The Mercedes-Maybach is the most opulent version of Mercedes-Benz’s flagship S-Class sedan, built on the same platform and using similar engines. For 2018, the Maybach S600 will be replaced in Canada by the S650, which uses the same 6.0L V-12 engine as the S65.
The S650 is designed for its passengers to be chauffeured in comfort, so both rear seats recline fully. To accommodate this feature, the car is 20 cm longer and 20 cm wider than the long-wheelbase S560. The rear doors, however, are shorter by 66 mm –so the passengers back there are not so easily seen when the doors are opened, enhancing their sense of privacy.
The rear cabin area has its own climate control for each seat, and everything is wrapped in rich woods and fine leathers. There is even an exclusive fragrance available to Maybach owners that can be wafted through the ventilation system: “Agarwood” is apparently very rare and gives the heavy scent of a fine cigar lounge. In practice, however, anyone can walk into a Maybach dealership and buy the fragrance for their S-Class, If they really want it.
No price has yet been released for the S650, though last year’s S600 began at $232,400 and went up from there.
If you want even more, the over-the-top Mercedes-Maybach Pullman – a true limousine – is more than a metre longer than the S650 and totally cocoons its rear-seat passengers. The two fully-reclining seats are each faced by a small seat for an assistant, and a screen separates the rear cabin from the driver.
The Pullman will cost at least $600,000 and can also be bought in a much more expensive “Guard” version that’s VR9-specified bullet- and bomb-proof. That edition weighs more than five tonnes, and don’t even bother asking about fuel consumption.
In 2016, Mercedes says, one of every 10 S-Classes sold was a Maybach, and 60% of the marque’s market was in China. Russia and Korea are also important markets, though they also get a smaller V-8 version of the limousine.
Mercedes claims the Maybach is the world’s quietest production sedan in the rear. It’s even more so in the Pullman edition, especially when the rear window glass is replaced in the Guard with solid steel. Probably just as well, to help muffle the sound of all the bullets and bombs going off outside.