When we talk about the history of automobile development, few people may think of a brand, it is Maybach from Germany. This luxury brand, which specializes in the production of top luxury cars, was founded in the 1920s. Its history is comparable to the familiar Mercedes-Benz brand, and there is an inseparable historical origin between this two brands. Today, Many people describe Maybach as the Rolls-Royce of Germany. This title is obviously not excessive, but the temperament contained in the Maybach car is more like a beautiful and gorgeous Gothic Castle than the Rolls-Royce.
The founder of the Maybach brand – Wilhelm Maybach
Wilhelm Maybach played an important role in the history of automobile development, and his outstanding contributions made him known as “the king of design” by later generations. On February 9, 1846, Wilhelm Maybach was born in Heilbronn, Germany, and later the family moved to Stuttgart, the German automobile town. When Wilhelm Maybach was 10 years old, his parents died one after another, making him an orphan. When he faced difficulties in his life, a charity organization adopted him. During school, the founder of the school discovered Wilhelm Maybach’s extraordinary technical talents and cultivated him well, which has laid a solid foundation for his future development in the automotive field.
1865-1900, Wilhelm Maybach and Gottlieb Daimler
Speaking of Maybach, I have to mention the close connection between the Maybach brand and the Mercedes brand. In 1865, when the 19-year-old Maybach and Gottlieb daimler, known as the “founder of the car” met for the first time in a workshop in the small town of Reutlingen, Wilhelm Maybach attracted Mr. Daimler’s attention by his extraordinary talent in drawing, and in the following days he invited Wilhelm Maybach and appointed him as a graphics designer. Two like-minded people soon became close friends.
In the following thirty years, Wilhelm Maybach and Daimler began to research and develop light high-speed internal combustion engines. Through continuous attempts and efforts, Wilhelm Maybach invented the irregular heat pipe ignition system, the vertical fixed cylinder design and honeycomb radiator and so on. And in the subsequent development process, Maybach successfully developed the nozzle carburetor, the first four-cylinder car engine, etc. These inventions and patents have become an important part of high-speed engine research and development, and laid the foundation for the later Maybach brand engine manufacturing.
Daimler died in 1900, the same year Maybach invented the first Mercedes car, and caused a big sensation on the “NiceWeek” in March 1901. The car has entered the automobile era from the horse-drawn carriage era. At the same time, this historical “real” car design concept has pointed out the future development direction of the automobile industry and opened the door of automobile industry design. Since then, the streamlined contour profile, high performance, honeycomb radiator, low engine hood, long wheelbase, positioning plate shifting mechanisms, inclined steering system, front and rear wheels of almost the same size, and light-weight have become key factors in automotive engineering design.
Wilhelm Maybach, a talented designer, was soon crowned as “the king of design” by the people. His name has also become synonymous with technological innovation. Unlike other brands, Wilhelm Maybach makes Mercedes synonymous with elegance, excellence and craftsmanship.
Despite the great success of Mercedes Motors, Wilhelm Maybach obviously became a victim of internal contention. His position as chief engineer was replaced by others, and his work activities were also restricted. So he angrily left DMG Company in 1907. When the Zeppelin LZ4 airship crashed on August 5, 1908 after a windstorm, Wilhelm Maybach promised to build a new and improved airship engine for Graf Zeppelin.
The Maybach brand was established in 1909
On March 23, 1909, Wilhelm Maybach established the Luftfahrzeug-Motorenbau-GmbH company, which was the predecessor of the Maybach brand. His son, Carl Maybach, inherited his father’s mantle and became a mechanical engineer when he was only 17 years old. He was also one of the founders of Maybach, and created masterpieces one after another from the 1920s to the 1940s.
The son of Wilhelm Maybach – the succession of Karl Maybach
In 1916, the 70-year-old Wilhelm Maybach was awarded the honorary doctorate by the Stuttgart University of Technology. During the following period of 1920, old Wilhelm has been assisting his son Carl, the new company’s technical director, to develop and manufacture various gasoline engines, diesel engines and gearboxes with excellent performance and stability at that time, which laid the foundation for the future development and design of their own brand cars.
On May 16, 1918, the Luftfahrzeug-Motorenbau-GmbH manufacturing plant was renamed Maybach Motorenbau-GmbH. Carl Maybach initially tried to build the first prototype Maybach W1 model with the car chassis provided by the old owner DMG Company. Then he founded the Maybach engine manufacturing plant and began to build his own Maybach car. At that time, Maybach could complete the assembly work, develop and produce the main components such as frame, suspension, engine, radiator, transmission and firewall. The car body is handed over to the famous manufacturer at that time and can be designed in detail according to customer needs.
Aspire to build a top luxury cars
After the Berlin Auto Show in 1926, the achievements of the new sedan greatly inspired the Maybach team, and since then launched the w5 sedan, which is equipped with a 7-liter inline 6-cylinder engine that can generate 120 horsepower. But the father and son are not proud of the honor. It is their long-term dream to build a top luxury car with powerful 12-cylinder.
Maybach’s unique design has aroused great interest from celebrities in society. At that time, the customer group of Maybach cars included famous politicians, businessmen, and legendary Italian singer Enrico Caruso known as “the greatest tenor of all time,” and former world heavyweight boxing champion, one of Germany’s most admired sports field icons, Max Schmeling, and other popular stars at the time. In addition, some well-known nobles have also been customers of Maybach cars, such as King Paul of Greece, Dutch royal family Princess Juliana, Prince Bernard and Prince Esterhali, India Princes Jaipur, Portilla and Kohaper, as well as Ethiopian King Haile Selassie, were all loyal users of Maybach at that time.
On December 29, 1929, Wilhelm Maybach died in Stuttgart. Carl Maybach inherited his father’s will to continue to improve the technology and continue to create luxury cars of outstanding quality. Among them, the car with a 12-cylinder engine produced in 1930 was the Maybach 12, which is the largest and most imposing model among the top-level super luxury cars produced in Germany at that time, it can be called the masterpiece of the world.
Due to the outstanding performance and smooth running quality of the Maybach engine, as well as the exquisite car body hand-made by the partner, the Maybach car quickly became famous in the European luxury car industry, and its name quickly ranked on the same level with the famous luxury car brands Rolls-Royce and Bentley, which was the most representative luxury car in Germany at that time.
In 1930, Maybach launched its flagship model – Zeppelin DS8, which became the most prestigious German car at the time
In 1930, in order to ensure the unshakable king status of its brand, the Zeppelin DS8 model was introduced, using the extremely powerful 200-horsepower 8-liter 12-cylinder engine at the time. As the flagship model of Maybach, the Zeppelin DS8 has a length of 5.5 meters and a selling price of up to 36,000 marks (at the time such a fee can be used to buy 3 villas). The DS8 model conquered the world with unparalleled elegance and superior power performance, and represented the highest level of luxury cars at that time.
At that time, the “Zeppelin” series included cars, sports convertibles and convertible wagons. All of the models have exceptionally spacious interiors, comfortable and spacious seats wrapped in soft leather, and the driving performance on the highway is also very good. The wheelbase of the top car is 3735 mm, the rigid axle connected with the semi-elliptical long spring provides agile vehicle handling characteristics, and the hydraulic two-way shock absorber further improves ride comfort. Although the driver still needs to step on the clutch at the moment of starting, after that, he only needs to operate the two small control levers in the middle of the steering wheel to change gears through the 4-speed planetary gear transmission without using the clutch. In addition, neutral, first gear and reverse gear can be operated using the preselected shift handle in the center of the car.
In addition to the engine and transmission, Maybach has also greatly improved driving stability and ride comfort. The new lateral swing axle technology came into being, and is equipped with a variety of products including SW35 (1935), SW38 (1936) and SW42 (1939~1941). In addition, these advanced Maybach cars use a 140-horsepower 6-cylinder in-line engine, which makes Maybach achieve great success once again.
However, Carl Maybach did not feel satisfied. He said: For those customers with extraordinary taste, perfect details are very important. Whether in body manufacturing, interior decoration and body painting, Maybach always insists on cooperating with the best supporting factories and experts in this field to meet the needs of consumers and provide customers with outstanding products. This tradition of exclusive customization continues to this day.
After World War II broke out, production was forced to stop, and the Maybach brand entered a 60-year sleep period
In the early 1940s, with the outbreak of World War II, the factory was forced to shut down. The glorious era of Maybach entered a 60-year sleep period. As of the end of production in 1941, about 1,800 of these high-end cars were produced. Nevertheless, this legendary car brand is still deeply rooted in the hearts of engineers, designers and countless car enthusiasts around the world.
Recovery after sleeping: Rebirth of Maybach brand
In 1997, the Daimler-Chrysler Group officially resurrected this top luxury car brand that had been slept for more than half a century. In 2002, the Maybach car was re-presented to the world. Up to now, the Maybach brand has far exceeded the definition of top luxury cars, becoming the most high-end car brand of Daimler, and inherited the design concept of the founder Mr. Wilhelm Maybach to pursue the world’s top luxury cars.
Maybach cars in the 21st century
In 2002, the new Maybach car came out
In 2002, the Maybach brand showed the world two new models – 57 model and 62 model after sleeping for more than 60 years. The two new cars are named according to car body length. Maybach continues the legendary design concept of the Maybach family. Maybach designers and developers have redefined a new industry standard with a new generation of Maybach, and further consolidated Maybach’s leading position in the field of top luxury cars. The impeccable elegance of the Maybach 57 runs through the entire body. The combination of confident and distinguished styling design and body contours full of power and beauty makes the overall effect integrated. Maybach can provide users with a variety of personalized customization solutions. All kinds of car paint and unique wheel design can fully show the unique taste of the owners.
In addition to luxurious and classic design, Maybach also leads the top luxury sedan market with its outstanding engineering design and extraordinary performance. At the same time, the new generation of Maybach also has lower fuel consumption and less exhaust emissions.
With the new generation of Maybach, the designers and developers have redefined new industry standards and further consolidated Maybach’s leading position in the field of top luxury cars. With the help of dual braking lines, two central control units and dual brake caliper design for each wheel, the vehicle can accurately calculate the braking force of each wheel. The ESP, ABS, BAS and ASR systems are all integrated into one body to achieve more accurate vehicle control and enhance safety performance to a higher level.
In order to meet the noble requirements of users for the interior customization, the Maybach factory only selects special cowhide from southern Germany as raw materials, and strictly selects the color and texture of the leather to ensure consistent high quality. All leathers need to be soaked, tanned, dried and stretched by professional craftsmen. The softness and lustre of this special leather is attributed to the complexity of the process for hours. The leather processed through this complicated procedure has excellent breathability and elasticity, and is easy to maintain. The manual double-thread sewing technology makes the leather goods more durable. Maybach’s interiors are natural: perfect craftsmanship, comfortable touch, and full of personality.
Customers of the new Maybach can choose to equip the car with a highly imaginative fragrance device. This is the world’s first in-car fragrance system. Maybach hired internationally renowned experts to develop two different fragrances specifically for customers to meet their different needs for fragrance intensity. What’s more unique is that this fragrance device can also automatically sleep and reactivate after a certain time to ensure that passengers can always feel the aroma atmosphere.
The transparent electric control panoramic sunroof can be installed above the rear seat area of Maybach 62. According to the needs, passengers can adjust the interior environment by themselves: the sunroof is composed of two layers of laminated glass panels, and the inner glass panel can be electronically controlled for transparency. You can switch between transparency and opacity by simply touching the button, easily creating a favorite car interior light and environment.
The electric sliding interlayer installed between the inner and outer glass panels can be electrically controlled to emit lights. The brightness of the light can be adjusted by the knob to create an ideal interior environment. The roof glass surface extends from the windshield to the rear window, creating a smooth overall external visual effect. The front of the roof is equipped with solar panels to help the vehicle provide interior ventilation when the car is parked outdoors. This innovative high-tech assembly not only improves the ride comfort, but also injects new vitality into Maybach.
For more demanding users, 57S model and 62S model are introduced
In 2005, Maybach launched two high-performance models of 57 and 62 models, 57S model and 62S model for users who prefer sports performance. To meet the needs of more users, the new model has been further strengthened in power performance. The engine provided by AMG has increased the displacement of the V-type 12-cylinder engine from 5.5-liter to 6.0-liters, and the maximum power has been increased from the original 405 Kw to 463 Kw, the peak torque has also been increased from the previous 900 Nm to 1000 Nm, enabling the two new cars to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 5.1 seconds.
The excellent shock absorption performance of the double wishbone suspension can control the vibration to the minimum range. The upper fork arm is directly connected to the body through a rubber layer. The lower steel fork arm realizes the shock absorption effect through 4 hydraulic shock-absorbing pallets. The multi-link suspension damping system consists of five links connected to the subframe through rubber pads. In order to improve the performance of the Maybach 57S, the shock absorption system has been adjusted down by 12 mm. Moreover, the upgraded stabilizer can reduce the sliding angle by 15% when turning quickly. The solid shock absorption system is fully integrated with Maybach’s extraordinary dynamic performance. All of the Maybach models can be controlled with one button, enabling free switching among the three shock absorption methods. Even ESP and ASR now have more dynamic configuration.
Some people have defined the recovered Maybach as “Rolls-Royce in Germany”. This sentence is reasonable but not exact. Because Rolls-Royce, the pride of the British automotive industry, has been classified into the German BMW Group and has become an “authentic” German product. And another ultra-luxury car brand Bentley has also joined the German Volkswagen Group. In this context, Daimler Group, unwilling to lose to the “old rival”, launched Maybach at this time, which is obviously a strategic consideration. It will use Maybach as a sharp knife in the ultra-luxury car market, instead of allowing BMW to enjoy the market alone. In terms of the product itself, Rolls-Royce and Maybach should be equally matched. Moreover, for such luxury cars, the brand’s appeal and influence will be far more important than the quality of the car itself.
The Maybach brand represents unparalleled great quality, exquisite craftsmanship, continuous technological breakthroughs, and distinguished and extremely luxurious aristocratic temperament. This legendary brand reappears in the market and is bound to become the top benchmark in the field of super luxury cars.