The last word in luxury – and it’ll probably cost you every penny
Following the September release of their newest generation of S-Class, the W223 facelift, Mercedes-Benz has given their high-end luxury saloon the millionaire’s Pimp My Ride treatment in the form of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. Launched in a “Digital World Premiere” on the Mercedes-Benz YouTube channel last week, the new Maybach promises a bold statement in the world of luxury motoring: “pushing boundaries, and surprising those who have probably seen it all,” as proposed by the premiere’s excited spokesperson. While the standard car is nothing to scoff at – indeed the S-Class is the flagbearer of automotive excellence by which every serious competitor is measured – the new Mercedes-Maybach gives you more technology than you’d know what to do with.
The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. Photo via Bing Images
Or where to park it, for that matter. This new car is massive. Stretched to 5.5m in length, the new Mercedes-Maybach is not only 30cm longer than the standard car, but a whopping 18cm longer than the extended-wheelbase ‘L’ version of the S-Class. This is not only befitting a marque whose outgoing models will set you back a cool £200k, but a clientele who won’t ever be parking the car themselves, let alone driving it.
The S-Class is not really the vehicle within Mercedes’ line-up optimised for driving, but more so for riding in. Mercedes-Benz has big business in China, for instance, where only the country’s highest earners can afford the eye-watering foreign import fees for their full-size German luxury saloon – and one can be fairly sure they won’t be breaking a sweat behind the wheel. According to Car magazine, a third of all previous-gen W222 S-Class units were sold to China, and a volume close to 90% of buyers worldwide opt for the extended wheelbase variant. The S-Class is the car you’ll more than likely be parked in the back of, and Maybach is keen to remind their prospective buyers of that with the toys and features they’ll be getting in the new model.
With no shortage of rear legroom, Maybach has installed an extendable massage cushion that raises under passengers’ legs. In the back, you’ll also find a refrigerator, with two gorgeous Maybach-exclusive champagne flutes (this brand offers so much more than just cars, by the way), and a little button above your head that will automatically close the enormous(ly heavy) rear doors, because God forbid anyone riding in one these things ever having to close a door themselves.
You won’t even need to adjust the interior lighting in the new Mercedes-Maybach, as the cabin is fitted with a 253 LED lights that automatically match the exterior lighting as the sun goes down or when passing through a tunnel.
The issue here, though, is weight – and just how it’s going to be lugged around corners. Fortunately, all new Maybach-Mercs come with four-wheel-drive as standard and the suspension is a refinement of something called “an active damping system,” which scans the road ahead through a tiny camera and informs the suspension how much tension should be relieved at each individual wheel to compensate for the mottled surfaces ahead. And all in a fraction of a second, no less.
No confirmation has yet been offered from the German car marque as to what engines will be slotted into this rolling palace, but the expectation is that it will be powered by either a 6.0 litre V12 biturbo, as found in the current Mercedes-Benz S600, or 4.7 litre V8 biturbo motor fitted in the S500. Mercedes themselves somewhat mysteriously promises a selection of powertrains from their engine ‘portfolio’, leading Top Gear magazine to speculate that the turbocharged 3.0 litre six-cylinder hybrid, as found in the S 580e with a power output of 510 bhp, will next be slotting into the new flagship Maybach.
None of this will come cheap, of course, and no confirmation has yet been made on the expected price. Auto reporter Carwow supposes the V8 Maybach will set you back £150,000, with the V12 variant expected to exceed a £200,000 price tag. So, when can you expect to splash the cash on this newest byword for luxury? The Digital World Premiere provides a helpful supplementary blurb, promising that, “In a number of markets, sales of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class will commence before the end of this year. Germany will follow in spring 2021.”
Watch the digital world premiere for the flagship Maybach here: