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The Mercedes-Maybach S600 ultra-limo costs about half as much as its predecessor did, and is now available to order ahead of deliveries beginning at the end of 2015.

Mercedes-Benz Australia today announced a starting price of $449,000 plus on-road costs for its passenger flagship. By comparison, the entry Maybach 57 cost just shy of $900,000 in 2003.

Of course, that’s before you have your wicked way with the options and accessories boxes. The $450K price undercuts that of its biggest rival, Rolls-Royce Ghost, by about $95,000. Remember also that the Ghost quite recently got a $100,000 price cut.

It won't even be the most expensive S-Class, given the S65 AMG L costs $490,000.

Mercedes-Maybach S 600 and S-Class Model Range pressdrive Santa Barbara 2015 , S600 Peridot Brown metallic, Exclusive Nappa Leather Nut Brown / Black

It’s also ‘only’ $31,500 more expensive than the ‘regular’ long-wheelbase S600L S-Class on which it is largely based. The Mercedes-Maybach version is 200mm longer and better-equipped, especially in the rear, which has been restyled to both improve headroom and add privacy.

It’s also quieter — in fact, Mercedes claims it to be the quietest car in the world.

The Mercedes-Maybach will arrive in one guise, the V12 biturbo S600, with a 6.0-litre engine producing 390kW and 830Nm, the latter available from 1900rpm. The behemoth accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.0 seconds.

In addition to the conventional S-Class, the Maybach gets as standard: An Air Balance car fragrance system, a Chauffeur Package with reclining rear seats, front and rear heated seats with a ‘hot stone’ massage function, higher-grade Nappa leather, head-up display for the driver, and Magic Body Control from the S-Class Coupe.

Mercedes-Maybach S 600 and S-Class Model Range pressdrive Santa Barbara 2015 , S600 Designo Magno Allanite Grey, Exclusive Nappa Leather black/black

The old Maybach was a million dollar answer to the Rolls-Royce Phantom, a product created under the watchful gaze of Rolls’ parent company and Mercedes-Benz’s arch-nemesis BMW.

That car, available in either Maybach 57 or Maybach 62 forms denoting their length, was positioned more as a standalone car than this new one. It was also based on dated architecture.

Daimler sold just 3000 units over 10 years, include a tiny 13 in Australia. The pricing and positioning of this car suggest it might do a little better.

Read our full review of the Mercedes-Maybach S600 from earlier this year here.