Next-Gen Mercedes-Maybach S-Class Luxury Limo Unveiled

The all-new über opulent flagship Mercedes saloon has specs that boggle the mind. 

While the Mercedes S-Class may have been touted to be the ‘best car in the world’ for some time now, to those who wanted the last word in luxury, most of these über wealthy buyers usually veered towards even more premium luxury limousine offerings from Rolls Royce and Bentley. 

There was a time in the early 2000s that Mercedes tried to compete with these two traditional English luxury marques with its Maybach lineup of limousines, but this didn’t exactly go to plan for the German automaker. Especially when both those two British limo-makers were given an essentially blank-cheque revitalisation from BMW and VW respectively. 

Nevertheless, the Maybach marque, which stood toe-to-toe with Rolls Royce and Bentley back in the pre-war era, was revived for a second time in recent memory by Mercedes back in 2015. What they did differently this time though was pitch this luxury sub-brand as a (much) higher-end S-Class, instead of a completely new car. And just like that, to everyone’s surprise, these Mercedes-Maybachs were promptly lapped up by the rich folk of the world. Most notably in China, Russia, South Korea, America and Germany. 

So with an all-new generation of S-Class recently upon us, there was no doubt that Mercedes Benz will unveil an all-new iteration of its flagship limousine, and that is exactly what was launched today. 

Seeing the extensive add-ons that have been made on top of the already impressive standard S-Class, to run through a full-list of the luxury features that are to be found on this new Mercedes-Maybach would see us here for days. That said, there are still a few notable luxury highlights that stand out on this German uber-limo. 

Starting with the exterior, the first major change from the standard S-Class would be the optional two-tone paint as seen here. Naturally a perfect mirror finish thanks to its over-complex process that takes over a week to complete, it sets off the chrome exterior accents that are bespoke to this top-tier German limo. 

Being a proper limo too, the Maybach benefits from a slight stretch in its wheelbase thanks to its Chauffeur package. Gaining an extra 7-inches over the the already-enormous S-Class, all of which is supposedly to benefit the rear seat occupants. 

Speaking of the rear seat occupants, the two rear passengers will be lounging on the standard armchair-like Executive Seats. The plush and infinitely adjustable seats however is just the tip of the feature iceberg out the back because aside from the usual massage and heating functionality, these leather-lined thrones also feature ‘belt butlers’. First seen on Mercedes coupes and cabriolets, this nifty feature automatically extends the seat belt forward to allow for easier buckling. 

Other niceties for the occupants of this Mercedes-Maybach to enjoy include the enhanced passive and active cabin noise insulation, the Burmester High-End 4D Surround Sound system and the standard 5 screens with the usual MBUX infotainment system. There is also an active ambient lighting that display a special light show upon entry to the cabin. 

On the topic of ingress and egress from this luxobarge, the simple act of opening and closing the doors manually are too relegated to the past thanks to the electrically operated rear doors. 

As for the specs that concern the chauffeur up front, under the hood of this top-of-the-line Mercedes is either a 496 hp 4.0 litre twin-turbo petrol V8 for the S580 variant, or a 603 hp 6.0 litre twin-turbo petrol V12 that is to be badged as the S650. Both of which are mated to a 9G-tronic automatic transmission with a mild hybrid system tacked on, sending power to all four wheels. 

For the more eco-conscious rich person however, there is also the option to be chauffeured around in the S580e, which features a plug-in hybrid power plant consisting of a turbocharged 3.0 litre six-cylinder with an electric motor mated to its transmission. Fed by a 22 kWh battery pack, combined power output is said to be 503 hp. 

Out on the move, AIRMATIC air suspension with continuously adjustable damping ADS+ ensures the rear seat passengers can continue to sip champagne even in the roughest of road conditions. There is also the option of the fully active E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL suspension, complete with a stereo camera that scans the road ahead, for an even more magic carpet-like ride quality. 

To make manoeuvring around the tight city streets, active rear wheel steering is standard on the Mercedes-Maybach, as are the numerous active and passive safety features that was first seen on this new generation S-Class. 

There is no word thus far on the prices of this new German flagship sedan, though conservative estimates put it to start comfortably north of £150,000 (RM 814,000). Deliveries are said to begin in select markets by the end of this year, with no official word yet from Mercedes Malaysia on when it will officially be launched here. 

PRESS RELEASE: Since the market launch in 2015, around 60,000 examples of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class have been delivered worldwide. In 2019, with around 12,000 units, more Mercedes-Maybach S-Class cars were sold than ever before. The growth rate in China was in double figures. Alongside China, the main sales markets in recent years have been Russia, South Korea, the USA and Germany. The new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is set to continue this success story. It combines the perfection and high-tech solutions of the only recently presented Mercedes-Benz flagship model with the exclusivity and tradition of Maybach. The 18 cm longer wheelbase compared to the long variant of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class entirely benefits the rear. Thanks to Executive Seats as standard and the Chauffeur package, the rear section becomes a comfortable working or resting area. They are complemented by exclusive details such as large areas of trim on the rear of the front seats and between the two rear passengers. In a number of markets, sales of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class will commence before the end of 2020. Germany will follow in spring 2021.

“With the new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, we are emphasizing the progressive, modern approach of its exclusive product portfolio shortly before the 100th anniversary of Mercedes-Maybach automobiles,” says Dirk Fetzer, head of Mercedes-Maybach product management. “As they did then, today’s customers have high expectations of their exclusivity and individuality, elegant design and first-class standard of finish, all based on the very latest technology. Especially with respect to comfort, safety and design, the new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class has unique selling features in the hotly contested luxury segment.”

The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class (length/width/height: 215.3/75.6/59.4 inches) is a classic three-box sedan. Distinguishing features at the front include the distinctive hood with a chrome fin and the Mercedes-Maybach radiator grille. This is highly recognizable by its vertical, three-dimensional trim strips. The word mark MAYBACH is elegantly integrated into the chrome surround of the grille. The rear doors are wider than those of the brother models, and the C-pillars feature a fixed quarterlight. Exclusivity is emphasized by the Maybach brand logo on the C-pillar. On request, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class can be equipped with electrically operated comfort rear doors and the exclusive appearance can be enhanced by a two-tone paint finish with dividing line. This is applied by hand according to the highest quality criteria.

The interior: generous space and great comfort in the rear

The interior of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is based on the completely new interior design of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The sculptured look of the dashboard, center console and armrests appears to float above an expansive interior landscape.

Five display screens are equipped as standard, including a 12.8-inch OLED central display as a high-tech control center and a 12.3-inch 3D driver display with three-dimensional representation of other road users and pronounced depth and shade effects.

The distinctive look of the driver display in ‘Exclusive’ mode underlines the special status of the Mercedes-Maybach: the surrounds of the dial instruments are in the brand color rose gold.

This color is also used for the active ambient lighting–the animated LED light band with intelligent comfort and safety functions. With rose gold white and amethyst glow, the active ambient lighting now has two new color themes. The “Welcome Rear” entry display welcomes passengers with a special light show. Adaptive rear lighting has its premiere in the Mercedes-Maybach. This follows the wishes of the occupants in several respects: as well as the brightness, the size and position of the light spot can be adjusted. There is also a wide adjustment range between precise working light and relaxing lounge light

There is plenty of classic luxury on board, too: new features include the large areas of trim on the front seats. High- quality wood surrounds encase the rear of the front seat backrests. With the available Executive Rear Seat Plus package, a similarly striking area of trim is positioned between the two rear passengers.

The 7-inch longer wheelbase compared to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class entirely benefits the rear. A comparative overview of the key dimensions:

Mercedes-Maybach S-
Class (Z 223)
S-Class (V 223)
Overall length in 215.3 208.2
Overall width in 75.6 (with seamless door handles) 76.9/75.6 (with seamless door handles)
Overall height in 59.4 59.2
Wheelbase in 133.7 126.6

A clear indication that the owner of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class will typically be found seated in the rear are the standard-fit Executive seats on the left and right. The occupant is able to adjust the seat surface and backrest of the Executive seat independently. Using the footrest on the front seat and the electrically extending legrest creates a continuous, comfortable reclining surface for a pleasant sleeping position. The adjustment travel of the legrest has been extended by approximately 2 inches compared to the preceding series. The massage function of the calfrest and neck/shoulder heating in the rear are additional new comfort features.

The infotainment system MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) is even more personal and intuitive to use.

The second generation of MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience), first introduced in 2018, debuted in the new S- Class. The unique feature of MBUX is its networking with a wide range of vehicle systems and sensor data. Brilliant displays, in part with OLED technology, make the control of vehicle and comfort functions even easier. The possibilities for personalization and intuitive operation have become far more extensive.

Refined engine design for efficient power delivery

The engine of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class comes from the Mercedes-Benz portfolio and is in part electrically assisted. Electrification is by an integrated second-generation starter-generator (ISG). This provides a boost of up to 21 hp, facilitates efficient “gliding” when driving at constant speed, makes the start/stop experience even more comfortable and the drive system more efficient overall. All-wheel drive is always standard equipment.

The 9G-TRONIC transmission was developed further and adapted for the ISG. The electric motor, the power electronics and the transmission cooler have now moved into or onto the transmission. In conjunction with ISG it was possible to eliminate the entire two-piece belt drive, as an electric refrigerant compressor is used. This means that even when the engine is not running (start/stop and gliding phases), the interior can be efficiently and comfortably climatized.

Suspension: comfortable setup with surprising agility

The AIRMATIC air suspension with continuously adjustable damping ADS+ is standard equipment. Using DYNAMIC SELECT, the driver is able to individually modify the characteristics of the powertrain, ESP®, the suspension and the steering. The selection is made using a control at the lower end of the central display. DYNAMIC SELECT has a dedicated MAYBACH driving mode, which focuses entirely on ride comfort.

Standard rear-axle steering improves maneuverability in dense city traffic. This reduces the turning circle by up to 7 feet (almost two meters). Customers have a choice between two variants depending on the wheel selection: 4.5° and 10° rear-axle steering. Instead of 43 feet (13.1 meters), the turning circle is then 40 or 36.7 feet (12.2 or 11.2 meters).

The fully active E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL suspension (optionally available next year) on a 48 V basis uses a stereo camera to scan the road ahead, and smooths out undulations. It also gives additional protection in the event of a lateral collision, as it raises the vehicle level. It can reduce the loads acting on the occupants because it directs the impact forces towards particularly resistant structures in the lower area of the vehicle.

Acoustic comfort: extraordinarily quiet and low in vibrations

The new luxury sedan further improves the exemplary NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) performance of the new S-Class generation. The extended NVH measures mainly benefit the rear section. For example, additional absorbent foam is installed in the area of the rear wheel arches. The additional, fixed triangle windows in the C-pillars have thicker laminated glass, as they are in close proximity to the heads of rear passengers. Noise-optimized tires with foam absorbers are available on request.

Active road noise compensation is used by the company for the first time. The system reduces unwanted low-frequency noises using counter-phased sound waves. The bass speakers of the Burmester High-End 4D Surround Sound system are used for sound reproduction.


Safety: more protection before and during accidents

Especially in the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, particular attention has always been paid to rear passenger safety. During severe frontal collisions, the innovative rear airbag included as standard can considerably reduce the loads acting on the heads and necks of seat belt wearing occupants on the outer rear seats. In the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, passengers in the rear of a sedan have the benefit of an automatic belt extender for the first time. It is an indirect invitation to fasten the belt, and also makes the process more convenient. The belt extender is integrated into the adjustable backrest of the Executive seat, and therefore always in the right position for the passenger.

In day-to-day driving, new and extended assistance systems relieve driver stress as the situation requires when adapting the vehicle speed, controlling distance, steering and changing lanes. This enables the driver to stay alert for longer, and reach the destination more safely and comfortably. When danger threatens, driver assistance systems can respond according to the situation and mitigate the severity of possible collisions, or even avoid them.

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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