There isn't an automotive press release today that doesn't mention electrification somewhere, but it's still a surprise to read it in relation to Maybach. There it is, though, less than 100 words into the reams on the GLS and S-Class Edition 100 models: "The Mercedes-Maybach brand continues to develop, with more models - soon also electric."
The recent Concept EQS hinted at what the future Maybach could look like, and now we're told that it's coming in 2023 - followed soon after by an SUV. Clearly there was no way Rolls-Royce was going to have all the EV limelight this week...
Until that point, however, we have these Edition 100s, with V8 and V12 power. Both S-Class and GLS exist to mark a century since Wilhelm Maybach's eponymous company presented the W3 at the 1921 Berlin motor show. Described as "new models for real enthusiasts", the S and GLS Edition 100 are painted two-tone high-tech silver/nautical blue and feature design crystal white/silver grey pearl leather. Which sounds a nightmare for the driver to keep clean.
Additional extras include Edition 100 badges inside and out (including on the new design of alloy wheel), a bespoke branded car cover - yes, really - and "a fine handmade case of soft crystal white or black leather in file size". It's meant for storing keys of papers in, of course. For full Edition 100 kudos, buyers will be offered a diamond studded fountain pen and engraved champagne flutes unique to these special editions as optional extras.
Otherwise, the cars are standard, or at least as standard as any Maybach can be. The GLS is powered by the 557hp, 4.0-litre V8, though obviously it's the S-Class you'll be wanting thanks to the presence of the 612hp 6.0-litre V12 that can be found nowhere else. All-wheel drive for the first time and 18cm longer than even a long wheelbase S-Class, Maybach says the new model is "the perfect chauffeur driven saloon."
Predictably enough, just 100 of each model will be produced, with the Edition 100s going on sale at the end of this year. By the time all 200 are ordered, built and delivered, Maybach will be just about ready for its electric era, which promises to be as significant as the 2002 relaunch. And just as expensive, too. For a taste of the high life for a bit less, a V12 Maybach S-Class is available for £70k - and a 2005 original for little more than half that, if you're feeling brave...
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