Rolls-Royce and Bentley might make some of the most delectable limousines on sale today, but could one make it to a business meeting at the top of a mountain or in the middle of the desert? Probably not. But this limo can.
It’s a 2017 Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet. It blends supreme luxury with a bulldozing SUV featuring a V12 engine, 620bhp and enough ground clearance to make a speed bump feel fictional. Just 99 were made, each one demanding £560,000.
But this example has just sold for a fee that even dwarfs its mammoth body. After a frenzied bidding war at a recent auction, the hammer fell on the powerhouse for a colossal £1.1 million – a new world record for any Mercedes G-Class.
Ultimate safari limo: This 2017 Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet sold at Bonhams’ Zoute Sale in Belgium at the weekend for €1.2 million – a record fee for any G-Class
The interior is the last-word in all-terrain luxury. There are two TV screens (right) and a champagne cooler with silver flutes hidden in the compartments between the two reclining and massaging seats
Of the 99 built by Mercedes’ premium brand Maybach, this is the last one to come off the hand-crafted production line. It’s also the last word in off-roading luxury.
Until Rolls-Royce’s eagerly anticipated Cullinan 4X4 arrives next year, this is the only SUV that will take you over the rockiest of mountain ridges while you recline in your massage chair and enjoy a glass of chilled champagne from one of the silver flutes stored in a special compartment between the back seats.
The opulence doesn’t end there. The G650 Landaulet also features heated cup holders, fold-out leather tables, a state-of-the art entertainment system with two televisions and a partition between the driver and passengers that can be switched from clear to opaque in seconds – just in case you want some privacy from your personal driver.
A push of a button will also open the canvas roof. This, combined with the desert-spec paint, would make this 99th model the ultimate safari machine. Forget ‘glamping’; this vehicle is all about going on ‘glafari’.
The car was donated to a Bonhams’ Zoute Sale in Belgium, where all funds raised will be donated to the Laureus Sport for Good foundation, which aims to use the power of sport to tackle the worlds most devastating social challenges.
It was estimated to achieve its retail price of around £560,000. But massive interest from bidders saw it almost double that figure, selling for €1.2 million (close to £1.1 million).
The folding canvas roof can be opened at closed at the push of a button and lets the rear-seat passengers bathe in sunlight. There’s room for your luxury luggage in the back too
The interior features high-grade materials and even a partition screen between the driver and passengers that can be switched from clear to opaque in seconds
The Mercedes SUV is a whopping 5.3 metres long and 2.2 metres high. It weighs in at 3.4 tonnes – about the same as a small killer whale
The winning private buyer from Belgium has bagged themselves one seriously capable, stupendously large and supremely flash motor.
It measures in a 5.3 metres long and 2.2 metres high and boasts a ground clearance of almost half a metre – no wonder it comes with a set of retractable steps – fitted with lights – to help you get in.
Kitted out with power armchairs, chunky off-road tyres and enough tech to put NASA to shame, it’s no featherweight. In fact, it tips the scales at a hefty 3.4 tonnes – around the same as a small killer whale.
Under the bonnet it an equally ferocious AMG-tuned 6.0-litre twin-turbo V12 engine that’s been lifted straight out of the rampant S65 saloon.
All funds raised at the auction have been donated to the Laureus Sport for Good foundation, which aims to use the power of sport to tackle the worlds most devastating social challenges
The 6.0-litre twin-turbo V12 engine that’s been lifted straight out of a Mercedes-AMG S65 high-performance saloon
The G650 can accelerate from 0 to 62mph in less than 6 seconds. However, it only has a top speed of 112mph – that’s less than a Fiat 500 city car
Even with all the weight, it will still manage a 0 to 62mph sprint in less than six seconds, though the top speed is limited to 112mph – probably to ensure that it can actually come to a stop before ploughing through buildings and just about anything stood in front of it. That does mean a Fiat 500 is quicker flat out, though.
Speaking after the sale, Philip Kantor, head of European motoring at auctioneers Bonhams, said: ‘It has almost every luxury imaginable.
‘Massage chairs, heated cup holders, fold out leather tables, massage chairs, silver champagne flutes, and so much more – it’s phenomenal.
‘It is certainly capable of proper off-roading, and was built with that in mind. It has an enormous ground clearance of 17.7 inches, enough to manage any bog, bush or fallen tree you might come across. It is simply incomparable in relation to other luxury 4x4s.
‘Not only does it have a far more luxurious interior, but is also capable of far more intense driving. It is almost impossible to think of terrain that would begin to challenge the car.’
Just 99 of the special edition Landaulet versions were made this year, and this is the last one that came off the production line
Most who buy the car are unlikely to drive it themselves, though the cabin looks like a wonderfully high-end place to sit
Would you take one over a Rolls-Royce Phantom or Bentley Mulsanne? The Mercedes would definitely beat both in a race to the top of a mountain