February 18, 2015 / 3:03 PM / 4 years ago

Mercedes-Benz says Pullman limo to start at 500,000 euros

A journalist is silhouetted against a car bonnet emblem of a Mercedes-Benz car at the annual news conference of Daimler AG in Stuttgart February 5, 2015. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Daimler (DAIGn.DE) said a new 12-cylinder Mercedes-Maybach Pullman will cost upwards of half a million euros ($570,000) and aim to set a new standard for chauffeur-driven limousines when it goes on sale in 2016.

Reuters reported last April that Mercedes-Benz was working on a Pullman “state limousine” costing up to $1 million in its armor-plated version.

The car will be presented at the Geneva Motor Show. With a length of 6.5 meters, the new car is a full meter longer than the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

The original Pullman 600, launched by Mercedes-Benz in 1963, was over six meters long and had a top speed of 200 kilometers per hour (124 mph).

It gained notoriety in some circles as a “dictator ship” because it proved so popular with leaders including Uganda’s Idi Amin and Romania’s Nicolae Ceausescu. Other fans included fashion diva Coco Chanel, rockstar Elvis Presley and a raft of German chancellors.

The new version is designed to allow high-level dignitaries to continue face-to-face discussions thanks to a row of rear-facing seats.

It also features a glass partition wall which can be lowered electronically to give passenger additional privacy from the driver. Daimler has not said how many of the vehicles it plans to produce.

Other stretch limos such as the Lincoln Vitesse are less expensive but do not aim to provide the same level of luxury and performance. ($1 = 0.8790 euros)

Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Keith Weir

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