With the exception of their extra length, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish a Maybach from a standard-issue Mercedes based on the exterior looks alone. Open the rear doors, however, and you’ll quickly realize the substantial differences between the two sets of vehicles, as the Maybach is a car to be driven in, not one that you purchase to actually drive yourself. That might be changing though, according to Auto Motor und Sport of Germany.
Word is that Mercedes is working on the smallest Maybach to date ˆ dubbed the 51 for its 5.1 meter length, following in the tradition of other Maybach models on the market ˆ with an expected launch some time in 2009. Because of its smaller size, they’re calling this the most driver-oriented model in the Maybach lineup. Driver-oriented indeed, because the 51 will sport a V12 engine capable of between 500 and 600 horsepower. It might even rock the same platform as the W221 S-Class Mercedes.
In addition to the four door sedan, there are rumblings of a coupe version as well, further pushing the driver-oriented nature of this new vehicle. While exact pricing is far from being confirmed, it is likely that the Maybach 51 will fall into the same range as the Bentley Continental Flying Spur (the world’s fastest 4-door production vehicle).
Note: The Maybach 57 interior pictured to the right is for illustrative purposes only.