Xenatec's outrageous and beautiful (and really expensive) Coupe reprises the Maybach Exelero
By Mike Hanlon
March 7, 2011
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.