A one-off custom-built Maybach was unveiled in May 2005 at the Tempodrom in Berlin. Commissioned by tyre company Fulda, the Exelero is a chopped-down two-seater coupe, though it's more than just a show car - in tests at the Nardo high-speed oval, the prototype reached a speed of 218.38mph, despite weighing over 2.66 tonnes. It is capable of acceleration from 0-60mph in 4.4 seconds.

The car's design was the result of a competition amongst students at the Pforzheim Polytechnic Department of Transport Design, which has worked on show vehicles for Fulda in the past. The design of 24-year-old Fredrik Burchhardt was chosen, and his work was co-ordinated with that of the Maybach design centre in Sindelfingen. The project, based on the Maybach 57 limousine, required a certain amount of re-engineering; the A-pillar and doors had to be shifted rearwards, and the steering column, pedals and gearshift all re-located. The standard 550bhp V12 engine was bored out to 5.9 litres, and tuned for 700bhp and over 738lb ft of torque. With final dimensions of 5890mm long, 2140mm wide and just 1390mm high, the car was kitted out with a full-spec interior, including leather, neoprene, aluminium and carbonfibre finishes.

Maybach says the car, built by Stola in Turin, is "a one-off vehicle created to showcase the new ultra-high performance Exelero tyre range from leading tyre manufacturer Fulda"; it's not the first time the two companies have teamed up, as back in 1938 Fulda demonstrated its tyres on a Maybach SW 38 limousine. There are, however, "no plans to produce the model in series", though it has been certified for on-road use.
 


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