It was only a matter of time before Maybach got its hands on the G Wagon.
Ever since the Kardashians and the rest of Hollywood brought the rugged but ancient G-Class Mercedes back into vogue, the automaker has been capitalizing big time on its new customer base. We've seen some crazy variants of the truck make it to market, but thanks to Fly Wheel we now know that the 6x6 and 4x4 Squared aren't even the half of it. Following a teaser released on Saturday by Mercedes, we know now that the latest iteration of the G-Class will be a Maybach version called the G650.
We know this thanks to photos and a short walkaround video taken at a private and not-so-secretive event held at the Madikwe Safari Lodge in South Africa. In Mercedes' own teaser we realized just how special the SUV would be because it appeared to lack a roof and had a license plate that read "G 6501." The G65 part of the message is a nod to the G-Class SUV that gets Mercedes' 6.0-liter bi-turbo V12 engine. While the G650 is based on the G500 4x4, the Maybach team stretched the the wheelbase to provide more legroom in the second row. According to Fly Wheel an extra 23.6 inches was added. The move also accommodates this Maybach's most notable feature: its status as a landaulet.
A landaulet is a type of vehicle where the rear section has a removable roof, making it a sort of halfway convertible.
They aren't very common but Mercedes-Maybach used to build one back in 2012, the Maybach 62 Landaulet. The V12 under the G650's hood, likely to crank out the same 621 horsepower and 727 lb-ft of torque as the Mercedes-AMG G65, will be mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission and, like a standard G-Class SUV, will get locking differentials to help it off road. Despite getting portal axles like the 4x4 Squared, the suspension on the Maybach G650 looks a bit subdued compared to its hardcore cousin. This was likely done so that the SUV would ride more comfortably, aka like a Maybach should. Other notable differences include a rear-mounted spare tire, carbon fiber wheel arches, and Pirelli Scorpion all-terrain tires.
Getting your hands on the Maybach G650 might be a bit difficult as only 100 examples are expected to make production when the SUV is released later this year, with an official debut possibly set for the Geneva Motor Show. While the vehicle has yet to be announced, insider information via Autocar suggests we can expect a starting price of around $377,000. Photos via Fly Wheel.