If a Mercedes-Benz S-Class is too common for you, you can stand out from the hoi polloi in the new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.
It touches down in Australia in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class is hardly spartan inside but the Maybach version takes the cabin to new heights of opulence.
The rear seats feature neck and shoulder heating and massaging calf rests.
The front seatbacks have wood surrounds for a lounge seat look, and the First-Class Rear option adds a wood-surfaced full-length centre console. You can also add a refrigerated rear armrest compartment.
Adaptive rear lighting allows passengers to adjust the brightness, size and position of the rear cabin lighting, including switching between brighter and more relaxing lighting.
The cabin is kept hushed with active road noise compensation, which uses noise-cancelling technology integrated with the Burmester surround sound system. You can keep noise levels even lower by opting for the noise-optimised tyres with foam absorbers.
The Burmester sound system can also provide an acoustic massage, and the settings can be individually altered for each seat.
Power-operated rear comfort doors are available and work with the Blind Spot Assist to ensure you don’t step out into traffic. They can be controlled a dizzying seven different ways, including via any of the rear touchscreens – of which you can have up to three – as well as via the infotainment system by your chauffeur.
Speaking of chauffeurs, the Chauffeur package makes the front passenger seat adjustable by an additional 23 degrees to free up more room for rear seat passengers. Using the front seat footrest and the electrically extending leg rest, Mercedes says you can sleep comfortably.
As on the regular S-Class, there are up to five interior touchscreens available and Hey Mercedes voice prompts can be used even with the rear screens.
Even the simple chore of putting one’s seatbelt on has been made easier, with the Maybach the first Mercedes sedan to include the automatic seat belt extender that’s been used in two-door models for years.
The MBUX Interior Assistant uses 3D laser cameras in the front and rear of the cabin to detect movement and activate certain functions in response. For example, reaching for a seatbelt in the rear extends the seat belt out to you, while going to exit will activate the safe exit warning.
The interior can be made even more decadent, believe it or not.
An Exclusive package finishes everything in leather except the headliner, which is microfibre. Step up to the Designo leather package and even that becomes leather, while also adding leather-wrapped padded cushions for the rear.
The High-End Interior package adds the rear comfort doors, adaptive rear lighting, augmented reality head-up display and folding rear tables, among myriad other features.
Other options include a 12.3-inch 3D instrument cluster display and even a pair of silver-plated champagne goblets.
Externally, the Maybach is distinguished by its wider rear doors and a wheelbase 180mm longer than the long-wheelbase S-Class – 3396mm instead of 3216mm.
There’s also a distinctive bonnet and grille and C-pillars with a fixed, laminated glass quarter-light and Maybach logo, plus a unique rear bumper and exhaust outlets.
As expected of a Maybach, there’s also available two-tone paint that features a hand-painted dividing line.
Wheels are either 19-, 20- or 21-inches.
The all-wheel drive Maybach features E-Active Body Control active suspension technology, which uses a stereo camera to scan the road. It works in conjunction with the Airmatic air suspension.
Rear-axle steering is optional, which can reduce the Maybach’s turning circle by up to two metres to 11.4m, while the Dynamic Select function has a new Maybach mode that takes off in second gear and provides gentler acceleration.
Mercedes hasn’t confirmed which engines will be available in the Maybach, just that they’ll be shared with the regular S-Class and will be electrically-assisted.
We expect the 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 of the S580 will be one of them. It produces 370kW of power and 700Nm of torque, and features an Integrated Starter Generator that provides a short boost of 15kW and 180Nm.
A full suite of safety features is available including lane-keeping assist, traffic sign recognition, driver-attention monitoring, autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot assist, and evasive steering assist.
There are also up to 18 airbags in the cabin, including seat cushion airbags in the rear. Inflatable seat belt straps could beltbags are also available.
The new Drive Pilot feature, offering level 3 autonomous driving, will be available in German-market models from the second half of next year. It can tackle roads with high traffic density as well as select motorway sections in Germany, though it’ll initially be speed-limited to 60km/h for legal reasons.
The Intelligent Parking Pilot feature also offers driverless, fully-automated parking.
The Maybach also includes Mercedes’ new Digital Light feature, which projects marking aids and warning symbols on the road ahead.
For example, it’ll project an excavator symbol on the road ahead when it detects roadworks ahead and provide guidelines where road lanes narrow.
Other clever functionality includes the projection of a spotlight on pedestrians detected at the roadside at night, plus topographic compensation that uses navigation data to identify when the headlights’ beam needs to be raised or lowered due to inclines.