Don’t worry, it’s still just a concept so it may never happen. Actually it will. This is the Maybach Landaulet study, due to be unveiled in Dubai later this month, and it’ll go into production at the start of 2008. The price? A fair way over the £345,687 you'll currently pay for a 62S. It’s basically a convertible 62S, but the roof is definitely an afterthought. The passengers have to request the chauffeur to close it, and the retracted roof has to be manually covered. At least it closes in a quite spritely 16 seconds.
It doesn’t look like a full convertible though…
It’s not. The roof retracts over the passenger compartment, while the chauffeur’s compartment remains fully enclosed. Mercedes claim this is ‘true to the tradition of exclusive landaulets’, but we also can’t help thinking it helps the car’s structural rigidity. Either way, it’s definitely got one up on the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe. In the Rolls the rear seats are quite tight, and if you sit up front you might have to drive, or make conversation with the hired help. But while the Rolls is actually good fun to drive, the Maybach has always been about being a passenger, though we’re not sure how many company execs will ride around with the roof down.
So just how good is it in the back seat?
According to Maybach, ‘romance close to the heart of nature is harmoniously combined with the ultimate in comfort and technological sophistication’. What they really mean is you get the wind in your hair, sit on cowhide, and get to look at wood and granite trim.
Oh yes. The body, the wheels, and the leather in the passenger compartment are all white. Even the roof lining is white velour. The indicators are also white. But just to make sure your chauffeur feels even more claustrophobic, as well as a fixed roof he gets lots of black leather as well. The passengers can enclose him even further with a new glass panel filled with a liquid crystal membrane. At the touch of a button it turns opaque. To top the whole lot off there’s a 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged V12 with 603bhp and 738lb ft, so you can try and outrun the rain.