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The next Mercedes-Maybach is a US$323,000 convertible

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Tuesday night at a private residence in Los Angeles, Mercedes-Maybach unveiled the S650 Cabriolet, a four-seat convertible aimed at the wealthiest auto buyers on the globe.

[NEW YORK] Tuesday night at a private residence in Los Angeles, Mercedes-Maybach unveiled the S650 Cabriolet, a four-seat convertible aimed at the wealthiest auto buyers on the globe.

The US$323,000 V12 soft-top is the first of its kind from the ultra high-end Mercedes-Maybach line, meant to tap the recent success of other expensive drop-tops like the US$335,000 Rolls-Royce Dawn and the US$267,000 Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible.

While the Rolls delivers the world's best in hand-built automotive craftsmanship, and the Bentley delivers racing-caliber speed and performance, the Mercedes inhabits the spot between them, blending both characteristics of performance and opulence.

Most who buy it will be consumers loyal to German engineering who simply add it as their latest open-air option in garages already stuffed with luxury brands. 

The Mercedes-Maybach Cabriolet is the first of its kind-but hardly the first example of Mercedes tapping this uppermost echelon of car buyers: The brand debuted a 6-metre-long Mercedes-Maybach Concept Coupe at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in August; its US$1 million Mercedes-Maybach Pullman and US$192,000 Mercedes-Maybach S600 sedan debuted last year.

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This new convertible is the logical progression of the line.  Super-expensive cars like these tap into a market of global wealth that remains thirsty for exclusive product regardless of economic factors; the margins on Mercedes-Maybach's newest cabriolet are especially high, too, considering the fact that many of its underpinnings had already been developed for the previous Mercedes-Maybach S Class. 

Mercedes-Maybach's Cabriolet does also include many of the appointments that make the similar US$220,000 Mercedes-Benz AMG SL65 Convertible distinctive: the warming system that blows warm air onto passengers' necks, the supple leather sewn into intricate patterns on the seats; and an internal fragrance system that scents the cabin of the car.

It comes with Swarovski crystals embedded into the headlights and a matching luggage set. 

Last year's AMG SL65 can hit 60mph in 3.9 seconds, which is faster than its Maybach counterpart, but the more recent of the two is the more grand.

Buyers in the United States can choose to have it in one of three colour combinations: Zircon Red with a white and black interior; Cote d'Azur Blue with a white and saddle brown interior; or Diamond White with white and a yacht-blue interior.

Better yet: Top performance is 621 horsepower; top speed will likely approach 200mph.

That's enough to put Rolls and Bentley on notice.  Mercedes-Maybach will make 300 total of the S650 Cabriolet; 75 of them will go to the United States. Production begins next year.


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