularly pretty vehicle; top up, the G650 Landaulet resembles a military troop carrier, an impression furthered by the elevated stance.
Speaking of stance, the Maybach G-Class rides on the same portal axles found in the G63 AMG 6x6 and G500 4x4-2. Mercedes boasts nearly 20 inches of ground clearance with the G650 Landaulet, a curious superlative since most of these SUVs will be destined to a life of ritzy nights on the town rather than off-roading. The G650’s 6.0L twin-turbo V-12 will undoubtedly impress friends, neighbors, and power-hungry valets, and it puts out 630 hp and 738 lb-ft. G-Class–signature locking front, center, and rear differentials will help the 36-inch Pirelli Scorpion ATR tires put all that twist to good use.
What makes this G-Class a legitimate Maybach is its undeniably luxurious interior. The longer wheelbase is put to use in the rear seats, which are mounted against the convertible roof’s bulkhead. The individual bucket seats include La-Z-Boy–grade leg rests and recliners, separated by a large business console with heated and cooled cupholders and deployable tables. Maximizing rear-seat comfort is standard multicontour seating that features a hot-stone massage function. The rear seating area also includes a front bulkhead and roll-up glass partition that changes from clear to opaque at the press of a button.
Twin glove compartments (which appear maddeningly asymmetrical) sit in front of the rear passengers, as do individual entertainment system screens. The bulkhead between front and rear passengers has been styled to look like a dashboard with HVAC controls, grab handles, and buttons for the interior lighting and roof.
Predictably, most of the interior (both front and rear) is swathed in luxurious, quilted designo leather, available in four different two-tone color schemes. Even the deployable picnic tables have genuine leather inserts, which provides a comfortable writing surface, according to Mercedes. Contrast stitching is tastefully done, appearing on the door panels, seat bolsters, and dashboard/bulkhead trim. The seat inserts and door cards are quilted beautifully, and Mercedes-Maybach’s modern styling details look surprisingly good in the G-Class’ boxy, upright interior.
Production of the first-ever Maybach SUV will be limited to just 99 units, and you can bet each will cost a pretty penny. Considering it features the engine from a Mercedes-AMG G65, the portal axles from a G63 6x6, the luxurious interior of Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, and an bespoke folding cabriolet roof, we predict each G650 to demand at least $500,000, if not more. That’s definitely a big chunk of cash for a somewhat unattractive piece of machinery, but Mercedes will probably sell every one they build. Those lucky owners are in for a very capable, comfortable ride.