Full 2010 Maybach 57 Review
What's New for 2010
For 2010, the Maybach 57 gains Bluetooth phone controls for rear passengers. Also, the special-edition Maybach 57 Zeppelin debuts.
The 2010 Maybach 57 is one of three models sold from the ultra-luxury division of Mercedes-Benz -- the others being the long-wheelbase 62 version and the quasi-convertible Laundaulet. Though the Maybach name dates back to the 1920s, the current iteration was launched back in 2002 when Mercedes-Benz saw a need to jump into the ultra-luxury-sedan segment while BMW and Volkswagen were gobbling up Britain's most storied automotive marques (Rolls and Bentley, respectively).
The resulting car shares not only a passing resemblance to the previous-generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but its basic platform as well. As such, the 57 comes across as much more of an über-Benz rather than its own bespoke car like its Brit-German rivals do. However, saying that a car is too much like a Mercedes-Benz is like saying your date looks too darn much like Heidi Klum. Highlights include impenetrably solid construction, fine craftsmanship, bulletproof engineering and a choice of two twin-turbo V12 engines hand-built by a single technician at Mercedes AMG headquarters in Germany. The "base" 57 produces 543 horsepower, while the 57 S gets 604. For 2010, a special-edition Maybach 57 Zeppelin debuts and features a more powerful version of the 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 found in the 57 S that's good for 631 hp.
Of course, performance is one thing, but for super limousines like a Maybach, the interior is of paramount importance. While it doesn't have the sort of grand, old-world interior design of the Rolls-Royce Phantom, the 57 has the abundance of leather and wood you'd expect from a vehicle this expensive. Its backseat is where it really sets itself apart from the Rolls, with a pair of heated and reclining captain's chairs separated by a center console containing climate and entertainment controls.
When ordering a 57 at a Maybach "Commissioning Studio," customers can equip their car in literally any way they wish. If they want alpaca upholstery instead of regular old cow leather, the "Maybach Relationship Manager" can probably make it happen; just be prepared to pay a colossal amount of money. Indeed, Maybach regular options are extraordinarily expensive.
It's hard to compare cars that cost vastly more than the average American home and only slightly less than the entire nation of Turkmenistan. Despite its many niceties, though, the 2010 Maybach 57 can't match a Rolls-Royce for exquisitely decadent luxury and that uniquely British character that dates back a century. The Maybach has a classic name, but it's very much the world's nicest old S-Class.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2010 Maybach 57 is an ultra-luxury sedan offered in three trim levels: the 57, the 57 S and the limited-edition 57 Zeppelin. There is also a long-wheelbase version known as the Maybach 62 and a quasi-convertible known as the Laundaulet discussed in separate reviews.
All Maybach 57 models can be customized with nearly any features the purchaser can dream up, although the standard kit includes 19-inch wheels; an active self-leveling suspension; adaptive cruise control; a front-cabin sunroof; power rear sunshades; 10-way power front seats with heating, massaging and memory settings; a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel; a full leather interior; reclining and heated rear captain's chairs; four-zone climate control and a rear beverage cooler. Tech features include front and rear Bluetooth controls, a navigation system, a rearview camera, a DVD entertainment system and a 21-speaker Bose surround-sound system with an in-dash single-CD player, a console-mounted six-CD changer, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack.
The Maybach 57 S adds a more powerful engine, 20-inch wheels, higher-performance tires, a slightly lower ride height, a sportier suspension and minor exterior differences. The Zeppelin adds a more powerful engine, unique 20-inch wheels, an interior perfume atomizer and special Zeppelin badging.
Regular optional extras revolve mostly around the rear passengers and include additional rear-seat entertainment options, a three-person backseat, ventilated front or rear seats, folding rear picnic tables, rear curtains, a cigar humidor and a VCR.
Powertrains and Performance
Both the Maybach 57 and 57 S are rear-wheel drive and powered by versions of the twin-turbocharged V12 found in some of the higher-end AMG Mercedes-Benzes. The 5.5-liter V12 in the 57 produces 543 hp and 664 pound-feet of torque. The 57 S gets a 6.0-liter version of the V12 with 604 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque, while the Zeppelin's version of that engine produces 631 hp and 739 lb-ft of torque. Maybach estimates all will go from zero to 60 mph in the low 5-second range. According to the EPA, the Maybach 57 and 57 S will return 10 mpg city/16 mpg highway and 12 mpg combined.
The 2010 Maybach 57 has a comprehensive list of safety features that includes side airbags for the front and rear passengers, full-length side curtain airbags, antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera.
Interior Design and Special Features
For the few Maybach owners who actually drive their cars, they will find a front cabin that, like the exterior, basically resembles a lavish previous-generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Electronics controls are consequently behind the times and it generally lacks the sense of classical grandeur evident in the Rolls-Royce Phantom.
Still, it's a safe bet most Maybach owners will be occupying the rear quarters as their chauffeur ferries them about. They will find a pair of reclining and heated bucket seats separated by a center console (a three-place bench is an option) that houses a refrigerated compartment and controls for the rear dual-zone climate control and the standard DVD entertainment system. Space is copious, but if you need even more, the longer-wheelbase Maybach 62 is available.
Every Maybach drives like the large car that it is. Having said that, these are pretty amazing large cars, with plenty of power to easily overcome the car's hefty mass. Both the 57 and the 57 S are seriously quick. In terms of handling, though, there's just no way to keep 3 tons from wallowing when going around a corner. Yet, these are cars built to deliver diplomats to a meeting of the World Bank, not set a low lap time at the Nürburgring. For such deliveries, the 2010 Maybach 57 provides a beautiful ride that swallows bumps without floating about like a luxury yacht upon the high seas.