This could quite possibly be the weirdest answer to a question nobody has asked. Or, the perfect gift for the person who genuinely does already have everything. This G-Class is ideal for the crazy world of 2017.
Important things first – the G 650 Landaulet is not going to be offered for sale in the UK. Sorry. We’re sure there’s whole tens of people now totally disappointed, but sadly it won’t be coming here. Blame it on Brexit, perhaps. So if you’re based in the UK, and in the market for a stupidly powerful and deeply luxurious (chauffeur driven) off-roader, you’ll need to find a new option.
However, if you’re elsewhere in the world, you might be able to snag yourself one of the 99 units of this bizarre creation when it goes on sale in the Autumn. There’s no mention of price but, realistically, if you’re searching for something like this then cost isn’t really going to be an issue. Especially not when there’s a biturbo AMG V12 engine, making 630hp, that’ll average around 16mpg at best. Oh, and C02 emissions of 376g/km, which is probably on par with a coal-fired power station.
The G 650 Landaulet is probably similar in size to a power plant, measuring over 5.3metres in length and 2.2metres tall. Ground clearance, thanks to those portal axles first seen on the G 500 4×4², is a towering 450mm. It makes the standard fit wheels, wearing 325/55/R22 tyres, look relatively in proportion. The alloy wheels are ceramic polished, and feature ‘Landaulet’ lettering in them – just in case you ever forget what you’re driving.
Traditionally used in relation to horse-drawn carriages, landaulet refers to a chauffeured vehicle with a folding soft-top over the rear seats. Typically intended for use by dignitaries and public figures, if you’re a vain tyrant – in a country with poor road surfaces – then this could be the machine for you.
You’ll be able to travel in absolute luxury, with rear seats taken from an S Class and huge legroom to stretch out into. The seats can recline, feature specific support for your tired calfs, and also have access to climate-controlled cupholders. Yes, really. Riding in the rear ‘G cockpit’ as Mercedes calls it, you’ll be able to raise and lower the fabric roof as you desire, and close the partition to the front compartment.
There’s carbon fibre trim galore on the outside, with side rubbing strips made from the lightweight material, along the wheel arch extensions. Buyers will have a choice of three colours for the soft-top roof, with four paint options for the exterior. Although we imagine if you bung Mercedes-Maybach enough money in a briefcase they’ll paint it whatever hue you want.
Honestly, we don’t quite know what to make of the Merc-Maybach G 650 Landaulet. This is automotive excess in the very extreme and, viewed objectively, is a completely unnecessary addition to the motoring world. It exists because it can, and because Mercedes knows that 99 people will be more than happy to stump up a large undisclosed amount of money for one.
ESM will stick with the G 500 4×4², or even the G 63 6×6, on this occasion. With this we’ve found a machine that’s possibly even too crazy for us.