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Maybach Motorenbau (German: [ˈmaɪbax]) is a defunct German car manufacturer that exists today as a sub-brand of Mercedes-Benz. The company was founded in 1909 by Wilhelm Maybach and his son originally as a subsidiary of Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH and it was known as Luftfahrzeug-Motorenbau GmbH until 1999.

In 1960 Maybach was acquired by Daimler-Benz. The name returned as a standalone ultra-luxury car brand in the late 20th century and early 21st century, sharing significant components with Mercedes-Benz cars. After slow sales, Maybach ceased to be a standalone brand by 2013 and it became a sub-brand of Mercedes-Benz in 2015 which is owned by Daimler AG. As of 2018 Daimler produces an ultra-luxury edition of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class under the Mercedes-Maybach name.

Wilhelm Maybach (9 February 1846 – 29 December 1929) was an early German engine designer and industrialist. During the 1890s he was hailed in France, the world centre for car production at the time, as the "King of Designers".

From the late 19th century, Wilhelm Maybach together with Gottlieb Daimler developed light, high-speed internal combustion engines suitable for land, water, and air use. These were fitted to the world's first motorcycle, motorboat, and after Daimler's death, a new automobile introduced in late 1902; the Mercedes model, built to the specifications of Emil Jellinek.

Maybach rose to become technical director of the Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft (DMG), but did not get on well with its chairmen. As a result, Maybach left DMG in 1907 to found Maybach-Motorenbau GmbH together with his son Karl in 1909; they manufactured Zeppelin engines. After the signing of the Versailles Treaty in 1919, the company started producing large luxury vehicles branded as "Maybach". The company joined the German war effort in 1940, ceasing automotive production in favour of tank engines including those for the Tiger I and Tiger II heavy tanks. Revived after the war, Maybach Motorenbau, which remained a subsidiary of Luftschiffbau Zeppelin, made diesel engines. During the 1960s Maybach came under the control of Daimler-Benz and was renamed MTU Friedrichshafen.

In 2002 the Maybach brand name was revived for a luxury market but it was not successful. On the 25th of November 2011, Daimler-Benz announced they would cease producing automobiles under the Maybach brand name in 2013. In 2014, Daimler announced production of an ultra-luxury edition of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class under the new Mercedes-Maybach brand.

Early life and career beginnings (1846 to 1869)

Wilhelm Maybach was born in Heilbronn, Baden-Württemberg, in 1846; the son of a carpenter and his wife Luise. He had four brothers. When he was eight years old the family moved from Löwenstein near Heilbronn to Stuttgart. His mother died in 1856 and his father in 1859. After his relatives published an announcement in the Stuttgarter Anzeiger newspaper, a philanthropic institution at Reutlingen took in Maybach as a student. Its founder and director Gustav Werner discovered Maybach's technical inclination and helped to stimulate his career by sending him to the school's engineering workshop. At 15 years old (1861), Maybach was heading for a career in Industrial design and took extra classes in physics and mathematics at Reutlingen's public high school.

By the time he was 19 years old, he was a qualified designer working on stationary engines. His workshop manager Gottlieb Daimler, then 29, noticed his efforts and took him on as his main assistant; a post he held until Daimler's death in 1900.


In November 2014 Daimler announced the revival of the Maybach as sub-brand of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (W222) positioned as an upscale version akin to the more sporty Mercedes AMG sub-brand. In anticipation of its April 2015 launch,[20] the flagship Mercedes-Maybach S600 was unveiled at car shows in Los Angeles, United States, and Guangzhou, China, and the production model at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. During the facelift, the S 500 and S 550 were redesignated as the S 560 and the flagship was renamed to the S 650.

Assembled on the same Sindelfingen line used for the S-Class, the model targets the Bentley Mulsanne and Rolls-Royce Phantom. At 5.453 metres (17.89 ft.) long with a wheelbase of 3.365 metres (11.04 ft. / 132.5 inches), it is approximately 20 centimeters (7.9 in) longer than the long-wheelbase S-Class models. The Mercedes-Maybach will be available in the S500 (S550 in the US) and S600 models, with 4matic all-wheel-drive optional with the V8 engine. Acceleration from 0 to 60 miles per hour (0 to 97 km/h) is 5.0 seconds. The basic car has several colour finish options and provides choice between a three-seat rear bench or two reclining seats. Options include: air-conditioning, heated and massaging seats, heated armrests, a system to pump scented and ionised air around the cabin, and a 1540 watt Burmester 3D surround sound system with 24 speakers. Maybach S500 assembly began in Pune, India, in September 2015; making India the second country to produce a Maybach.

Concept cars

The first Mercedes-Maybach concept car is the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, a large 2-door coupe with a fully electric drivetrain. The model was unveiled at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.


1938 Maybach SW 38

1919 Maybach W1: A test car based on a DMG chassis

1921 Maybach W3: The first Maybach, shown at Berlin Motor Show. Featured a 70 hp (52 kW) 5.7L inline six.

1926 Maybach W5: 7L inline six, 120 hp (89 kW)

1929 Maybach 12: V12 precursor to DS7/8

1930 Maybach DSH: Doppel-Sechs-Halbe ("half a twelve cylinder") 1930–37

1930 Maybach DS7 Zeppelin: 7L V12, 150 hp (112 kW)

1931 Maybach W6: Same engine as W5, longer wheelbase. 1931–33

1931 Maybach DS8 Zeppelin: 8L V12, 200 hp (150 kW)

1934 Maybach W6 DSG: Featuring a twin overdrive transmission system.

1935 Maybach SW35: 3.5L 140 hp (104 kW) I6

1936 Maybach SW38: 3.8L 140 hp (104 kW) I6

1939 Maybach SW42: 4.2L 140 hp (104 kW) I6

1945 Maybach JW61: 3.8L 145 hp (108 kW) I6

The W2 were the 5.7 L inline six engines built for and ordered by Spyker. Not all were purchased, and Karl had to build cars featuring the engines to offset costs.

Around 1800 Maybachs were built before WW II.


The Maybach 57 accelerates from 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) in about 5.1 seconds; the Maybach 62 and 57 S, in about 4.8 seconds, and the Maybach 62 S and the Landaulet in 4.5 seconds. This rapid acceleration is noteworthy for cars weighing well over 6,000 pounds (2.7 metric tons). Maybachs in general are extremely powerful: the 57 has 518 bhp (386 kW; 525 PS); the 57 S 559 bhp (417 kW; 567 PS), the 62 570 bhp (425 kW; 578 PS), the 62 S 612 bhp (456 kW; 620 PS), and the Landaulet 633 bhp (472 kW; 642 PS).


Options for the Maybach 62 and 62S included 18-way power rear seats (replacing 14-way), power side and rear sunshade curtains, cooled rear seats, wireless headphones, an electrochromic panoramic sunroof with solar paneling for vehicle-off ventilation (replacing two choices of power sunroof), and an interior partition with power and electrochromic glass divider.