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Maybach Magnificence

It's sleek, it's powerful -- and it may be just a bit much

Los Angeles should love the Maybach.

With laminated glass windows 7.2 mm thick, the whine of a Metro bus is a murmur. Down-filled neck pillows, HVAC air filters and a 110-degree adjustable foot rest create womblike comfort not experienced since your second trimester. Compared with the Hummer’s fuel consumption, it’s an economy car.

However, since Daimler-Chrysler first released the Maybach in 2002, it’s fallen short of sales goals of 1,000 a year. Still, it’s not a bad crowd to hang with: owners include Kobe Bryant, Donald Trump, Elton John, Madonna and Usher.

V Life Weekend recently spent a day with a 2005 Maybach 62 ($411,000, including options) and a driver (Dennis). It was a sublime experience, but we returned with the top four reasons why you probably don’t own one.

  • Can’t handle the competition. Valets react to Maybachs as if their lives have been building to this moment. Muttered one admirer, “Motherfucker rolls heavy.” However, the indignities of Hollywood’s caste system are hard enough without being upstaged by a car.

  • Instant gratification takes too long. Maybach operates much like Fatburger in that they don’t start to make it until you order it. In this case, you don’t get to eat for five months.

  • Parallel parking is stressful enough. The rear window’s privacy curtains give the 62 a blind spot that could hide a family of four. You can add a parking assist camera system, but shouldn’t that be standard on a 20-foot vehicle?

  • We’re never going to be James Bond. We liked pushing a button and watching the electron-reversing glass go from clear to opaque in three seconds flat. Ditto the interior, adorned with a small forest of European cherry wood, Indonesian amboyna and California burl walnut, not to mention the optional mini-refrigerator that keeps Cristal chilled to your specification.

On the other hand, the 2005 Bentley Arnage RL is also pretty comfy. It costs $242,000.

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