Having failed to revive Maybach as a standalone nameplate in the 2000s, Daimler has repurposed it as an arm of Mercedes-Benz. Tasked with taking Mercedes S-Classes and making them fit for a dictator, it offers a range of gloriously overblown limos spearheaded by the long wheelbase S600 Pullman. The lineup even caters to sun-loving billionaires – at least it does now, with the launch of the Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet in LA.
Just like the Mercedes-Maybach S600, the Cabriolet has been designed to deliver unrivaled luxury. Even compared to the regular S-Class, Maybach takes things to another level with its design and materials, all of which can be tweaked to meet the buyer's deepest, darkest desires. It's private jet luxury at sea-level, life in the Hamptons distilled into a car.
Like any good private jet, the Cabriolet doesn't want for power. There's a 6.0-liter V12 under the hood, making 463 kW (630 hp) of power and a nice, round 1000 Nm (738 lb.ft) of torque. Although outright performance is largely irrelevant here, it's powerful enough to hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.1 seconds, with a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).
Unlike the average private jet, the roof on the Cabriolet is made of folding fabric, just like the regular S-Class Convertible. Passengers are able to cruise around in a quiet, secluded bubble when it's up, although you can still expect a bit more road noise to sneak through than you'd get in the hardtop variant. Even when the roof is down, Mercedes says the wind deflector and draught stopper both work to keep things quiet in the cabin.
Moving away from the sumptuous interior, subtlety is the name of the game when it comes to Maybach design. Although the front bumper and rear diffuser are new, the S650 doesn't change too much compared to the more mundane S65 AMG Cabriolet with which it shares an engine and chassis. The main tweak is a set of 20-inch chrome wheels, which walk the tightrope between garish bling and classic beauty like few other designs on the market.
Just 300 examples of the S650 Cabriolet will be built, with prices starting at €300,000 (US$320,220). For people who like the look but can't come up with the funds, it will be on display at the Los Angeles Motor Show.
Take a quick look at the Cabriolet in the teaser video from Mercedes below: