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Considering the size of the 2007 Maybach 57's price it ought to be one of the world's great motoring machines and it is both luxurious and spectacularly quick. But it lacks the visual impact of cars like the Rolls-Royce Phantom.
Ludicrously luxurious, exquisitely built, extremely powerful, gorgeous ride, handles well for its size.
Ludicrously expensive, weighs 3 full tons, big enough to be unwieldy in traffic, too many pieces from Mercedes-Benz parts bin, anonymous styling.
Available 57 Sedan Models
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Following the introduction of the even faster 57 S model last year, the 57 returns for 2007 unchanged. Except, of course, since every Maybach is made to order and almost any owner's whim may be indulged, there's probably something new and distinct about every individual Maybach that's built.
Everything about the 2007 Maybach 57 ultra-luxury sedan seems larger than life. After all, the "57" name derives from this car's 5.73-meter length. That's 225.3 inches of sedan; 2.9 inches longer than a Chevy Suburban. And at more than 6,000 pounds, the Daimler-Benz-built 57 actually weighs about the same, too. If luxury was based solely on the size of the shadow a vehicle cast, the 57 would win the title of world's most luxurious sedan based on that alone. That is if its even-longer brother the Maybach 62 weren't around to outstretch it.
Because the 57 is the shorter of the two Maybachs, the manufacturer assumes it's more likely to be driven by its owners than the chauffer-ready 62. Last year, Maybach introduced the 57 S model which, thanks to a few tricks by Mercedes' in-house tuner AMG, has had the output of its twin-turbo V12 bumped up from a merely stupendous 550 horsepower to a truly mind-boggling 612 hp. It's simply (along with its brother the 62 S) the most powerful production sedan on Earth. That's not even the lavish part of the Maybach 57.
Virtually every reasonably conceivable luxury is part of the Maybach package. The leather on the seats must come from cows that spent their lives in a spa; the wood veneers decorating the interior seem to come from an enchanted forest; the chrome pieces have the luster of surgical instruments; and all the technology aboard works with serene confidence. Then beyond all that is the unreasonably inconceivable luxury that's been crammed aboard. Things like the small refrigerator in the back to cool champagne, the 12 different ambient lighting schemes, the feather-stuffed pillows attached to each head restraint, the redundant set of instrumentation set into the roof so rear-seat passengers can monitor what's going on and curtains for the side and rear windows. There are more features – a lot more – but there's only so much room on Edmunds' servers to list them.
But despite the 2007 Maybach 57 and 57 S being among the most lavish and expensive production cars ever built, they don't really look it. The styling is conservative and in the style of late-'90s Mercedes-Benz models. Sure there's a dignity to these cars' appearance that should keep them from ever looking dated, but there's also a lack of visual firepower. And by the time you've finally engineered the successful coup d'état that puts you in a position to afford a Maybach, you probably have a real affection for firepower – visual or otherwise.
The 2007 Maybach 57 is a premium luxury sedan. There are two styles, the regular 57 and the 57 S. The difference between the two relates mainly to what type of engine is installed. While there is such a thing as "standard equipment" in any Maybach, each of these cars is tailored to its buyer's own whims and, as long as that buyer is willing to write a large enough check, virtually anything is possible. Just head to a Maybach "Studio" (located within select Mercedes dealerships) and pour out your dreams to the on-hand consultants. Here's a tip: Bring your black American Express card and save yourself the hassle of carrying cash.
Both the Maybach 57 and 57 S are powered by versions of the twin-turbocharged V12 Mercedes-Benz uses in some of its loftiest high-end vehicles. The 5.5-liter V12 in the 57 produces 543 hp while the 6.0-liter version in the 57 S is rated at 604 hp. In either case the engine feeds a standard five-speed automatic transmission and then the rear wheels. Maybach claims a 57 S will scat from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in about 5 seconds.
Maybach models come with a standard complement of 10 airbags. Beyond the two adaptive-technology bags in front there are side airbags for the front and rear passengers and side curtain airbags that span both front and rear. Naturally the 57 and 57 S benefit from all Mercedes' current stability and traction control technologies.
Like the exterior, the Maybach interior is conservatively styled but extravagantly detailed. Besides the beautiful leather and exquisite woods that decorate the cabin, there are features like a reclining rear seatback, workstation tables for rear-seat passengers, two separate and isolated air-conditioning systems for front and rear passengers, a refrigerator for cooling appropriate beverages and special holders for champagne flutes. Rear passengers, besides being informed by their own instrumentation in the ceiling, have total command over their environment via a button-laden center console.
The 2007 Maybach 57 drives like the large car that it is. Having said that, these are very sweet large cars with an amazing amount of power that easily overcomes their thick mass. Both the 57 and the 57 S are seriously quick. When the roads get curvy is when the great weight works against the Maybachs; there's just no way to keep 3 tons from wallowing a bit when it comes to transitioning from a corner. These are cars built to deliver diplomats to a meeting of the World Bank, not set a low lap time at the Nürburgring.
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