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First look Maybach Zeppelin


Then there is only one place to go looking — the Maybach stand at the Geneva motor show.

Maybach, the super-luxury arm of the Mercedes-Benz empire, has pulled out all the stops to launch an iconic badge from the 1930s — the Zeppelin, so named because the V12 engines from the original car also powered the famous German airships.

Starting at just a tick under a million dollars, the Maybach Zeppelin is available in both the 57 or long-wheelbase 62 configurations but it will be the rare owner that doesn't turn their car into a personal statement of wealth.

The Zeppelin is pitched as a car for the connoisseurs and there is little the potential owner could ask for in the way of personalisation that would raise an eyebrow.

Among the “standard” options being offered to complement the kid-soft leather and piano-lacquer interior trim surfaces are a perfume atomiser that uses nothing less than purified air to spread the owner's personal fragrance through the cabin in such a gentle form that it doesn't cling to either the car's leather or the passengers' clothes.

Maybach will supply two bespoke fragrances from a renowned perfumer at the house of Givaudan, use an owner's personal favourite or even develop an individual fragrance to the owner's specifications.

The atomiser is a mere bagatelle at around $5000.

Over the top trims have become almost passe at Maybach where owners have in the past had leather trim made from their own herds of favoured cows, wood inserts from a tree of special signifigance felled on their own property or interior brightwork in gold in place of the rather common polished steel.

In the Zeppelin, for the first time, an owner can have the interior trimmed in Indian Star Galaxy granite — and not just flat surfaces but complex curves using a process developed specifically for the car.

Extremely thin stone plates are fastened to an adhesive film and then broken into small particles of almost exactly the same size by crushing the plate between rollers at precise pressure and speed. The result is a thin leaf of pliable stone in which the microcrystalline structure has retained its integrity and also all the appearance of a solid sheet while allowing it to be manipulated into almost any shape.

In common with earlier Maybach models the Zeppelin is offered with the electro-transparent panoramic glass roof which changes from transparent to opaque and back again by passing an electric current through the liquid crystal membrane, effectively switching on the view at the touch of a button.

Under the bonnet the 6.0-litre bi-turbo V12 gives the Zeppelin performance levels to rival high-end sports cars. The engine's 471kW and 1000Nm can launch the 57 S from standstill to 100km/h in just 4.9 seconds (5.1 for the 62 S) on the way to an electronically governed top speed of 275km/h (250km/h for the 62 S).

Mercedes-Benz Australia, which supplied four Maybachs to Australian owners last year, will be able to supply a Zeppelin to any extremely well-heeled Aussie in need.