By Marc Lachapelle
Bucking the economic doldrums, Daimler AG’s ultra-luxury brand Maybach unveiled even more opulent models in Geneva. The Zeppelin versions are the most regal yet, featuring special two-tone exterior and interior trim and plenty of optional extras, including a sophisticated perfume atomiser, a world first in a production car.
Wilhelm Maybach and his son Karl founded their auto company in 1909 as a subsidiary of the company that built engines for the famous Zeppelin ‘airships’ of the day. Since their first cars had engines inspired by those the father had designed for the lighter-than-air giants, they called them Zeppelin and they became the first production cars built in Germany with V12 power.
The new Maybach Zeppelin are based on the modern Maybach 57 S and the long-wheelbase 62 S. They will sell for 406,000 and 473,200 Euros respectively in Germany ($665,231 and $775,054) and only 100 will be built, which is fitting for a centenary celebration.
Among the highlights are an interior that also blends two colour tones, vast expanses of leather and trim elements with a piano lacquer finish. The front console, partition screen (optional on the Zeppelin 62) and standard silver champagne flutes have “Maybach Zeppelin” engraved while the door sills and key ring show the name “Zeppelin”.
The most spectacular, extravagant and somewhat decadent option is the exclusive perfume atomiser. Its main component is an internally-lit Plexiglas sphere into which Zeppelin owners can carefully pour their favourite fragrance. This option alone is worth 3950 Euros ($6473).
The four-wheel Zeppelins are also the most powerful in the Maybach garage. Their twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre V12 develops 640 horsepower, 28 more than their sister models, and the torque peak is electronically capped at 738 lb-ft (1000 Nm). The sportier 57 Zeppelin can sprint from zero to 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds and reach a governed top speed of 275 km/h. In the 62 Zeppelin, you let the chauffeur rip to 100 km/h in 5.1 seconds and whisk you along at 250 km/h.