Driving the Mercedes-Maybach S600
The Mercedes-Benz Maybach nameplate was resurrected nearly 15 years ago, only to go defunct a few years after the global economic meltdown of 2008. Maybach returns for the 2016 model year in the form of the Mercedes-Maybach S600, a modified S-Class that promises superlative long-wheelbase luxury and is set to go head to head against the likes of Bentley and Rolls-Royce.
With a starting price of $189,350 (approximately half the cost of the early 2000s-era Maybach), the new model is a relative bargain compared to its competitors. Equipped with a twin-turbocharged V-12 that produces 523 hp and 612 ft lbs of torque at 1,900 rpm, the new Maybach offers no shortage of honeyed, smooth-running performance; it can sprint to 60 mph in 5 seconds (like its not-so-distant ancestor) and pulls strongly all the way to its electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.
Despite its exceptional propulsive capabilities, the new Maybach is disarmingly quiet on the inside—especially from the rear seats, which benefit from a door that has been shortened and annexed with a small quarter-window for enhanced sound insulation. In fact, the Maybach steals the title of the world’s quietest road-going car from the S-Class Coupe, reflecting the carmaker’s exhaustive wind-tunnel testing and computer simulations. The rear cabin is a sumptuous, elegantly appointed space with every surface covered in nappa leather, Alcantara, or wood. Amenities include reclining seats, an alloy tray table, twin 12.3-inch screens, and optional silver-plated champagne flutes by Robbe & Berking (along with the requisite cooler, of course).
The modern Maybach driver will enjoy vehicle dynamics that eclipse the new car’s ancestor (not surprising, considering its dimensions are 11 inches shorter than the defunct Maybach ’57 and a staggering 30 inches shorter than the Maybach ’62), but, more importantly, the new car is refined enough to offer new levels of luxury for back-seat passengers. Smooth and relaxing enough to inspire all-day journeys, the 2016 Mercedes-Maybach S600 offers a compelling reason to hand the keys over, lean the seat back, and savor the ride. (mbusa.com)