World’s most expensive SUV

MERCEDES-BENZ has combined luxury with off-roading for the ultimate SUV.

The German carmaker has unveiled a new Maybach with a retractable roof and a V12 engine, along with high-tech amenities such as thermal cup holders and folding tables stashed in the middle console.

Called Mercedes-Maybach G-Class 650, the firm unveiled the vehicle at the Geneva Auto Show and it has been deemed ‘the world’s most expensive SUV’ with a price tag of US$500 000 – and only 99 will be built.

“In 2015, we took the logical step of opening a new chapter in the luxury class with our Mercedes Maybach sub-brand,” said Dr Jens Thiemer, head of marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars.

“Since then, over 15 000 Mercedes-Maybachs have been produced. Hence, one in every ten vehicles sold in the S Class segment was a Mercedes-Maybach.“With the Mercedes-Maybach G Class Landaulet, we are now extending the Mercedes-Maybach portfolio to include the world’s most iconic and prestigious off-roader.” The US$500 000 SUV is Dailmer AG’s latest newcomer of its luxurious line, Maybach Marque, which was first released to meet the demand of higher-end models, reported Bloomberg Pursuits.

It boasts a V12 engine and a landaulet style – there is also a fabric roof that can be transformed into a convertible top. The vehicle stretches 5,3m, has a wheelbase of 3,4m and stands about 2,2m tall. Although the Maybach seats four passengers comfortably, those sitting in the back receive the best treatment – they have access to the retractable roof.

Riders simply press a button and the large folding top opens electrically to offer a view of the blue sky.

There is also a feature that electrically operates glass partition separates the rear compartment from the driver’s section. And the glass can be changed from transparent to opaque at the press of a button. There is also a large business console that houses folding tables and thermal cup holders between the seats.

The vehicle includes control for the rear air conditioning and two 25,4 cm high-resolution media displays.“This car meets the highest demands for luxury and yet still has all the elements that make the G-Class a real off-roader,” Gunner Guethenke, who heads Mercedes’s SUV business, told Bloomberg. Although the inside is built for luxury, the outside is designed to take on any terrain.“The portal axles provide ample ground clearance of 4,5 metres, allowing the open-top all-terrain vehicle to overcome even extreme obstacles in masterly fashion,” explained Mercedes.“In contrast to a conventional rigid axle, the wheels are not at the height of the axle centre, but are instead situated much further down on the axle heads owing to the portal transmission.”

“Electrically extending entry aids make for easier access to the vehicle.”

And the vehicle is positioned almost half-a-meter above the ground to tackle the toughest terrain.

The Mercedes-Maybach G-Class 650 also features the same 100 percent differential locks as the rest of the vehicles in its family, which can be engaged while the vehicle is in motion.

“The combination of this 4WD technology, unique in the off-road segment, makes the G 650 Landaulet stand out from all other 4×4 vehicles,” shared Mercedes.“High drive comfort comes courtesy of the most powerful available engine, the Mercedes-AMG V12 biturbo, which delivers a maximum output of 463kW (630hp) with a peak torque of 1 000Mn.”

The German car-maker plans to release the vehicle to the public after September. The G-Class has been around since 1979 and the name Maybach dates back to the beginnings of the automobile.“It stands for supreme luxury with tradition, combined with high-tech. And the story lives on,” said Dr Thiemer.

“The fifth model after the S-Class Saloon, Pullman and Cabriolet as well as the Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6 show car, underlines the importance of the Mercedes-Maybach sub-brand for the Mercedes brand family.” — Daily Mail UK.

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