The German luxury car brand Maybach will be appearing in front of an American audience for the first time in more than 60 years. The Maybach brand exhibition will take a stroll down memory lane, looking at the legendary sedans which in their day, along with the Mercedes-Benz models, constituted the absolute elite in German automotive manufacturing. With their technical prowess, quality and style, these imposing luxury cars quickly made a name for themselves all over the world. Each car was hand-built around the engine and chassis on the basis of individual customer specifications. The flagship model was the Maybach "Zeppelin," with its mighty V12 engine. With a length of approximately 18 feet, this was the largest German passenger car of its era. The time-honored name "Maybach" is being revived as a separate brand in its own right in the DaimlerChrysler Group. The company will be presenting the new Maybach sedan in autumn 2002, with U.S. sales to start in spring, 2003. With its roominess, its engineering and its style, DaimlerChrysler says this luxury vehicle follows in the tradition of the legendary Maybach cars of old. The new Maybach has been developed in close collaboration with Mercedes-Benz, according to DaimlerChrysler, reaping the full benefits of Mercedes-Benz technology. Mercedes-Benz and Maybach have always had a great deal in common. The first Mercedes, the Mercedes 35 PS of 1901, was in fact a brainchild of Wilhelm Maybach, the long-time friend and colleague of Gottlieb Daimler and Director of the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG). This model provided the blueprint for all subsequent passenger cars. In 1909, Maybach went on to build high-performance, highly reliable engines for Zeppelin airships. Then, in 1919, his son Karl began developing exclusive luxury automobiles. He brought out his first model just two years later. By 1941, some 1,800 vehicles had left the stables of Maybach Motorenbau. The legendary insignia, consisting of two intersecting Ms in a spherical triangle, will also grace the new luxury automotive brand. Where "MM" once stood for "Maybach Motorenbau", it now stands for "Maybach Manufaktur." Premiere of the "Type 12" Maybach Engine Top-flight engineering and a strong tradition make the new Maybach luxury brand a fresh and vital newcomer in the DaimlerChrysler family and provide a foretaste of great things to come. In autumn 2002, Maybach will renew the tradition of its large and spacious sedans with the successor to the legendary "Zeppelin," a luxury car which opens up new dimensions in more ways than one. As with the legendary top-of-the-line model of 1930, a V12 engine will provide the new Maybach with power and performance. Each Maybach sedan will be powered by the "Type 12" engine, which delivers a peak output of 550 hp and peak torque of 663 lbs.-ft. Years ago, Maybach's exclusive clientele went to specialist coachbuilders to have their cars "bodied." The new luxury saloon is 100 percent factory-built at the Sindelfingen, Germany plant, right next door to where the S-Class is built. According to DaimlerChrysler, due to coachbuilding and assembly processes based on a high level of hand-craftsmanship, even the most unconventional customer wishes can be catered to. "Maybach customers are kept in the frame the whole time their car is taking shape; they can witness it being built and can contribute their own input as necessary," according to a company statement. The new luxury brand is aiming to establish itself at the very forefront of a small but select market segment where expert opinion believes there is further potential for growth in the coming years. DaimlerChrysler says it is better placed than any other manufacturer to translate this potential into fascinating products. Customers have repeatedly approached the company with a request for highly exclusive and bespoke automobiles in the high-end luxury class. "We are meeting that request with all the resources of 100-plus years of experience and engineering ability in the development and production of luxury saloons," said Professor Juergen Hubbert, DaimlerChrysler Board of Management member for the Passenger Cars Mercedes-Benz/Smart Division.