New Car: Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet

14 February 2017 | by Karl Smith

The Mercedes Geländewagen has been around for 45 years and in civilian form since 1979. This makes it the Mercedes vehicle with the longest production run, except for that ageless leviathan, the Unimog. The current series, the G463, has been in production since 1990 and has been the most successful of all the G-Wagens.

Now Mercedes is producing a limited edition version of the outgoing G463, an extended-wheelbase model dubbed the G650, which brings the mid-size G-Wagen up to the limousine class. Clearly meant for the potentate/falconer demographic, the G650 comes with all you would expect from a Maybach version of the Mercedes stalwart, with perhaps a few surprises thrown in.

The body shape is pure Geländewagen, stretched some 580mm on this occasion to accommodate a more luxurious rear passenger compartment and a landaulet roof.  A drop-down step assists in accessing the cabin which is a half-metre above the ground.

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The interior is loaded with every kind of luxurious appointment one could ever want, but the emphasis is on the rear passengers. Here the bench seat has been jettisoned in favor of bucket seats from the S-class complete with reclining and multiple adjustment features, as well as heating and cooling.

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Between the seats is a console with heated and cooled cup holders. The console also holds folding tables (with leather inserts) for the rear passengers. The seats face individual 10” screens for entertainment. Overhead, the landaulet top can be controlled by switches placed on the console. Privacy from the driver is maintained by a sliding glass panel that also turns opaque at the touch of a button, again on the center console.

If one feels the need to drive, a massively powerful 630bhp V12 Mercedes AMG engine will move the G650 down the road at a very rapid clip, while also being powerful off-road with 730 lb/ft of torque. An automatic transmission with portal axles will help assure firm footing and adequate ground clearance in the roughest of terrain.

The G650 will be formally introduced at the Geneva Motor Show and sales will begin this autumn. Production is limited to 99 units, none of which will be imported into the United States.