Mercedes’ pricey G-Class

Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet

With the launch of the 2018 Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet, we’ve reached “peak ludicrous”, says Jens Meiners in Car and Driver. The team at Mercedes-Benz G started out with a basic G-Class off-roader, took the portal axles of the ultra-aggressive 4X4 version, stuffed the G65 AMG’s twin-turbocharged V-12 under the boxy hood, stretched the wheelbase by 22.8 inches and added the “first-class” rear seats from the Mercedes-Maybach S-class. “Sure, it’s a parts-bin production – but using only parts from the shelf above the top shelf. Cars don’t get much more extreme.”

Rear passengers in particular can “revel in a maximum of comfort”, boasts Mercedes. “At the press of a button, a large folding top opens electronically to offer a view of the blue sky.” “And the back is really where you’d probably want to be,” adds Vijay Pattni in Top Gear magazine. The individual rear chairs can be fully reclined and offer massage programmes and a calf rest. The business console’s cup holders allow passengers to have their chosen refreshment either cooled or heated. Press a button and a glass partition separates front and back passengers. Another push and the glass changes from clear to opaque.

While it might be a party in the back, “it’s all business up front”. The hiss of the AMG-sourced 621-hp V-12 is muffled and refined for this Maybach application, but it’s still clearly audible, serving as an appropriate indicator of the Landaulet’s performance capabilities, says Meiners. Mercedes claims the G650 will charge to 60mph in under six seconds, but could top 150mph if it weren’t limited to 112mph. “Speed is not the primary goal of this G-wagen, but if the order arrives from the rear seat, the chauffeur can hurl it forward with gusto.”

Mercedes will build just 99 Landaulets, and will sell them for a “yet-to-be revealed, certainly extraordinary cost”, says Wired (estimates of half a million pounds have been thrown around). Note too that the car won’t officially be sold in the US or UK. “So if you’re the 100th most ridiculous person in Dubai… better luck next time.”

Price: around £500,000
Engine: 6.0 litre twin-turbo V12
Power: 630bhp
Torque: 737lb ft
Top speed: 112mph
0-60mph: under six seconds