2006 Maybach 57S

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Mercedes-Benz released an even more powerful version of its Maybach 57 in an effort to jump-start sluggish sales of its ultraluxury brand. The 57S (the S stands for Special) has an AMG-tuned, 6.0-liter, twin-turbo V-12 engine that churns out 612 hp, which is 45 hp more than the "normal" 57, and an incredible 734 lb-ft of torque, enough to propel pampered passengers to 60 mph in less than 5.0 seconds. Those with a keen eye will recognize this engine from the Mercedes-Benz CL-, SL-, and S65 AMG models. The suspension is slightly firmer, and the ride height has been lowered by a bit more than half an inch. Maybach found the most ungainly twenty-inch wheels this side of 8 Mile Road and shod them with Michelin Pilot Sport tires. Two exterior colors--black and silver--will be offered when the 57S goes on sale in December, and buyers can choose from two interior color combinations: white leather seats with black piping, or black seats with white piping, both with carbon-fiber interior trim. The effect is reminiscent of a cocaine dealer's living room, circa 1989, with a bit of carbon fiber tacked on. Exterior changes include chrome foglamps and blacked-out headlamp surrounds. Expect the 57S to cost upwards of $400,000--more than double the price of the Mercedes-Benz models with the same engine.

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