Trials are about to begin on Mercedes-Benz' "super-luxury" car of the future, the Maybach.
The first of more than 20 prototypes will begin world-wide testing this month, just three years after the design study was unveiled at the 1997 Tokyo motor show.
The Maybach, which at 19ft long is two-feet longer than the Mercedes S600, will be powered by a twin-turbo V12 engine and will ride on an air suspension system specially developed to offer "maximum comfort".
Professor Jurgen Hubbert, DaimlerChrysler board member responsible for Mercedes-Benz and Smart cars, said: "The design study of 1997 has led to one of the most ambitious development projects in the entire automobile industry."
Production of the Maybach will start in 2002. The first right hand drive versions for the UK are expected to be built in 2003.
##Maybach--none--Mercedes-Benz "super-luxury" car of the future, the Maybach##