What Are They?
Mercedes-Benz debuted several models at this year’s LA Auto Show, including the new Mercedes-AMG E63, the sporty Mercedes-AMG GLE43, a new version of the G-Class SUV and some new variants of the Mercedes-AMG GT sports car. But the most exciting debut was the ultra-luxurious Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet.
Perched at the very top of the S-Class range and using the brand’s upscale “Maybach” name, the S650 Cabriolet is the ultimate S-Class. Never mind the fact that it’s little more than a standard S-Class Cabriolet with a bigger engine and a slew of Maybach badges and some upscale touches (like new wheels, unique trim and a wide variety of ultra-luxurious stitching): The Maybach S650 is one of Mercedes’ flagship models, and it’s limited to just 300 units. And it has an engine fitted for a flagship: The S650’s 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged V12 is borrowed from the Mercedes-AMG S65.
As for the other new Mercedes models in LA, they’re plentiful. The brand showed off its new E63 AMG, which it revealed last month — and which offers up to 603 horsepower. The new Mercedes-AMG GLE43 slots below the high-performance AMG GLE63 and features a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 that makes 362 hp. And while we already knew about the Mercedes-AMG GT R, the Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster and the G550 4×42 (which will soon be coming to the U.S.), it’s nice to see each of them Stateside.
Mercedes hasn’t yet announced pricing for the S650 Cabriolet — but we wouldn’t be surprised if it starts in the high-$200,000 range. We’re most excited, however, to find out the sticker price of the G550 4×42, which supposedly goes on sale next year.
When Can You Get Them?
The Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet goes on sale early next year, though only 75 examples — of the planned 300 — are earmarked for U.S. buyers. The 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 likely goes on sale next summer, while we expect to see the Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster in the spring — though it could be a little further away than that.
Add Them to Your Shopping List Because…
If you have money to burn, the S650 Cabriolet deserves a spot on your shopping list because of its sheer opulence; effectively, it’s saying to everyone else that you could’ve bought an S550, or an S63 AMG, or an S65 AMG, but you wanted to get the absolute king of the S-Class domain. It will likely be the most expensive Mercedes-Benz model on sale when it reaches dealers.
As for the others, the E63 AMG merits serious consideration if only for its insane 0-to-60 time, which can get as low as 3.3 seconds if you choose the sporty S model. The AMG GLE43 seems to bridge the gap between “suburban family SUV” and “high-performance monster,” while the G550 4×42, well… it’s just crazy.
Other Cars to Consider
2017 Aston Martin DB11 — The all-new Aston Martin DB11 is still months away from going on sale. But its gorgeous design and impressive performance will likely create a more special experience than with the S650.
2016 Bentley Continental GTC — The Continental GTC uses an aging design and falls well behind the S650 in terms of technology. But the cachet of the Bentley name is hard to argue with — even when you’re comparing it to the cachet of the Maybach name.
2016 Rolls-Royce Dawn — The drop-top version of Rolls-Royce’s gorgeous Wraith coupe just debuted with a $340,000 starting price. That’s a lot of money — but to many shoppers, it’s one of the ultimate convertibles on the market.
Used Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead — If you want a truly opulent convertible, you’ll want a Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead. But with prices eclipsing $400,000 — or more — even the wealthiest buyers may want to consider a used version rather than a new one.