► 622bhp Maybach G-wagen is on the way
► Limited to 99 examples; 6.0 V12 power
► The low-down on the sub-brand’s fifth car
A canvas-roofed, safari-ready luxury G-class isn’t a combination we’d ever think up ourselves, but alas, unveiled at the 2017 Geneva motor show, it’s the Mercedes Maybach G650 Landaulet - an open-top G-class off-roader.
Sorry, a G-wagen soft-top with Maybach trimmings?
Apparently so. Decode the badge and you get what you see. A pretty extreme bespoke G based on the G500 4x4, with a wheelbase stretched to 3428mm to liberate more space for the second row - and create a third row of seats.
The extra chairs are al fresco, naturally - all the better for sun-bathing. Or shooting elephants without getting up.
It’s the fifth new model to carry the Mercedes Maybach sub-brand name, following the S-Class Saloon , Pullman and Cabriolet, plus the Vision 6 concept we saw in Paris in 2016.
And the 650 bit of the badge?
That'll refer to the AMG bi-turbo 6.0-litre V12, pointing to a power output of some 621bhp and 723lb ft, which must require something approaching the world's strongest seven-speed auto gearbox.
Torque is fed through portal axles – an extra box of cogs on each corner of the car to allow the centre of the hub to sit higher than the wheel itself, meaning 450mm of ground clearance is possible.
The G’s standard set of three differential locks help meter out twist to the 22-inch, 325-section off-road rubber.
How much? I'll send my man round immediately
Built by Magna Steyr in Austria – as with every other G-Class – 99 examples of the G650 Landaulet are planned for production.
It hits the market in August 2017. As yet, however, no-one at Mercedes Maybach is saying what it will cost. We suspect you'll need in the region of half a million quid.
Either way, it won’t officially be sold in the UK. So if you're planning on hunting big game, you may have to look further afield than Knightsbridge.
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