One of the few saving graces of the late, unlamented and supremely un-classy Maybach 57S was that its styling (if you could call it that) was so understated it was almost anonymous.

Until now, that is.

One Toby Knight, founder of Miami-based Knight Luxury, has taken as his thesis that the reason for the failure of the 57S to take significant market share away from established marques such as Rolls-Royce and Bentley was not its lack of class but its 'unsophisticated' styling.

More than that, for a down payment of about $1 million (R10.9 million) he will ship your Maybach 57S to a 'car spa' in Germany for a 'substantial reconstruction' and deliver it back to you with a 'knighthoood' as Sir Maybach 57S (his words - we couldn't make this stuff up).

THE LIGHT STUFF

It starts with completely new front and rear aprons (deeper and more aggressive-looking) with LED daytime running lights in front and an integrated carbon-fibre diffuser at the rear.

Bonnet and boot lid are replaced with carbon fibre, as are the A, B, and C pillars, all four wings and all four doors, not forgetting a special rear spoiler also made out of the light stuff - even the engine cover and air-filter boxers are carbon fibre.

The spoke sections of the special three-piece, 24" rims are finished in faux fibre and clearcoat, the wheel beds are powder-coated black with white rim-tapes, reflector stripes and special Knight Luxury logos on the hub covers, and shod with 285/30 Pirellis over white-pained brake callipers embellished with Knight Luxury logos.

Electronic suspension levelling is standard, as is an underbody lighting set consisting of 10 LEDs under the car and a downwards-facing projector in each door that shines the Knight logo on the ground every time you open a door, while a quadruple-tailpipe kezorst with valve control and sports catalysers boosts power output from 450kW to 524kW and provides a 'discreet, focused tone'.

NO CORNER UNBLINGED

A red-trimmed sports steering wheel presides over a black and white leather-trimmed dashboard; the inside panels of the doors, foot wells and door sills are diamond-stitched, with the Knight logo embroidered on the leather of the seats, the centre console and the floor mats.

The headliner is trimmed in a combination of leather and alcantara with carbon-fibre diamond-pattern stitching - even the boot is trimmed in leather with diamond stitching and embroidered logos.

The door knobs are embellished with screen-printed logos as do the sill plates, while a total of 28 trim elements are replaced with white-finished carbon-fibre components and 39 with more conventional dark grey carbon fibre.

UV AMBIENCE

The interior is lit with indirect UV black lighting 'for ambience', the sound system upgraded with a new sub-woofer and substantial amplifier, and even Apple has contributed to this monument to poor taste with a TV module, two i-Pads, a keyboard in the rear compartment, a dash cam and a GPS module.

The exact price, of course, will depend on what extras you ask for; but Knight warns customers not to expect any change from their $1 million upfront payment.