FREE DIRECTV by Rapid Satellite

Current Articles

Auto Shows
Auto-Styl ( Video Clips)
Press Pass 2006
Press Pass 2005
Press Pass 2004
Motorsports News
Automotive Memorabilia
Auto Test Drives
Hot Rods & Customs
Villa D' Este Concorso
Pebble Beach Concours
Concorso Italiano
Alfa Romeo
Aston Martin
Cobra / Shelby American
Land Rover
Technology & Systems


Maybach Engine & Maybach History.....Part 2
By MB-USA Press Dept.
Oct 1, 2002, 01:00 PST
Email this article  
 Printer friendly page  

Maybach "Type 12" - a masterpiece of modern engine technology

  • Presentation at the Geneva Motor Show

  • 405 kW/550 hp - a new pinnacle in the luxury class

  •  Mighty torque of 900 Newton meters from just 2300 rpm

  •  Exceptionally smooth operation

  • Twin turbocharger system, twin-spark ignition and three valves per cylinder

  •  Echoes of the largest German car engine of the thirties

  •  Market debut of the new Maybach sedan scheduled for autumn 2002

Maybach engines, past and present

Newly developed twelve-cylinder engine for Germany's high-end luxury sedan

Geneva – With the market debut of its breathtaking ultra-luxury sedan now just six months away, Maybach is presenting the newly developed "Type 12" engine which will be used to power it. The innovative twelve-cylinder engine will go on show to the public for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show in early March 2002, before going into full-scale production in autumn this year.

Power, smoothness, long life -- the qualities of the legendary Maybach engine of 1929 were again the key concerns as the development team worked on the new "Type 12" engine and are the hallmarks of a new masterpiece in engine technology. The awesome statistics - 5.5 liters displacement, twin turbochargers, peak output of 405 kW/550 hp and peak torque of 900 Newton meters - give typical Maybach power and assurance in all situations.

This impressive picture is completed by superb smoothness and outstanding vibrational behaviour. These qualities are inherent design features: the V-angle of 60 degrees balances inertia forces and moments at source, without the need for special balancer shafts.

Maybach's "Type 12" engine was the first standard-production twelve-cylinder car engine in the world

This is the same cylinder angle that was chosen by Karl Maybach for his "Type 12" engine. The Type 12 went down in automotive history as the largest German car engine of its era and the first 12-cylinder car engine in the world to be produced on a relatively large scale.

Between 1929 and 1938, the Friedrichshafen-based company Maybach-Motorenbau GmbH built something like 300 of these legendary engines, which had a displacement of seven liters and delivered 110 kW/150 hp at just 2800 rpm. "You can feel the smoothness and responsiveness with which the tremendous power is unleashed, without harshness or vibration", was how the company brochure of 1929 described the impressive power output and smooth running characteristics of the new Maybach 12. Two years later the displacement was increased to eight liters and the power was increased to 147 kW/200 hp, giving the Maybach "Zeppelin" a top speed of 170 km/h.


Twin turbochargers for majestic power and torque delivery

Impressive power and torque are also a hallmark of the new "Type 12" engine of 2002. An advanced twin turbocharger system is responsible for supplying extra air to the V12 unit. With their spontaneous response, the twin turbochargers allow the driver to mobilise the tremendous power of the engine even at lower rpm: maximum torque of 900 Newton meters is delivered at just 2300 rpm, while the peak horsepower of 405 kW/550 hp is developed at 5250 rpm.

The turbines of the twin turbochargers are space-savingly accommodated in the exhaust manifold, a location which also maximises their efficiency. The compressed air flows from the turbochargers through two engine-mounted water-cooled intercoolers, so that its temperature and density are optimised by the time it enters the combustion chamber.

Three-valve technology and alternating-current twin-spark ignition provide further benefits

Just like the advanced six, eight and twelve-cylinder engines of Mercedes-Benz, the "Type 12" engine for the new Maybach features innovations like twin-spark ignition and three-valve technology, with their many associated benefits:

  •  Three-valve technology -- with one exhaust valve and two intake valves per cylinder -- speeds catalytic converter warm-up and plays an important part in ensuring that the new Maybach complies with the strict EU4 emissions limits at all times. Two large ceramic catalytic converters are positioned close to the V12 engine.

  •  Alternating-current twin-spark ignition with ionic current measurement for identifying any misfiring not only optimises the combustion process, it also reduces the pressure increase in the cylinders, which has a favourable effect on noise. The ignition voltage of 32,000 volts sets a new record.

"A reliable, powerful ignition spark even at very low rpm" was an important requirement back in 1929, too, at Maybach-Motorenbau GmbH. To meet this requirement, the V12 engine of the time was equipped with two separate distributors and automatic spark timing - an innovation in engine design.

Advanced lightweight design using aluminium and magnesium

The topic of lightweight design was an important one for the engineers of Maybach-Motorenbau, just as it is today. To give the first "Type 12" engine as favourable a power-to-weight ratio (hp/kg) as possible, Karl Maybach decided to use cast aluminium for the complete crankcase and cylinder heads.

The engineers who developed the new twelve-cylinder engine again opted for a die-cast aluminium crankcase. This time, in order to minimise noise and vibration, the bottom of the crank assembly consists of an aluminium bedplate incorporating grey cast iron bearing brackets. This gives added rigidity and is also highly effective in combating longitudinal vibration of the engine block.

The cylinder head covers are of die-cast magnesium, while the cylinder liners made of a lightweight, low-friction aluminium-silicon alloy.

Legendary automotive brand makes its comeback after a sixty-year absence

Following its decision to revive the luxury automotive brand Maybach, the DaimlerChrysler Group will be presenting the new Maybach in autumn 2002. With its unique roominess, its superlative engineering and its exceptional exclusivity, this luxury vehicle follows in the tradition of the legendary Maybach cars of old. Above all, this is down to close collaboration with the sister brand Mercedes-Benz, the leading international innovator in the field of safety, comfort, reliability and long life. The new Maybach will reap the full benefits of leading-edge Mercedes-Benz technology.

In the nineteen-twenties and thirties Maybach and Mercedes-Benz cars were the last word in German automobile manufacturing. With their technical prowess, supreme quality and exclusive style, these imposing luxury cars quickly made a name for themselves all over the world. As from 1930, the flagship model was the Maybach "Zeppelin". With a length of 5.50 meters, this was the most prestigious German passenger car of the times.

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. has made every effort to correctly report manufacturer's information.  The material presented here should be recognized as press information and not be used for any other purpose.  All manufacturer's information contain  registered trademarks and copyrights which should be noted and respected.

A Brief History of the Maybach produced from 1919 to 1935

1919: W 1 - A test car based on a Mercedes chassis and did not see series production.

W 2 - This was the designation code for an engine of which 1000 units were ordered for use in the Spyker 30/40 Dutch luxury car.  However, not all the engines ordered were actually purchased, the financial consequences forcing Karl Maybach to build cars himself in order to use the unsold W 2 engines.


W 3 - The first W 3 from the Maybach company made its debut in 1921 at the Berlin Motor Show.  Its inline six-cylinder engine displaced of 5740cc and developed 70 hp. A total of 305 vehicles were produced.


W 5 - The W 5 followed in 1926, and was also powered by an inline six-cylinder engine (6992cc displacement, 120 hp). Later, this model was also offered with an overdrive transmission system as the W 5 SG. Unit figure: 248 vehicles.


W 6 - This was produced from 1931 to 1933 with the six-cylinder from the W 5.  From 1934 it was available with a twin-overdrive transmission (W 6 DSG).  Both variants had a longer wheelbase than the W 5. Unit figure: 90 vehicles.


DS 7 and DS 8 - The Maybach "Zeppelin" was introduced in mid-1930 with a 7-liter, V12 engine that developed 150 hp.  The precursor to this model was the Maybach 12 (1929).  The later DS 8 variant with 8-liter displacement developed 200 hp and was offered as a chassis from 1931 for 29,500 Reichsmarks.  Unit figure: 183 vehicles.


DSH - The DSH ("Doppel-Sechs-Halbe" – "half a twelve-cylinder") was built from 1930 to 1937, powered by a 5.2-liter, six-cylinder, 130-hp engine. Unit figure: 34 vehicles.


SW 35 - 42 - The SW 35 (1935), SW 38 (1936) and SW 42 (1939 to 1941) models with swing axle were the last Maybach cars built.  They stood out with their inline six-cylinder engines with 3.5, 3.8 or 4.2-liter displacement, and all developed 140 hp. Unit figures: SW 35/38 – 707 vehicles; SW 42 -133 vehicles. 

A short biography of Wilhelm Maybach - The king of design"

1846                 August Wilhelm Maybach is born on February 9th in Heilbronn. 
1856     Two years after the death of his mother, his father also dies.  Maybach grows up in the "Bruderhaus" in Reutlingen, a progressive orphanage with its own engineering works where the young people can learn new skills.
1861-1865    Trains as a draughtsman. Maybach also enrolls in evening classes in physics and mathematics at a school run by the town council. 
1865-1869     Works as a detail designer in the engineering works of the "Bruderhaus."  There, Gottlieb Daimler, the manager of the factory, takes the 19-year-old under his wing.
1869 Maybach succeeds Daimler as a draughtsman at Maschinenbau-Gesellschaft Karlsruhe AG.  
1872 Maybach moves to Cologne and starts work at Gasmotorenfabrik Deutz AG as head of the design office.  Daimler has been a member of the Board at Deutz since 1872.  Maybach prepares the Otto engine, designed by Nikolaus Otto (1832-1891), for series production. 
1877  Maybach reworks the four-stroke engine designed by Nikolaus Otto and also prepares this unit for series production
1878 Maybach marries Bertha Habermaas.  


Karl Maybach is born on 6 July.  
1882   Gottlieb Daimler establishes what is to become Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft in Cannstatt, near Stuttgart.  Wilhelm Maybach follows him to the company.  
1883- 1889   After finishing work on the high-speed internal combustion engine, Maybach looks into engine applications.  Daimler and Maybach design their first two-axle vehicle.    
1893   Maybach develops the spray-nozzle carburetor, which is to become the basis for modern carburetor technology.  
1895/96    Maybach designs five new four-cylinder engines with 6 to 23 hp.  
1900/1901   Acting on a suggestion from businessman and Austrian consul general Emil Jellinek (1853-1918), Maybach develops a race car using lightweight metals and fitted with a 35-hp four-cylinder engine featuring two carburetors.  With honeycomb radiator, gear-only transmission and a very low center of gravity, this vehicle represents the car of the future.  Jellinek orders 36 cars and names the model "Mercedes."  
1901/1902   A Mercedes car reaches 64.4 km/h (40 mph) to smash the world speed record.  
1903/04   Maybach develops the first six-cylinder Mercedes, producing 70 hp.

Maybach designs an innovative 120-hp race engine with overhead intake and exhaust valves, and dual ignition.   

1907   Maybach leaves DMG.  He is made an honorary member of the Association of German Engineers (VDI).  
1908   Together with his son Karl, he begins construction of an airship engine for Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin.  


"Luftfahrzeug-Motorenbau GmbH" is founded in Bissingen/Enz (in the Württemberg region of Germany) as a subsidiary of "Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH" and under the management of Karl Maybach.  Wilhelm Maybach becomes a technical adviser.  

Stuttgart's technical university presents Wilhelm Maybach with an honorary doctorate.

1929   Wilhelm Maybach dies on 29 December in Stuttgart.
1996   Wilhelm Maybach is accepted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.  

A short biography of Karl Maybach - "Engineering in his blood"

1879 Karl Wilhelm Maybach is born on July 6 in Cologne-Deutz. 
1896 Work placement at Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft.
1897 Trains as a machine builder at the engineering works in Esslingen.
1900 Joins the engineering department of the Royal School of Construction in Stuttgart.  
1901 Maybach passes his diploma as a machine technician with an overall mark of "good." Starts work as a designer at Ludwig Loewe & Co in Berlin, an industrial group involved in engineering work. 
1902  Studies at university in Lausanne and Oxford. 
1903  Returns to Stuttgart and begins work as a designer and testing engineer at Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG).
1906  Karl Maybach develops his first six-cylinder engine for a motor car at the Société d’Atelier de Construction in Paris.  He follows this up by developing airplane and road vehicle engines. 

"Luftfahrzeug-Motorenbau GmbH" is founded in Bissingen/Enz (Württemberg) by Karl's father Wilhelm Maybach and Graf Ferdinand von Zeppelin.  Karl Maybach is appointed technical director and begins work on the construction of airship engines.

1918 The end of the First World War prompts a period of transition at Maybach-Motorenbau, as Germany is not permitted to build engines for airplanes or airships. As a result, Maybach starts work on car engines and also conducts some early research into aerodynamics, among other things. 
1919 The first Maybach W 1 test car is completed.
1921 Maybach presents his first motor vehicle, the W 3, at the Berlin Motor Show.
1924 The technical university in Stuttgart awards Karl Maybach title of honorary doctor.
1930 Maybach presents the "Zeppelin," the largest German luxury limousine.
1932 The "Flying Dutchman" high-speed railcar reaches 160 km/h (100 mph) powered by two Maybach twelve-cylinder engines. 
1938 During the Second World War, Maybach's company has to produce engines for tanks and assault boats.  
1941 Production of Maybach cars comes to an end.
1945 The Friedrichshafen plant is rebuilt, initially as a repair workshop for cars.  As there is little demand for large cars in the immediate post-war period, Maybach focuses instead on the construction of diesel engines for locomotives and ships. 
1952 Karl Maybach retires from work at the company.
1959 Maybach is made an honorary professor at the technical university in Stuttgart.
1960 Karl Maybach dies on February 6th in Friedrichshafen. has made every effort to correctly report manufacturer's information.  The material presented here should be recognized as press information and not be used for any other purpose.  All manufacturer's information contain  registered trademarks and copyrights which should be noted and respected.



© Copyright 2005 by

Top of Page

   Get a FREE Auto Loan Quote - 
				Bad Credit, No Credit The American Red Cross CHL_logo_125x125 New & Used Cars