By Stuart Schwartzapfel
Commissioned by Fulda Tires, the Exelero concept was originally created to show off a new line of high-performance tires. Based on the production Maybach 57 luxury sedan, which costs $350,000, the massive, fully working Exelero was shown in Berlin back in 2005, but it was never brought to market. (Rapper Jay-Z did feature it in a 2006 music video, however). Now, in an unprecedented move, a high-end Austrian dealer is selling the one-of-a-kind concept for $8 million. The menacing black coupe is boat-like at nearly 20 feet long. But its 700-horsepower, V12 engine still shoots it from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 4.4 seconds. The design, meanwhile, pays homage to the classic SW 38 models produced by Maybach between 1935 and 1941. The most obvious styling similarities include the streamlined shape, long hood, and short rear deck on the trunk. The biggest difference? The price, of course.
The Verdict: An outlandish price for an outlandish car.
Stuart Schwartzapfel is a regular contributor to BusinessWeek.com. Hehas studied the automotive marketplace and works as an advertising and marketing strategist for major manufacturers. He does not write about any car brands for which he currently works.