Stuttgart – Mercedes is apparently trying to counter the expected attention from
spy photographers by releasing pictures of a disguised Maybach limousine prototype
before the vehicle starts road trials around the world.

Just three years after presentation of the design study at the Tokyo Motor
Show, the first of more than 20 Maybach prototypes will begin on-road testing
in December. Engineers have already trialled suspension and drive systems for
the new luxury limousine hidden under ‘test mule’ bodywork of modified Mercedes
cars for some considerable time. The first production examples will be delivered
to retail customers at the end of 2002.

The top variant will have an overall length of approximately six metres and
offer every possible comfort and refinement – from a complete business package
to innovative entertainment systems. Mercedes-Benz will also build its new limo
with a shorter wheelbase to customer order.

As with top Mercedes models, customers will be able to configure their Maybach
to individual requirements with respect to materials, colours, appointments
and technical features, assisted by engineers and designers, in a new building
which is under construction at the Sindelfingen plant. Each example of this
luxury limousine should, in theory, be unique.

Technical highlights will include a newly-developed, bi-turbocharged V12 engine,
whose testing has also already commenced, and air suspension which has been
specifically developed to provide maximum comfort. Mercedes-Benz claims that
the Maybach will also set new standards for noise reduction and climatic comfort.

Production will commence during the second half of 2002 at the Mercedes plant
in Sindelfingen where new production facilities akin to a custom shop are being