Without spending Rolls-Royce money, the Mercedes S-Class is probably the best luxury car you can buy. For those insisting on splashing out a little more, though, there is now an option - the Mercedes-Maybach version.
As with the previous generation version and unlike the old 57/62, it keeps the S-Class badging. There’s plenty to set it apart from a standard S visually, though, with a spanglier front grille, a chromed bonnet ‘fin’, and an option two-tone finish with a dividing line. The whole car is littered in shiny bits not found on the more subtle base car.
It also takes up more space on the road, with a wheelbase 180mm longer than the LWB S-Class. That makes the optional ‘First-Class Rear’ even more commodious, with new features like neck/shoulder heating and a massage function on the calf-rests further improving the lot of whoever’s back there. This is a car to make all your First-World problems disappear.
The belt extender, a long-running feature in Merc’s coupes, makes its saloon debut with the Maybach’d S. You don’t even have to close or open the rear doors yourself, if you’d rather not, thanks to the optional electronically-controlled arrangement.
Each rear-seat passenger gets an 11.6-inch touchscreen display which can be used for surfing the Internet, watching TV or using Android apps. So you don’t have to crank the volume up too high, there’s a noise cancellation system specifically designed to combat the annoying din of big tyres moving along a road surface.
The electrically-adjustable rear seats can lean back as far as 43.5 degrees and are clad in fine nappa leather. As is the vast majority of the cabin, save for the bits clad in fancy wood.
There’s not much point in doing all that if the car has an awful ride, so the Mercedes-Maybach has a whole bunch of solutions to keep things smooth. Continually-adjusting air suspension is fitted as standard, and there’s also an optional ‘E-Active Body Control’ system which runs off the 48-volt subsystem and uses a camera to scan the road for anything nasty incoming.
So Parker can turn around more easily, it’s also possible to spec one of two rear-axle steering systems - 4.5-degrees or 10. Go for the latter, and the turning circle drops from 13.1 to 11.2 metres.
Mercedes hasn’t given any powertrain details just yet, but judging by this car’s predecessor, the new one will probably be available with a V6, V8 and V12, all petrol-powered. Price wise it should come in around £160,000, putting it in the Bentley Flying Spur firing line.
Which would it be for you?