Back in the '60s and the '70s, no dictator would dare be seen riding in anything less than a Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman. The 600 was created to be the ultimate Chedeng, in a time when Mercedes was already the luxury and engineering brand to be reckoned with. Its owners included famous personalities only our 50-year-old publisher would know: Hugh Hefner, Elizabeth Taylor, Aristotle Onassis, Jack Nicholson and two Beatles (who are now sadly deceased).
The 600 also ferried notorious heads of state like Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Fidel Castro, Kim Jong-il and our very own Ferdinand Marcos. The latter reportedly had four units of the Mercedes 600.
Now that luxury is making a comeback (but thankfully not dictatorships), the new Mercedes-Maybach sub-brand is reintroducing the last word in plush German transport. This is the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman S600, an opulent land barge that’s more than 21ft long. At 6,499mm in length, it’s 1,053mm longer than the "regular" top-of-the-line Mercedes S-Class. It’s also 100mm taller, resulting in better headroom for the Pullman.
Propelling this deluxe leviathan forward is a 6.0-liter V12 bi-turbo engine that generates 530hp and 830Nm.
But speed isn’t the point of the new Pullman--it’s comfort and space. This is illustrated best in how the engineers used the additional length. The legroom is so vast that four passengers can seat in the back, behind the power partition window behind the driver. The passengers sit facing each other, to better exchange ideas on how to spend their fortunes.
The cabin is encased in leather, from the roof-liner to the door frames and the seat consoles. Three analog instruments on the roof-liner remind the passengers of the outside temperature, the speed and the time. A Burmester 3D surround audio system can be tuned to the preference of each customer.
The original Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman is celebrating its 50th birthday this year. It is thus fitting that the Germans resurrect the Pullman name for this impressive modern incarnation. We expect the stars of our age to flock to the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman S600 once it’s available. But we have to admit this: We don’t know if Justin Bieber riding in one is any better than a mass-murdering despot of old being transported by its classic ancestor.