How do you take excellence and make it better? The new Mercedes Maybach S600 is the answer you are looking for. It is not just an extended wheelbase S-class – not that there is anything wrong with the idea of an extended wheelbase S Class in itself – the Maybach S600 takes the opulent luxury to a different plane, with additional leg space and a horde of luxe touches inside.
When Mercedes gave life again to the Maybach name in 2002, the experiment did not meet with the success it envisaged. The car was almost outdated when launched and there were not much changes till the production was pulled almost a decade after. The numbers the car did were a disappointment to put it politely.
But that was the story then! Taking few leaves from the history, Mercedes did the smart thing now – it created a much better car than the S class, with a whopping 8.1-inch of extra wheelbase and loaded the vehicle with unprecedented levels of luxury and equipment. The result is the Mercedes Maybach S600.
Of course, Maybach is not a supercar and it never pretends to be a driver's car, but a car in which you have to be driven in. The roles are reversed – the action happens at the rear seats and the pilot seats are for the spectators.
The exterior touches are subtle – there are no drastic changes and if you are not observant enough, the car can pass for a normal S class, if not for the extended wheelbase. The exterior gets loads of chrome – the front and rear bumpers are based on the normal S class but with a truck load of additional chrome. The C pillar gains a small quarter glass window and the car gets the optional 20-inch Maybach exclusive wheels that resemble a silver bowl, and imparts a certain character to otherwise what is a much understated car. The exterior also gets exclusive Maybach badges, which will help the discerning eyes to realize this vehicle is very close to heart.
The body is made of aluminum hybrid and the car comes with a host of assist options to help the chauffeur pilot the car around while making sure that the passenger enjoys his champagne from the bespoke Champagne Flutes. The car is equipped with magic air suspension, which uses cameras to scan the road surface and makes adjustments to the car's suspension so that the road's imperfections are fully filtered out from entering the cabin. Then there is the Distronic Plus – which is a semi-automatic cruise control that assists the steering, acceleration and braking duties.
The S class is already a very accomplished luxobarge – with striking exterior, pleasing interior, a plush ride and a laidback driving experience. The Maybach S600 does not improve any of these for the driver, but for the rear passengers who are actually in for a treat. Open the door and what greets you are the two mammoth seats that are not out of the place in the most expensive executive Jets. The headrests are like a pillow, and the seats are so big that they can swallow you and keep you comfortable during the journey. It goes without saying that the seats have extendable foot rests to sooth your legs during that long trip.
The mammoth seats have multiple counters and air pockets that can be inflated to make sure that the seat counters are adjusted as per your wish. The seat also features hot stone massage, in addition to the normal seat massaging system that helps to ease you into a relaxed mood. Also, the side bolsters of the seats adjusts dynamically during the journey to make sure that you always have the lateral support and do not feel the swaying motion during the hill station trip.
The seats also feature memory buttons that can memorize your favorite seating positions (you can store up to 3 different positions) and can recline up to 37 degrees.
There are two 10-inch individual media screens that are adjustable and come with wireless headphones along with the panoramic sunroof and ambient lighting with multiple color options to choose from, but all these get faded when compared with the luxury surrounding you in the cabin. There are acres of finest wood and miles of finest leather, encasing your senses and elevating you to a whole new level of luxury.
The cabin is silent (Mercedes claims this to be the most silent production saloon in the world and we don't see any doubt to question the claim), as the engine noise is never heard inside it. What you can hear is sensuous sound pouring from the bespoke Burmester surround sound system, which comes with 24 specially designed speakers paired with 24 channel amplifier. This system reproduces the mono, stereo and multi-channel sounds three dimensionally inside the cabin.
The carpet is the real sheepskin and is plush enough to sink your foot. The cabin uses generous amounts of Nappa leather that is hand stitched to ensure perfection and spots bespoke wooden trim to suit your taste. For those who like to work on the move, a full length center console with deployable tables can be the option. Also on the offer are aluminum fold-out tables and a refrigerator to keep your champagne cold during the outings.
Mercedes has equipped the Maybach S600 with what it calls 'Air Balance System', which helps to fragrance the interior according to your personal taste. This system also combines an air ionizer and an air filter. The system gently releases the choice of fragrances to the interior, while making sure that the smell doesn't lingers on to the cabin surfaces – the result is a pleasing and refreshing aroma, which vanishes quickly when the system is not working. The signature fragrance is Agarwood essence, which is provided in a signature flask with Maybach lettering. There are four more choices and the fragrances can be switched anytime by switching the flask inside the fragrance generator, situated inside the glove compartment.
The car has an impressive array of safety features such as PRE-SAFE that combines active systems such as sensors and assists and passive systems such as air bags and seat belts to identify critical situations and deploy counter measures and preventive steps in case of an unavoidable collision. The driver gets the Night View Assist package, which displays outlines of pedestrians and other hazards during low light and dark, on the cockpit display. The car also boasts active parking assist that helps in parking the car automatically.
Maybach S600 is powered by a very sweet sounding 6L twin turbo V12 engine that churns out 523 BHP and 830 Nm of torque. The sedan is launched in India by Mercedes as a CBU. For the discriminating few who values understated elegance, space, opulence, comfort and cutting edge technology and most of all, the rear seat comfort, the ultimate choice has arrived.