Mercedes re-launches ultra-luxury Maybach brand
Mercedes' luxurious Maybach brand has been relaunched, with the German carmaker unveiling the new model simultaneously at the Los Angeles and Guangzhou motor shows.
Originally a renowned luxury car manufacturer in the early 20th century, Maybach was first resurrected by parent company Mercedes in 2002, which released an exclusive limousine to rival the Rolls-Royce Phantom. Unfortunately it couldn't quite match the opulence and prestige of its British rival, and was discontinued following poor sales in 2013.
Unlike that ill-fated model, the new Maybach is not a standalone car, but instead a range-topping version of Mercedes' highly accomplished S-Class limousine. The manufacturer hopes to develop Maybach as an ultra-luxurious sub brand, which will produce distinct models in the same way that its performance division, AMG, does. However, it is unlikely models outside the flagship S-Class range will get the Maybach treatment.
Don't expect to find a diesel motor under the bonnet – buyers in this area of the market expect the ultimate, so the Maybach S-Class is fitted with a 6.0-litre turbocharged V12 engine developing 530bhp – making it a direct rival for rarefied luxury saloons such as the Bentley Flying Spur and Rolls-Royce Ghost. V6 and V8 versions are also expected to be offered in due course.
The S600 Maybach is visually identifiable from regular S-Class models by its longer doors, more conservative front grille and other subtle exterior design features.
It is on the inside, though, where the car really gets into its stride. While much of the layout and design is carried over from the regular S-Class (which is no bad thing), the rear cabin is much larger and embellished with exquisite details. Passengers are treated to individually adjustable rear seats and a top-line entertainment system.
Mercedes is expected to charge a £10,000-£15,000 premium for a Maybach S-Class over a standard long wheelbase version, meaning the S600 version is likely to start from around £150,000 when it arrives in showrooms next spring.
The S-Class range is also due to expand with an even more exclusive stretched version, badged Pullman, which is currently in development.