Hall of shame is right! A car so hideous that it shamed Mercedes-Benz into a full McLaren partnership to make the SLR?
Perhaps too harsh?
We were unsure how to position this article until catching the face of the woman in the background of the photo below.
Yep, that about sums up the Exelero.
There are a few nice elements of the Exelero, including is huge proportions and length versus such a low height, the sinking glasshouse and arced windows, and the elegant twisted-beam in the side shaping. This spiral form was/is all the rage in architecture, and was fresh on a car at the time of this concept's roll-out.
The Exelero was conceived to see how fast a Mercedes-Benz twin-turbo V12 could go in practice. The theories and Brabus barn-stormers have hit about 210-mph before aerodynamics became a serious worry. Anything not purpose-built and wind-tunnel-honed is a mess and all of the place at those speeds - even a mighty SL65.
So how about a designer sled with a shovel nose and the Maybach badge -- helping reclaim some former glory for the marque at the same time?
This concept and then limited-production car was the result. Converted from a Maybach 57S, the Exelero is hand-built and shocked many with pricing about $5-million per car.
For that price, ultimate high-speed was on the table. But little else like a sports car.
The Maybach 57S, it is worth recalling, was based of the W140 S-Class of Princess Diana fame. That car was never, ever known for its ability to turn with confidence -- and the Exelero is nearly 2,000-pounds heavier than even that big whale of a car. Even 800-horsepower is worked hard when curb weights start hitting the 7,000-pound ballpark.
Being black and a Benz at heart, the Exelero received a ravenous reception in some tasteless sectors of the car world, but ten years later is nothing but a hideous folly.
2005 MAYBACH Exelero