MAYBACH - RIP
Production of Mercedes' uber-barge has ended, Shed here we come...
Slow demand scuppered Mercedes' dream of rivaling Rolls Royce with its immense limousine. Merc had targeted global sales of around 1,000 a year, but that settled at around 200. Last year just 46 found homes in Europe, compared to 472 for Rolls Royce and 1,774 for Bentley. The Mulsanne alone sold five times as many.
Despite a lot of carryover from Mercedes, including the 5.5-litre twin-turbocharged V12, the Maybach was suitably imperious with plenty of ooh-ahh features. We're thinking more of the lie-flat rear seats in the 62, rather than the hydraulically damped tissue holder.
The price was suitably over the top too, costing from £243,780.
But it just couldn't compete against the luxury British brands, albeit transformed by VW and BMW, which resonated far louder with the brand-conscious elite. The curiously bland looks didn't help either.
We knew the axe was likely to fall in November last year, when Merc boss Dieter Zetsche told a German newspaper that a successor to the 57/62 wouldn't be developed, but this is the confirmation. Not even the dubious celebrity status inferred on it by owner and Dragons' Den-izen Theo Paphitis (who wrapped his in mirrored silver) could save it.
Happily, there's nothing like obsolescence to hasten a luxury car's descent into the Barge Bargain thread and onward to Shed. Despite a brief moment of fame in 2009 when the 62S was judged the fastest depreciating car in Britain, losing £350 a day, prices are still fairly strong.
Cheapest in the classifieds is a 2003 57 with 35,800 miles going for £80,000 - that's £20k cheaper than the nearest RR Phantom, but still a long way from troubling a similar vintage S-class. Rarity could prevent a wholesale price collapse, in which case let us recommend a W12 VW Phaeton for £12k instead.