Just when we thought the Best car in the World couldnt get any better, Mercedes gives us the Maybach S600 – a car that gets you your Club Class access on wheels. Its a car that lets you travel in the lap of luxury, without letting the world know of the extra wealth that youve been stacking up under the mattress.
On the face of it, the all-new Maybach S600 looks like any other, err, standard S-class. It has a near similar silhouette, the grille, the shoulder lines, the haunches and the coupe-like sloping rear section. Its only on closer inspection youll realise this is the Big Daddy, the extended S that Mercedes has carefully crafted to bring back its ultra-luxury brand back from the dead. Its the Mercedes-Maybach S600 – one of the most luxurious Mercs ever to leave the plant.
Its a car that makes you look at things a bit differently. Its a car you'd want to drive, but a car you'd rather be driven around in. And, thats one of the reasons why I didnt bother checking out the details on the outside or reaching out for the drivers door – things that are first nature for automotive journalists. Its a Maybach, after all.
As you step into the car, you are greeted by what is one of the best cabins weve had the privilege of being in. It's more like a swish living room and less like a car's interior. Its plusher than the plushest we've come across recently. Theres plenty of wood and chrome trim carefully garnished all around the cabin to go with the bucketfuls of fine-grain Nappa leather.
Plus, our test car is equipped with the insanely comfortable rear-seat package that offers two cooled/heated bucket seats worthy of being called 'thrones' with the Hot Stone massage function. These can make the comfiest recliner you've sat yourself in look like ordinary chairs. Open the centre armrest console, and you find cup holders that are heated and cooled, as well as two airliner-inspired foldaway aluminium tables.
These first class-spec seats can be reclined by 43.5 degrees, and can be converted into a sofa for a quick nap. At the mere press of a button, the backrest reclines, the seat squab moves forward, and the extendable leg rest folds out. When you do that, the front passenger seat slides forward, creating acres of legroom for you, before an ottoman slides out for you to rest your feet on.
If you think these features will spoil you silly, theres more. Merc offers a brilliant 1540-watt Burmester 3D surround sound system with 24 speakers that come very close to giving you a live performance-like experience. And, like the regular S-Class, the Maybach, too, uses Mercedes Air Balance system of air ionisation and filtration, with the addition of an expensive agarwood essence.
As you would expect from Mercedes ultra luxury sedan, the Maybach gets the brilliant Magic Body Control function that works damn well in conjunction with the air suspension. The active dampers soak up bumps with poise, and almost completely smooth out road imperfections. You can even adjust the ride height, so you can raise the car while tackling those monstrous speed bumps our roads are full of. Plus, you can switch to Sport mode for dealing with sweeping corners and mountain roads. Body roll is kept to a bare minimum, and the car stays as flat as the laws of physics would permit.
As mentioned, if you are buying one of this, you ought to be seated at the back. However, if you feel the urge of getting behind the wheel occasionally, this 2,405kg, 5.453-metre long swanky living room on wheels wouldnt disappoint you much. And thats because Mercedes has sourced a 6.0-litre, twin-turbo V12 from AMG thats good for 523bhp and 830Nm of pulling power, coupled with a beautifully calibrated seven-speed auto 'box.
The Maybach comes with two driving modes\: Comfort and Sport. In the latter, the Limo lunges forward with great intensity. Yes, it weighs in excess of 2.4 tons, but the V12 does a stellar job of getting this beast up to incredible speeds in no time. Handling, too, isnt bad for a limo. The electronic steering wheel, along with the Magic Body Control, makes piloting the Maybach easy.
With the Maybach S600, Mercedes has redefined limousines. Although its effortlessly quick and butter-smooth, the Maybach S600 is a car you wont mind paying up additional money over the S, despite knowing you won't be driving it at all. Its quieter than most meditation halls; comfortable enough to make you never want to get out of it. And, once all four doors are shut, the Maybach does a brilliant job of cosseting its passengers; isolating their world from the crazy one outside.
Which brings us to the price. At Rs 2.6 crore (ex-showroom), Mercedes isn't exactly asking for a lot of money for what is a longer, plusher S. However, we would expected more than just two Maybach logos on the limo for something that would cost us close to Rs 3 crore post taxes. However, Merc claims more than visual enhancements, a lot of effort has gone into making the Maybach feel elegant on the inside and giving it several distinctive features.
Features that even the heads at Rolls-Royce and Bentley would applaud the German carmaker for. Okay, the Rolls and the Bentleys have more distinct identities, which the S-Class-turned-Maybach doesnt have. But, if understated luxury is what you seek, then this is something special thats worth your money.SpecsBiturbo, 5980cc, V12, 523bhp, 830Nm, 7-speed, automatic, RWD, 0-100kph\: 5 seconds (claimed), top speed\: 250kph, boot capacity\: 500 litres, kerb weight\: 2405kg, Price\: Rs 2.6 crore, ex-showroom.Verdict\:The best car in the world just got better. The Maybach is everything Merc knows about making an opulent car. And, compared to the Rolls and the Bentleys, the Maybach is a true bargain.