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In exchange, you get some unique 20" dark chrome rims, the requisite special badges, dark red tail lights, vertical exhaust outlets, special leather upholstery ("California beige" with "Stromboli black" stitching), piano lacquer trim, a set of silver champagne flutes and a plastic fragrance dispenser.

Maybach says they'll only make 100 Zeppelin editions, but remember: that's a maximum, and we'd be surprised if they actually sold that many. Full details in the press release after the jump and photos in the gallery below.

Anybody want to buy a used Maybach? Hello? The idea may sound entirely preposterous - an anathema, even, to the brand's nouveau riche market - but it may be the best way to get your hands on Mercedes' super-lux big brother. Of course that's the positive way to look at it, but the flip side is that, as demonstrated by recently released statistics, Maybach has the highest depreciation rates of any car on the market.

Over the course of the first year of ownership, a new Maybach 62S is assessed to lose a whopping $183k off its half-a-million-dollar sticker price. That's 39% off its purchase value in the span of a year, or roughly $500 every day. The Rolls-Royce Phantom, by comparison, loses "only" about $100k, or 24%. Slightly further down-market, things are even worse... by percentage, at least: a BMW 7 Series loses a tear-jerking 51%, and a Mercedes S-Class 47%. While depreciation is expected on a new car, this is bordering on depressing.

One of these days, the guys at Daimler headquarters in Stuttgart will realize that, to make Maybach a success, the marque is going to need to do more than revive some old names and slap 'em on an oversized version of the old Mercedes S-Class. Until then, however, it's full speed ahead on the current course, as Maybach is poised to unveil Zeppelin editions of its current models.

As if the regular old Maybach 62 wasn't decadent enough, someone just went ahead and created a Maybach 72. Starting with a donor 2004 Maybach 62, the creator stretched it enough to add a pair of rear-facing back seats to make a true limo experience. Whereas the original model was 62 decimeters (decimeter = 1/10th meter) long, the resultant party palace is 72. The price of the vehicle is said to be double that of the original at $780,000. That's a whole lot of coin, but it does have less than 500 miles on the odometer. And this is the only Maybach we know of that goes to 11 72. It's no taxi, but it sure is novel.

Reviving the old nameplate of the original Maybach's top-spec model, the new Zeppelin is little more than a pricy trim package. €406,000 (about $525k USD by today's rates) gets you a Maybach 57 Zeppelin, while the larger 62 commands a €473,200 ($612k) sum.

Seemingly nothing - not the credit crunch, not miniscule sales, not its own lengthy, lugubrious looks - can kill the Maybach. People who have wondered how long Mercedes will keep dishing out tiny servings of the enormous cars can wonder no more: top guy Dieter Zetsche has said Maybach is here to stay, and that the brand "is not losing money."

We don't know how a division that moved just 146 cars last year, even if they start at $372,000, isn't losing money. But the $1.35 million Landaulet should help things, and to be to be fair, Zetsche has said before that Maybach's profitability or otherwise is not the issue - the car is a suitable competitor to Rolls-Royce and Bentley. And Daimler has demonstrated patience: it waded through the rough times with the smart car division for ten years, and now has black ink and a hot brand to show for it.

If you've got it, flaunt it. The super high-end automotive market has been counting on that attitude for years, and it may now be coming back to bite them. It seems that sales of luxury marques such as Bentley, Maybach and Aston Martin have been on a downward trajectory over the last year. Despite the fact that there are a number of people who still have plenty of dough to purchase these expensive toys, public perception is causing some of them to hold back and keep those fat wallets in their pockets.

To combat the problem, some high-end brands are choosing to aim even higher. If ex-customers with a net-worth of less than $5 million find it socially unacceptable to make a purchase, Bentley has said it will begin marketing to those with at least a net worth of $25 million. Let us add that we've driven a few Bentleys and Rollers and can say with certainty that they are definitely conspicuous in a sea of CamCords and Mustangs.


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