Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet is the ultimate safari machine
14 February 2017 - Autoblog
Vehicles such as the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6 and G500 4x42 are all well and good, but they have one key issue: They simply aren't extravagant enough.
Now we know that sounds insane because one of those vehicles has six driven wheels and the other is available in tennis-ball green. But they must not be decadent enough because Mercedes went a step further with the new Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet.
While the most obvious change here is the soft-top, which will make this perfect for the wealthy to view wildlife on private safaris, we should start under the hood. The previous two monster G-Wagens made do with lowly V8s. This one features a twin-turbocharged V12 making 630 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque. Like its predecessors, this G650 uses a four-wheel-drive system with front, center, and rear differential locks, and sends power to solid portal axles front and rear. These axles move the differential and drive axles above the wheel centers for additional ground clearance.
Inside, the rear passengers will be in the lap of luxury, even while the driver is navigating particularly harsh terrain. The soft top can be electrically raised or lowered, as can a glass partition to the driver's compartment. The two individual rear seats can be fully reclined, and leg rests deploy from below, taking full advantage of the truck's long wheelbase. This would likely make for an amazing vehicle for stargazing. The passengers also have access to folding tables, 10-inch LCD displays, and heated, cooled, and illuminated cup holders.
Only 99 of these G650s will be built. Mercedes will show the SUV at this year's Geneva show, and it will hit the market this fall. Mercedes hasn't announced pricing, but expect it to be exorbitant. Not that that matters for American buyers, since a Mercedes representative told us it won't be offered in the States. For buyers in countries where the G650 will be available, they will have the option of four interior color schemes, three soft-top colors, and four paint hues.