Maybach Exelero – the most expensive car on the Earth ($8 billion)


Manufacturer    Maybach-Motorenbau GmbH (Daimler AG)

Production         2005, 1 units

Class      Sports car

Body style           2-door coupe

Related                Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

Engine  V12 twin turbo

Length  245.3 in (6,230.6 mm)

Width   83.5 in (2,120.9 mm)

Height  54.2 in (1,376.7 mm)

Curb weight       2,660 kg (5,864 lb)

Displacement cu in (cc):               360 (5908)

Power bhp (kW) at RPM:             700(515) / 5000

Torque lb-ft (Nm) at RPM:           753(1020) / 2500

Brakes F/R:         ABS, vented disc/vented disc

Tires F-R:             315/25 ZR23

Acceleration 0-62 mph s:              4.4

Top Speed mph (km/h):               218 (351)

Acc 0-60mph (0-100km/h)            4.4s

1/4 mile               13.0s

Transmission     5-speed automatic

Horsepower: 700 @ 5000 RPM

Torque: 753 lbs. @ 2500 RPM

Layout: Front Engine

Displacement: 5908 cc

Average fuel consumption          50L/100km

Fuel capacity     110L


The Maybach Exelero is a high-performance unique sports car. It’s the most expensive car with the price of about $8 million. The 700-hp two-seater with a V-12 biturbo engine is a unique custom model produced for Fulda Reifenwerke, which is using the Maybach Exelero as a reference vehicle for a newly developed generation of wide tyres. The German manufacturer of luxury cars built the unique model as a modern interpretation of its legendary streamlined sports car from the 1930s, thereby forging a link with the historical predecessor, which at that time was likewise based on a powerful Maybach automobile (SW 38) and used by Fulda for tyre tests. In this case, the Maybach SW 38 was also used by Fulda for tyre testing. The car is also famous for being portrayed in one of the episodes of long-running German show; Cobra 11. Jay-Z featured the car in the music video for “Lost One”.

The Maybach high-performance show car “Exelero” was unveiled to the world for the first time this afternoon in the Tempodrom in Berlin. The 700-hp two-seater with a V-12 biturbo engine is a unique custom model produced for Fulda Reifenwerke, which is using the Maybach Exelero as a reference vehicle for a newly developed generation of wide tyres. The German manufacturer of luxury cars built the unique model as a modern interpretation of its legendary streamlined sports car from the 1930s, thereby forging a link with the historical predecessor, which at that time was likewise based on a powerful Maybach automobile (SW 38) and used by Fulda for tyre tests.

The Exelero embodies the highest expression to date of the Maybach individualisation strategy of offering specific custom solutions on request. In initial tests on the high-speed track in Nardo (Italy), the unique vehicle reached a top speed of 351.45 km/h (FIA*-standard unit of measurement). Developers at Maybach designed the custom model with the participation of students from Pforzheim College. The Exelero was built by the prototype specialists at Stola in Turin (Italy). There are no plans to produce the model in series.

MaybachExelero_1 maybach-exelero-logo

Maybach Exelero, a luxury “show car” produced by Maybach in 2005. It is a two-seat super car powered by a V12 engine. The engine is from a Maybach 57 S, another German creation.

The Maybach Exelero wasn’t launched to be sold. The company manufactured only one, which is to say that it was all for show.

Equipped with a twin-turbo 5.9 liter V12 engine, it is capable of generating over 700 HP. That, is real power. The design of the car itself is special. Among those who saw the car itself, the rave was that it either looked like the old Batmobile, sans the fish-tail or the Green Hornets ride from the late 60’s, Black Beauty.

The only original Maybach component is the front grille. The interior is made in black and red leather in addition to the carbon fiber that make up the rest of the inside. This car has only two seats, so it is safe to call it a sports car, though it looks nothing like it.

This car is unique. The Exelero was hand built and comes with a price tag of $8,000,000. Yes, that is an eight followed by six zeroes. It does discourage any attempt to obtain such an opulent vehicle. Regardless, the Maybach Exelero is a super car with monster power. For that money you can build several supercars on your own.

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Exelero – the legend lives

Just imagine an automobile that combines the elegance and first-class quality of a high-end limousine with the powerful suppleness of a sports coupe. Create a vehicle in your mind’s eye which, with an unladen weight of over 2.66 tons and the dimensions of a small transporter, achieves a maximum speed of over 350 km/h.

Conceive an ultra-high performance tire which not only copes with the aforementioned weight, the dimensions and the speed, but also makes the automobile safe, stable and comfortable. Such a vehicle and such tires do not exist? Now they do.


Always something special

For 99 years, Fulda has been making car tires. For most of this time, the company has advertised its products with special vehicles. Luxury buses, advertising vehicles with special bodies, high-speed buses for tire tests, a whole series of showtrucks, racing cars and – in the 1930s something quite special – streamlined car from the Maybach company which could conduct tire tests at speeds of over 200 km/h.

Unfortunately, not for too long, because the test car designed in 1938 and delivered in 1939 disappeared during the war years and never reappeared again.

66 years later: Fulda is introducing a new sophisticated high-tech tire to the market. For the most extreme dimension of this tire line, 315/25 ZR 23, licensed for speeds of more than 350 km/h, and that as a series tire, not a racing tire, what was needed was a high-speed vehicle but not a racing car. A few years ago, one the most exclusive German automobile makes was revived, why not organize a joint project together once again, just like in the old days?


The model phase starts

Three model construction phases in the manufacture of a special vehicle are decisive in the development process:

  • the exterior design reference model (for the construction of the negative molds)
  • the interior reference model and
  • the chassis order with auxiliary frame

Based on detailed and strict time schedules, all three phases were realized simultaneously. The well-known Italian vehicle study manufacturer Stola in Turin was commissioned by DaimlerChrysler to build the Exelero. The sports coupe was also now given its final project name: Maybach Exelero.

On 31 May 2005 everything was ready. All three phases were completed. The 1:1 model for the exterior had been tested in the wind tunnel many times, modified and adapted. The interior details were fixed: natural leather, neoprene, coated punched aluminum sheet as well as carbon fiber in glossy black and red are the main materials. And the technicians who worked on the vehicle had arranged, rebuilt and made ready for use all the functions and the parts needed for this. Dipl.-Ing. Jurgen Weissinger, the responsible project technician and development manager at Maybach, connected the battery, turned the ignition key and the car growled into life. The short burst of gas suggested record speeds.

The construction and test phase concluded with a outstanding success

Transforming a limousine, the basis for the Exelero is the Maybach 57, into a coupe is extremely demanding. Jurgen Weissinger and his team were astonished to find that, although the dimensions of the former SW 38 differed in the length (the Maybach 57 has a 290 millimeters longer wheelbase), in terms of breadth and height they were very similar. That simplified a whole series of structural measures.

When considering the engine alternatives, it soon became clear that the basic twelve-cylinder engine used in the Maybach limousines would not achieve the desired maximum speed of around 350 km/h despite the Biturbo turbo charger. Here, the Mercedes Car Group leapt into the breach. The engine specialists in Unterturkheim, the place where all basic engines are developed, provided energetic support for the project.

After several optimization of the Maybach type 12 engine, the cubic capacity was increased from 5.6 to 5.9 liters and the turbo charge optimized. The result was convincing: on the test bed almost 700 hp and at least 1,000 newton meters of torque were recorded, sufficient to achieve the targeted maximum speed of 350 km/h.

Before, during and after the aforementioned work, the individual evolutionary steps were supported by corresponding tests. Either on engine test beds in the plants or on test tracks like the high-speed oval in Nardo/Southern Italy or the test track in Cloppenburg.

The final test measurements at the end of April/beginning of May 2005, once again on the high speed Motodrom Nardo, then produced the well-earned success of lost of hard work: a top speed of 351,45 km/h – a world record for limousines – on standard tires.

And yet another world record: between the Fulda idea, the outstanding cooperation of all concerned and the delivery of the Maybach Exelero sports coupe, just 25 months passed.


Thanks to all cooperation partners

Yet again in Fulda Reifen’s company history, a cooperation has led to an exceptional final result: a top-class product like the Exelero ultra-high performance tire is matched by an exceptional vehicle, unmatched anywhere else in the world, the Maybach Exelero sports coupe.

The result can never be the product of just one individual, only within the framework of a partnership at the highest level and the uncompromising efforts of all concerned can such a project succeed. The Fulda project team under the direction of

Bernd J. Hoffmann, Chairman of the Board of Management, would hereby like to thank everyone involved, particularly the responsible persons at

  • DaimlerChrysler/Maybach, Sindelfingen (design, Product Communication, engineering and engine construction)
  • Stola, Turin/Italy (prototype construction)
  • Pforzheim Polytechnic (Department of Transport Design), Pforzheim
  • Rene Staud and his company MEM Motor Event Marketing, Leonberg
  • Excentric/ATP-Felgen, Bremen

In the 1920s, the sales managers at Fulda Reifen, known at that time as Gummiwerke Fulda, were quite sure that the brand’s image should not be communicated in isolation from the end-product that stands on four tires.

Consequently, they bought a bus, had it converted into a luxury coach and as of 1925, presented Fulda’s new patented Parabel tire all over Germany and the neighboring countries. The first of a long series of special models was born.

Whether advertising vehicles equipped with record players and loudspeakers, the tail section shaped like huge tires, standing in front of the Reichstag in Berlin (1931), whether as a tire test streamlined bus with special license for speeds over 140 km/h (1961), or as a show truck series (from 1985) to demonstrate the respective latest high-tech truck tire generation – in all chapters of the Fulda company history there have been Fulda special vehicles.

The most challenging technical commission to produce a special model in the first half of the company’s history with the simultaneous mysterious conclusion was awarded by Fulda in 1938. The starting point was the rapid development in automotive design in the 1930s which, due to the increasingly refined aerodynamic automobiles, permitted higher and higher speeds. In addition, the construction of the “Autobahn” provided motorists with the opportunity to travel further at higher speeds.

That was a challenge to the tire industry. Bernd J. Hoffmann, Managing Director of Fulda Reifen comments: “My pragmatic predecessors did not hesitate long: At Dörr & Schreck, a renowned vehicle-maker in Frankfurt, they commissioned the construction of a vehicle for tire tests. Precondition for this order was the assurance of the manufacturer that the vehicle could regularly make high-speed tests at more than 200 km/h.”

 Dörr & Schreck accepted the order and looked for the absolute leading cooperation partner in automobile manufacturing at that time: Maybach Motorenbau. Together and with the help of the well-known aerodynamic specialist, Freiherr Reinhard Koenig Fachsenfeld, they designed a three-seater streamlined car on the basis of a Maybach SW 38 chassis. The Fulda coupé with its two-color paint job and pontoon form had a long extended tail section sloping to the rear. From a bird’s eye-view the overall line looked like a rectangle with rounded edges. The rear wheel arches were completely panelled, as was the underbody, even the door handles were partly recessed.

To reach the speed of over 200 km/h demanded by Fulda, the technicians installed a 6-cylinder engine with 140 hp. The exceptionally low air resistance coefficient of 0.25 (a figure of 0.6 was usual at that time for series-produced vehicles), also helped guarantee this speed. The precondition was, however, that the chassis did not exceed a weight of 1,600 kg.

On 27 July 1939, Dörr & Schreck finally announced the completion of the SW 38: “The car is extremely interesting and beautiful. It lies well on the road and the streamlined shape already makes itself felt at 60 km/h. Soon afterwards the car was delivered, but as a result of the outbreak of war its use was soon to be very limited. During the chaos of war the test vehicle disappeared and was never found again – its whereabouts remain a mystery to this day.

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12 responses to “Maybach Exelero – the most expensive car on the Earth ($8 billion)

  1. I guess my reaction is…why? Why spend so much time, design effort, meticulous production, and money when the collective efforts and resources that went into the car could, instead, be directed toward feeding the hungry, eradicating disease, educating the illiterate, finding cures, etc.

    I know I am on a soapbox and my thoughts are clearly not directed at you, JS. The article was/is fascinating! But the compassionate me sometimes doesn’t understand how people justify money’s use when it’s not for the betterment of humanity.

    I apologize for using your comment space to vent my view. I’ll try not to again. Besides, your posts are so often intriguing and informative, I am compelled to compliment you on sourcing and sharing your interesting finds. 🙂


  2. You are always very welcome to make comment n express your opinions 🙂 i am agree with your thoughts Eric, they are spending billions of dollars while millions of children struggling of hunger and poverty, its the best way to fund for welfare benefits, such as Education, as its known that education will eradicate hunger, poverty and its a right path to better future…


    • Ya I agree and the bugatti veyron is 2 mill and its better than the mayback excelero and it 4 times cheaper so you could buy 4 of them for the price of one so my vote goes to bugatti for once again making a great car cheaper than the lame mayback excelero


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  5. Excellent goods from you, man. I have take into accout your stuff prior to and you are simply too excellent. I actually like what you have got here, really like what you are stating and the way during which you are saying it. You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to stay it wise. I can’t wait to learn much more from you. That is actually a great site.


    • I know right why dont we all be like bill gates and invest the same money to better causes like scientists to find cures to diseases instead of spending it on a dumb car


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