Charl Bosch
Online Motoring Reporter
3 minute read
20 Nov 2020
9:14 am

Mercedes-Benz takes luxury and tech a step up with new S-Class based Maybach

Charl Bosch

Three-pointed star's most luxurious S-Class ever made puts the emphasis squarely on those seated in the rear more than ever before.

New Mercedes-Maybach S-Class

Relaunched five years ago as the flagship derivative of the S-Class instead of being a standalone brand, Mercedes-Benz has taken the covers off of the new Maybach S-Class following the unveiling of all-new W223 two months ago.

Heading for key markets before the end of this year, the Maybach is once again based on the range-topping long wheelbase S-Class, but with dimensions of 5 469 mm in overall length, a wheelbase of 3 396 mm, height of 1 510 mm and width of 1 921 mm. When compared to the extended wheelbase S, the Maybach is 214 mm longer and 19 mm higher with the wheelbase increasing by 231 mm.

Externally, the Maybach’s exterior difference are easily identifiable with the sporting of not only an optional two-tone paint finish with hand painted pin-striping, but a unique grille, the Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star moved to the bonnet instead of on the grille, a black mesh or chrome finish for the air vents on the lower half of the front bumper, 19, 20 or 21-inch model specific wheels, the chrome Maybach insignia on the C-pillar, a redesigned rear bumper and exhaust outlets, as well as an optional LED ambient light projecting the Maybach logo on the ground.

Unsurprisingly, the Maybach is all about luxury and its interior with the 12.8-inch tablet-style OLED MBUX infotainment system coming as standard along with the 12.3-inch 3D digital instrument cluster and two 11.6-inch rear screens. Aside from the usual selection of materials ranging from leather to Dinamica micro-fibres and veneers from wood to aluminium, the Maybach boasts not only active road noise compensation technology, but also a 4D Burmester sound system and what Mercedes-Benz refers to as the Chauffeur Package.

A standard fitment along with the so-called Executive rear seats that can be adjusted independently with heating, cooling and massaging functions, the Chauffeur Pack also boasts a calf massaging setting as well as the ability to extended the seats by 50 mm in an ottoman style with even the headrest being heated.

As well as automatic extending seatbelts and available foam absorbers integrated into the wheels to further combat road noise, the Maybach can be specified in two guises; the Exclusive which comes with Nappa leather on nearly every surface plus stainless illuminated door sills, and the High-End which adds folding rear tables, adaptive ambient lighting, an augmented reality MBUX Heads-Up Display, a pair of champagne glasses, thermos heated and cooled cupholders, a wireless smartphone charger and an integrated MBUX tablet.

Optionally available with Benz’s rear wheel steering system as well as the 48-volt E-Active Body Control system, the adaptive Airmatic damping suspension kicks-off a range of underneath the skin, changes which also includes Curve Control and Road Surface Scan that adjusts the suspension and dampers based on the road conditions.

On the safety and driver assistance fronts, the Maybach comes with Pre-Safe crash detection as well as Active Brake Assist, Evasive Steering Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist with safe exit, Traffic Sign Recognition, Active Lane Change Assist, Active Distance Assist Distronic, Active Lane Keep and Steering Assist, Active Emergency Stop Assist, Attention Assist and Drive Pilot which uses the mentioned systems, as well as LiDar, to turn the Maybach into a level 3 autonomous vehicle at up to 60 km/h where allowed.

Despite not providing any specification details, the Maybach is expected to come with a choice of three engines; the mild-hybrid 4.0-litre V8 in the S580 that produces 370kW/700Nm, the plug-in hybrid S580e whose electrified 2.9-litre straight-six serves up 380 kW and an all-electric range of 100 km and possibly the long serving bi-turbo 6.0-litre V12 that will feature electrification and become the S650.

As indicated, sales are expected to start at the end of this year in certain markets but with the standard S-Class only due in South Africa next year, expect the Maybach to arrive with its standard sibling or later in 2021.

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