Some time back we talked about the new Rolls-Royce Ghost and how the luxury car-maker had approached the concept of luxury in a completely different way. Less is more according to Rolls-Royce. But Mercedes Maybach thinks differently.
Related: The new Ferrari 812 GTS: A bittersweet symphony
The new S-Class Maybach – with its chromed fin on the bonnet, massive Tesla-esque screen and more computing power to make Silicon Valley blush – is all about grandeur and celebrating technology. Mercedes is not shy about flaunting what the S-Class brand is capable of, while the Maybach brand name brings in even more luxury.
They should be since the previous S-Class Maybach was a gigantic success, occupying a niche to itself. China, Russia, USA and Germany have been its biggest markets. Even elsewhere the Mercedes Maybach S-Class outsold most luxury cars.
It was not always like this. When the first stand-alone Maybach 57 and 62 were launched, it failed to give the then new Rolls Phantom a tough fight. Lessons were learned quickly by Mercedes. And a few years later it became a sub-brand in the Mercedes portfolio. Its success is now there for all to see.
Biggest markets in China, Russia, USA and Germany
Now of course the Maybach brand has the GLS also to fight the other luxury SUV behemoths, while the S-Class Maybach continues to be the flagship. Unlike the standard S-Class the emphasis is very much on the rear seat where most owners would lounge in. Hence compared to a standard long wheelbase S-Class, the Maybach version is even 18 cm longer. The rear-seats have the “Executive Package” with a partition between them.
There are a myriad of adjustments for the rear seats with the ability to become a proper reclining bed to catch 40 winks after a long day at work. Of course you get a massage function for the seats along and even calf-rests!
The neck/shoulder heating in the rear is also a new comfort feature. The other efforts by Maybach for the rear passengers include added NVH measures for the rear section of the cabin. Plus it even has “active road noise compensation” where unwanted low-frequency noises are reduced. Even the tires are not spared, being fitted with noise absorbers.
Chauffeurs would be advised to use the dedicated “Maybach” mode in the dynamic select setting where the suspension and drive is adjusted for comfort.
We will not go into all of the technology present in the new Maybach S-Class. That is nigh on impossible. But we will talk about the new MBUX infotainment system where the “Interior Assist” feature recognizes occupant intentions and works according to that. Yes the Mercedes-Maybach does not even want you to press a button, as a mere “intention” is enough.
Other luxury amenities include a high-end Burmester audio system, even a fridge, rear-entertainment system, tables, charging tray for your phone, along with even automatic belt extenders at the rear.
Up-front the new S-Class cabin with the 12.8-inch OLED central display and a 12.3-inch 3D driver display is wrapped around in Nappa leather and wood. Plus the seats have a more exclusive quilting pattern. It is luxurious and yet also very futuristic.
Twin Turbo V8
If you do give your chauffeur the day off then you would notice how pleasing the S-Class Maybach is to drive. You are cocooned in comfort while the twin-turbo V8 is eerily quiet being further fettled by an electric motor.
All-wheel drive and optional rear-axle steering further claim to remove the feeling of weight from the driving experience while giving it an agile demeanor. A bevy of safety systems and automated driving is also part of the experience.