By Mauricio Lezcano / carsntravel.com / Photos Mercedes-Benz USA
Mercedes-Maybach stands for the ultimate in exclusivity and individuality. For 2018 the luxury brand combines the perfection of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class with the exclusivity of Maybach, now the top model from Mercedes-Benz is even more refined.
In its exterior design, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class combines stylish, effortless superiority with trend-setting exclusivity. The vehicle makes modern luxury come alive in an exceptional way. Along with the extended wheelbase, emphatic lines suggest power and dynamism. Due to the side profile’s special design, characteristic design elements for the S-Class are retained such as the sweeping, dome-shaped roofline.
The key distinguishing feature is the side line, by comparison with the long-wheelbase version of the S-Class, the striking rear door has been shortened by 2.6 inches and therefore appears to seamlessly meld into the overall composition. The door has no triangular window. This has been relocated into the C-pillar. As a result, the rear seats are situated beyond the door cut-out, which creates a feeling of exceptional privacy and exclusivity. The triangular windows and other glass areas alike have chrome surrounds. The Bpillar is also covered in chrome. The elegant Maybach Manufaktur logo a double M inside an arched triangle adorns the C-pillars on both sides. What is more, exclusive 20-inch forged, light-alloy wheels are available for the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. Instead of delicate spokes, their design features large surfaces to underline the flagship model’s high-quality look.
Subtle yet noticeable changes in both the front and rear area differentiate the longest S-Class from its smaller siblings. Three double louvres in chrome within the radiator trim have a formative influence on the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class’s elegant look. Additional vertical chrome trim discreetly but deeply underlines the special appeal of this extraordinary vehicle. This theme is taken up once again in the design at the tail end.
In the interior of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, passengers are enveloped in lounge-style, modern luxury. With its clear architecture, refined materials and stylish controls, the vehicle embodies a sensuous elegance. Naturally the Mercedes-Maybach models also share the upgrades in the general S-Class facelift, including e.g. the Widescreen Cockpit, the new steering wheel generation, new upholsteries and trim, ENERGIZING comfort control and extended ambience lighting.
The Exclusive Trim package included as standard particularly enhances perceived quality in the rear. Sensuously curved, fine-wood trim with a handcrafted feel surrounds the entire rear seating system. In addition, the seat backrest linings, doors and air vent facings are generously embellished with wood trim elements.
As the flagship of the Mercedes-Benz model range, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class satisfies the very highest requirements in terms of luxury appointments and comfort. In addition to all the amenities of the conventional Mercedes-Benz S-Class, several exclusive interior touches underscore the flagship positioning of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. These include the exclusive Maybach perfume AGARWOOD for fragrance as part of the AIR BALANCE package and two silver-plated, handcrafted champagne flutes.
As standard the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is fitted with a panoramic sliding sunroof. This roof system and its large glass areas make for an especially bright and friendly ambience in the interior. It consists of a fixed panoramic glass roof in the rear section and a top-sliding power sunroof so that the interior can be ventilated as desired.
Navigation and Head-up-Display
With the head-up display, the driver has all the important information to hand without taking their eyes off the road. The head-up display projects a virtual image measuring around 21 x 7 cm into the driver’s field of vision. In the driver’s perception, it appears to float above the bonnet around two metres in front. The image is high-resolution and in colour. Depending on the equipment level, it shows e.g. navigation instructions, vehicle speed, speed limits or the settings for cruise control or Active Distance Control DISTRONIC. A special light sensor adjusts the brightness of the display to the ambient light conditions. This ensures good legibility even on sunny days or at night. The height of the image can be varied to suit drivers of any size. The height setting is stored in combination with the memory function for the seats. The display content and brightness can also be selected individually.
COMAND Online offers fast 3D hard-drive navigation with topographical map display, photo-realistic 3D buildings and 3D map rotations. The system presents its content interactively and includes features such as an animated compass. Comprehensive information is displayed on the navigation map: in addition to real-time traffic density information it can e.g. include Car-to-X warning messages, the weather, filling stations including current fuel prices and free parking spaces.
Live Traffic Information allows the reception of precise traffic information which is updated by the system every two minutes. Taking the current vehicle location into account when requesting traffic information also ensures that the enquiring vehicles receive all the traffic information of relevance to them. The received traffic information is based on so-called Floating Car Data, the key technology for precise acquisition of traffic data.
Drive System and Driving Dynamics
Under the hood of the 2018 Mercedes-Maybach S650 is a powerful 6.0L V12 bi-turbo engine, equipped with ECO Start/Stop and a seven-speed automatic transmission, the most important features of the V12 engine are the all-aluminium crankcase, forged crankshaft in high-grade quenched and tempered steel, forged pistons and a dedicated ignition coil with multi-spark ignition.
The standard-fit full air suspension system AIRMATIC with continuously adaptive damping control allows the spring travel to be maintained whatever the vehicle load, by means of continuous level adjustment. Depending on speed, the vehicle level is automatically regulated and lowered by up to 20 mm when driving at over 75 miles per hour. Aerodynamic drag is reduced, and handling stability is improved by the car’s low centre of gravity. The driver can select a 40 mm higher vehicle level if the road surface is poor, or, for example, when negotiating a tricky garage entrance.
The fully automatic adaptive damping system included as standard adjusts the damping at each wheel to the current requirements. The single-tube dampers have two valves for the rebound and compression stages. The ideal operating point can be selected always based on a broad scope of information relating to acceleration, vehicle level or vehicle speed, for example.
A clear indication that the owner of the Mercedes-Maybach S650 Class will typically be found seated in the rear are the standard-fit Executive seats on the left and right. These rear seats offer a unique level of comfort thanks to a special adjustment kinematics system. In contrast to the norm, the backrest is adjusted separately while the legroom and seat reference point remain unchanged. The cushion can be adjusted separately, while the seat angle and height adjustment are combined.
The Chauffeur package is also part of the standard equipment. A chauffeur position for the front passenger seat is one of the key components: by changes to the kinematic system, the rear seat occupant on the front-passenger side has 77 mm more foot room compared with a normal front passenger seat in the furthest forward seat position.
The Mercedes-Maybach S650 starts at $198,700.00 the one I drove included, H16 designo Black Piano Lacquer Flowing Lines Wood, 20 Inch Maybach Forged Wheels, P62 designo Silk Beige/Titanium Grey Pearl Package, and it came in at $207,595.00 including the Gas Guzzler Tax $1,700.00 and Destination and Delivery $995.00.