Xenatec's outrageous and beautiful (and really expensive) Coupe reprises the Maybach Exelero


March 7, 2011

Xenatec builds tastefully modified prestige cars

Xenatec builds tastefully modified prestige cars

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Fancy a Porsche Cayenne crew-cab ute (1), a stretched Audi R8 (2) or maybe a stretched Bentley (3)? How about an Aston Martin shooting break (4), a Toyota Landcruiser that seats an extra three people (5), or perhaps an altered roofline, tastefully modified or fully armored … well, anything? Xenatec is one of the places where people go when they have lofty desires and a matching bank balance. The company is now breaking out of its traditional custom niche and entering production of a 100-only limited edition EUR675,000 Xenatec Coupe.

Fredrik Burchhardt is best known for penning the 350 km/h Exelero, one of the most mouth-watering Maybach coupes of all time.

The Exelero was in turn, a modern interpretation of a legendary streamlined sports car from the 1930s which diappeared during WWII.

His latest creation, the Xenatec Coupe, is in many ways a production version of the Exelero, having begun life as a brand new Maybach 57S, then the entire body was re-sculpted, the roof line lowered, front and rear screens raked, extensive surgery done to the A-, B- and C-Pillars, side panels, front and rear fenders and new doors with frame-less side-screens were fitted.

One hundred Xenatec Coupes will be hand-built in Germany with a factory door price beginning at EUR 675,000 – excluding local taxes, tariffs and freight. Though USD$870,000 is an obscene amount of money for a motor car, that's just the starting price – anything is possible, from an entirely glass roof through … well, when everything is hand crafted, and you have the essentially unlimited means necessary to become a Xenatec customer, you can have exactly what you wish.

The Xenatec retains all Maybach's four year warranties no doubt partly due to the untouched 57S 6.0-liter bi-turbo 620 bhp V12 drivetrain and partially due to the close cooperation and mutual respect for craftsmanship enjoyed by the companies.

In case you're unfamiliar with the Maybach name, it's part of the Mercedes Benz stable of automotive brand names, and it sits right at the very top in terms of luxury, prestige and cost.

The presence of the Maybach brand in the Mercedes stable is entirely appropriate – Wilhelm Maybach became Gottlieb Daimler's main assistant at 19 years of age and worked closely with Daimler until his death in 1900.

Maybach and Daimler together developed the petrol engine to viability – they are the parents of the internal combustion engine that powered the personal transportation revolution. Everybody by now is familiar with "that line drawing" of the world's first motorcycle – that's Wilhelm aboard.

Wilhelm Maybach's engine designs powered the world's first motorcycle, the world's first powerboat and his influence at the dawn of transportation is key. He was technical director of the Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft until 1907, when he left to found Maybach-Motorenbau GmbH to manufacture Zeppelin engines.

After WWI, the company started producing large luxury Maybach vehicles. It's engines were the crowning glory of the machinery, culminating in the company's first V12 in 1929, the seven liter DS7 of 1930, and the 1931 Maybach DS8 Zeppelin with its eight liter V12.

As bespoke manufacturers often built bodies, the bare Maybach chassis and engine was fitted to some of the most delectable automobiles of all time. The Maybach brand grew in reputation and prestige throughout the thirties, but when wartime called, it's expertise was called upon to provide engines for the awesome German Panzer tanks - Maybach's 12-cylinder Maybach HL 108 TR and HL 120 TRM engines.provided the motive power for the Nazi "blitzkreig" tactics thanks to their speed (40 km/h / 25 mph) and 155km (96 mile) range.

The brand died during WWII and was revived the in 2002 by Mercedes Benz.

The current 620 horsepower Maybach 57S is the basis upon which the Xenatec Coupe takes shape.

To be sold under the XENATEC brand, 100 of the Coupes will be hand-built in Germany for EUR 675,000 ex factory and plus taxes. Compared to the Maybach 57 S limousine, major changes have been also made to the immensely strong bodywork, which has been completely redesigned and engineered, featuring new doors with frameless sidescreens allowing for easy access to the rear passenger compartment.

The windscreen and rear screen are more steeply raked for a sporty silhouette, lowering the roofline without compromising passenger comfort. A full glass roof can be fitted if desired, as can almost all other options available for the Maybach 57 S.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon

I want one, but I cannot justify spending all this money on a car, beaut though it is when people are starving worldwide.

Hilary Albutt

It is a thing of beauty, and bless your conscious a board member of a charitable organization in the Midwest, you just let me know if we could consider starting an endowment in your name to put that $875,000 to good use for people in need.


Xenatac Exelero looks a wee bit like the (gone nowhere) \"New\" Deusenberg Torpedo. A version of the proposed engine of the Torpedo has a life as part of a generator set.

Dave B13

Bloated design. Even more bloated price tag.


I was a VP at a German builder of the best and most exclusive cars in the world. We would have a Princess send a swatch of material from a favorite dress and ask that we match the interior leather to that color - of course we did! We would change leather surfaces to metal or vice, versa - nothing was too much to ask. I once had a client taking delivery of 5 $1M MB, upon his first sighting he commented \"They were suppose to be blue!\" After showing him that if fact the contract called for black and that we could repaint them, he agreed to pay $60K each for the color change! Forget bespoke, these vehicles \"beshouted\"


Awwwww, liberal guilt! How can you watch TV with people starving? How can you go to a restaurant with people starving? Etc.


Beautiful automobiles, of course. But please stop sending our money to the middle east and OPEC and reopen North American oil production. The fact that 80% of the buyers are not from the west tells me all I need to know...


Re: \"Liberal guilt\" from mred: The differential from malnutrition to TV watching or dinner with friends at a restaurant is slight compared to the leap to owning and operating one of these motorcars. The same way that sales tax is regressive in that it occupies a more sizeable portion of the income for working class people as it does for the investor class. Just like a bed, boots, and a bath takes way more of the income of a laborer then it does of the income of a financial parasite banker. It\'s a matter of proportion and differential. Besides, I\'m with the interests of the poor: I don\'t need to feel guilt at all (not too productive): We\'ll work together to fix the absurd income differentials of this world!

John Henry

Wake up GM and Lincoln ... this car ozzes class . This is the type of car that you should be building. The older 1930\'s cars had style and class. I remember growing up when Cadillacs and Lincolns stood for \"standard of the world\". The Xenatec Coupe is stunning .. however I would build it just a little smaller and make it a Hybrid Electric.

Del Baumgartner, President CEO BRAVA MOTORSPORTS

del baumgartner

Baumgartner! A little smaller? How about a whole LOT SMALLER? The days of the extravagant long-fendered dashing cars had it\'s place but not now. These cars were built because of the human need for extravagance when money and fuel were no object. I want to see a very light car that gets over 100mpg and is affordable by the average blue collar worker. Now is the time for a another Henry Ford visionaire to step forth and build the car suitable for our current times. America did it once, we can do it again! Beautiful? It would be nice if it was designed with a beautiful body but not necessary. If it is affordable and gets over 100mpg, it\'s going to look beautiful to me no matter what shape it is!

Will, the tink
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