Oligarchs and dictators worldwide, rejoice! Mercedes is putting the finished touches on its next range-topping Pullman limo – the machine that will sit above even the long-wheelbase S-Class in the firm’s hierarchy.
As these pictures, filed with the European Patent Office, reveal, the Pullman is very much in the limo mould; owners of these things will likely never sit in the front, let alone take the wheel. In fact, they may not even be able to even see the wheel.
But even so Mercedes isn’t messing about with small engines; the only power source likely to be offered, and certainly the one used in the car pictured here, is the S600’s twin-turbo V12, a full 6.0-litre unit that makes 523bhp and 612lb ft of torque. That’s a tad down on the ultimate S65 AMG, but still more than enough to haul a few tonnes of stretched S-class at an improbable pace.
Mercedes-Benz S-class Pullman: putting the XXX into XL
In fact, creating the Pullman isn’t merely a case of welding a few extra inches into the middle. The whole rear roofline is new, giving plenty of clearance for even the most ostentatious headgear, while the additional rear windows show just how far back the rearmost seat will be set. The sheer size of the back door also hints that, in some versions at least, there could well be a centre row of seats, possibly rear-facing to create a mobile conference room.
Just how long is it? Well, a few back-of-a-beer-coaster calculations using the ‘normal’ long-wheelbase as a yardstick show that the wheelbase of the Pullman is somewhere in the region of 4330mm, compared with 3165mm for the normal S600, which itself runs on a longer wheelbase than the lower echelon S-classes.
More than a metre of extra metal is sure to dull the performance a little, but since the S600 can get to 60mph in well under 5.0sec, a figure in the sub-6.0ses range should be within reach for the Pullman. The mind boggles…
Merc’s new Pullman: long and gadget-laden
As with all the latest-generation S-Classes, the Pullman – some have suggested it could even be worthy of reclaiming the Grosser name associated with the old Mercedes 600 – will be loaded with gizmos, many of which will probably be commonplace in everyday cars a decade or so hence. Think LED lighting everywhere, radar- and camera-guided cruise control that verges on self-driving and airbags inside the seatbelts, just for starters.
While the Pullman will be the ultimate S-class, with a likely £250,000 price tag, when the S-class range is complete there will also be an additional model, using a similar rear roofline to the Pullman but on a shorter wheelbase – it will still be gargantuan, but more realistic as everyday transport.
It’s widely speculated to be using the Maybach name as a model designation and has been spied testing several times already. Both machines are expected to debut at shows later this year, possibly appearing first at Los Angeles in November 2014.