Maybach was founded in 1909 by Wilhelm Maybach and his son Karl, originally as a company supplying engines for Zeppelin airships and later trains.
The company would soon expand into the car business, with the first prototype, the W1 Testwagen, unveiled in 1919. It proved so popular that a production version was launched just two years later.
That production version was the 22/70 HP W3, unveiled by Maybach in September 1921 at the Berlin International Motor Show. It featured an inline-6 engine generating 70 hp, an impressive figure for the time, as well as many other engineering and luxury marvels, such as brakes at each wheel, a planetary gearbox, and an interior lined in leather and wood.
1921 Maybach 22/70 HP W3
A little over 300 examples of the 22/70 HP W3 were built, after which Maybach launched a variety of additional cars. Maybach ceased building cars at the onset of the Second World War and never returned to it after the war ended, and by 1960 the company was absorbed into Daimler, parent company of Mercedes-Benz.
Today Maybach is a sub-brand of Mercedes and the German automaker plans to celebrate this year’s 100th anniversary of the launch of the 22/70 HP W3. However, the automaker hasn’t said what exactly it has planned so we’ll have to wait and see.
There will likely be special editions of the current Maybach S-Class and Maybach GLS-Class, and judging by the photo above there will also be a reveal of a new V-12-powered Maybach S-Class (only a V-8 is available at present). We can also confirm that an electric Maybach will be revealed in the coming months. It will likely be an ultra-lux version of the new EQS sedan. Stay tuned.