In the USA there are super-expensive Mercedes V-Classes on offer that look a lot like Maybach - but where luxury is not consistently implemented.
The Mercedes V-Class is called Metris Passenger Van in the USA – two Metris have now appeared on the US luxury vehicle portal Wires Only, which professional tuners have obviously converted into wannabe Maybach variants. The cars are definitely well equipped. But they are expensive and most importantly something is missing.
The younger model is a V-Class from 2021. It is painted silver-grey in the upper area and light blue in the lower area. The original Maybach 57 and 62 from the generation built up to December 2012 was often delivered by Mercedes in a two-tone finish. The V-Class model has received a new body kit including a Maybach radiator grille and a free-standing Mercedes star – Mercedes is also currently delivering its Maybach models with a star instead of the Maybach logo on the radiator grille. The shape of the radiator grille is very similar to that of the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600, as is the wire mesh cover of the lower air intake. The multi-spoke wheels of the V-Class could come directly from the Maybach range.
Very well equipped
Inside there are classy leather seats with diamond quilting, an Alcantara headliner and new wood paneling. A seat system with two forward-facing individual seats is installed in the rear, with a refrigerator compartment gaping under the center armrest. Opposite you are two emergency seats that can be folded out. When fully occupied, legroom is likely to be significantly restricted. The occupants can fold out tables with a carbon surface from the armrests. The large base of the center console screen and parts of the interior door panels are also made of carbon fiber. A link to the original Maybach models 57 and 62 is built by the round instruments integrated in the roof of the rear, which display the current speed on the left, the time in the middle and the interior temperature on the right. And apparently the occupants can also comfortably brew a coffee: there is a drawer for coffee capsules in the center console. With its Phillips screws exposed on the side, it doesn't look like Maybach at all, but rather self-made. There is a partition to the driver and passenger compartment, on which a large television is mounted.
Tight when fully occupied
The second V-Class Maybach is from 2020. Its highlight is the real partition between the driver's compartment and the rear, which was also available as an option on the 57 and 62. As with the original, the separating window is made of electrochromic glass, the transparency of which can be adjusted at the touch of a button between a clear view and completely opaque. The electrochromic glass roof is also installed in this V-Class – now, in 2023, this glass roof costs almost 90,000 euros as a spare part.This V-Class is also equipped with two jump seats, which, however, disappear invisibly under the partition when folded up. Unfolded, they reduce the legroom to almost zero. There is a Burmester sound system for the sound in the bright interior, and the fitters have fitted the trunk with leather, curtains and drawers.
On the outside, this Maybach V-Class is a bit more traditional than the 2021 model. On its grille is the chic Maybach double M, which the 57 and 62 also pushed through the wind. The grill seems to be based on that of a Mercedes-Maybach S 650, the wheels could in turn come directly from such a model.
Four-cylinder in the super-expensive pseudo-Maybach
Both models are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo petrol engine with 211 hp, which is coupled to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Find the mistake - Mercedes currently offers three Maybach variants: The Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 with a 4.0-liter V8 and 557 hp for 173,264 euros, the Mercedes-Maybach S 580 with the same engine and 503 hp for 175,418 euros and the Mercedes-Maybach S 680 with a 6.0-liter V12 and 612 hp for 230,557 euros. Wires Only has the 2020 V-Class for $299,000 and the 2021 model for $269,000 (248,497 euros). Both versions are therefore significantly more expensive than real Mercedes-Maybach models with V8 or V12 engines.
The Maybach built up to 2012, which in contrast to today's variants were separate models and not equipment versions, were massively more expensive. The Maybach 57 entry-level model cost 390,201 euros, which eleven years later would already be 482,423 euros if inflation is included. The top variant 62 S then cost 523,838 euros – in 2023 that would be extrapolated to 647,644 euros. The Maybach Zeppelin, limited to 100 copies, even cost 560,000 euros, which would be 692,353 euros at the beginning of 2023 after factoring in inflation.
The desire for a combination of luxury and plenty of space was probably the main motivation for these private Mercedes V-Class Maybach conversions. Visually, both vehicles are clearly trimmed to Maybach, which could take some getting used to for a V-Class, which is called Metris in the USA. Inside, the cars are well equipped, there is even a partition to the driver's area. The seats appear high quality and comfortable.
What doesn't fit the Maybach feeling are the emergency seats in the rear, which reduce the legroom there to that of a small car when used. In addition, the US V-Class is equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol engine, while Mercedes delivers its Maybach variants with eight or twelve cylinders. Luxury-oriented Americans, in particular, are already skeptical about six-cylinder engines, and they rarely perceive four-cylinder units as engines to be taken seriously.
The price is also not very convincing: The two V-Classes cost the equivalent of 248,000 and 276,000 euros – no Maybach model currently offered by Mercedes is that expensive.