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29 November 2023

A Study in the world of luxury driving

By Maha Obeid



In any recent ranking of the world’s most luxurious cars, the Landaulet Study from Maybach (pictured above) would be listed at the top. The vehicle, which offers customers a combination of two million options, premiered at the Middle East International Motor Show in Dubai last month. It is a one-of-a-kind and is a design concept aimed at the world’s super-wealthy.


The prototype is based on the Maybach 62S, which claims to be the world’s most powerful series-produced chauffeured saloon. The design also integrates elements from its Mercedes-Benz sister brand.


The Study brings new meaning to the word exclusive – if the car goes into production, only 20 will be built and each car will be built to the owners’ exact specifications.


Julian Millward-Hopkins, spokesman for Mercedes-Benz Cars and Daimler in the Middle East and Levant, said the sky was the limit when it came to specifications – and the price range starts at 900,000 euros (Dh4.9 million). That figure does not even take into account the chauffeur you will need to drive it – the car is built as a chauffeured car, complete with different interiors in the passenger and chauffeur compartments. As part of the chauffeured lifestyle, there is a glass panel separating the passengers and chauffeur. But when the passengers want privacy, at the touch a button the panel becomes opaque, using the technology of a liquid crystal membrane embedded in the glass.


In the tradition of Landaulets, it features a folding roof for the passengers sitting in the rear, while the chauffeur’s compartment remains enclosed. The Maybach engineers designed the car with precision – opening and closing the roof takes only 16 seconds.


The seats rival those in a luxury jet – the interior features two large, single seats, which allow even very tall passengers to enjoy a reclining position. The leather interior of the Maybach 62S has been redesigned to feature black leather in the chauffeur’s compartment and white leather in the passengers’ compartment. Also, for the chauffeur’s compartment, all the interior trim is surfaced in black piano lacquer, and for the extensive leather appointments Maybach has used particularly exclusive, glossy Stromboli black leather. In contrast Maybach has fitted the passenger compartment almost completely in exquisite Seychelles white leather. The footwell and roof liner are also in white – the floor is carpeted in white velour and the roof lined with white fabric. A dramatic contrast is provided by inserts and decorative trim in glossy, black piano lacquer or exclusive black granite with numerous gold inclusions. This design theme is mirrored in the white 50.8cm wheels, specifically manufactured for the Study.


The last thing on your mind will be the traffic snarls in Dubai, as the Study doubles as a comfortable lounge complete with drinks and entertainment. Two ultra-modern automatic climate-control systems, whose parameters have been adapted to the Landaulet Study, ensure that open-air travel remains a pleasure even under adverse climatic conditions, such as the intensely hot summers in the UAE.


As in the Maybach 62S, the rear console is the centrepiece for entertainment, communications and relaxation: a DVD-player, six CD-changer, a cooler compartment with its own electric compressor and an intelligent system which holds glasses, goblets and bottles safely in position.


As with all Maybach saloons, it has built on and improved the Mercedes-Benz innovations, which include the electronically controlled air suspension Airmatic DC (dual control), and ‘linguatronic’ voice control. Driving is guaranteed to be smooth, with a V12 engine and cutting edge engineering. Maybach engineers fine-tuned the uprated V12 engine for the Maybach 57S and Maybach 62S together with the specialists at Mercedes-AMG.


Thanks to twin turbochargers and water intercooling, the V12 develops a maximum output of 612 hp from a displacement of 5980 cubic centimetres. This is continuously available between 4,800 and 5,100 rpm, and the engine also delivers an impressive maximum torque of 1,000 newton metres between 2000 and 4,000rpm.


The technology behind the open roof in the rear compartment gives passengers the best view of the sky above. The technicians kept the Maybach’s side walls and invisibly reinforced them with an integral tubular steel structure. When closed the black soft-top of the Landaulet rests on the frame formed by the roof bows, and is wind and weather-proof. When you are not using your car, the chauffeur can enclose the folded roof, which conceals the mechanism from view.