We should preface the above headline with this: we fully expected Mercedes-Benz to introduce a more luxurious S-Class sedan, complete with a longer wheelbase. We’ve seen plenty of spy photos of the stretched sedan, and it was frankly a matter of “when” rather than “if” the flagship’s flagship would arrive. We simply weren’t expecting the new model to be adorned with the somewhat tarnished Maybach name, or to delete old Karl’s family name all together in its naming of the Mercedes-Maybach S600.
Considering the questionable history of the Maybach brand since its 2002 revival, it’s clear that Mercedes made a strategic decision for its newest sedan, retaining the overall look and, most importantly, the silver arrow of the S-Class, while the Maybach badging is kept to a minimum, with the double-M badge and “MAYBACH” name limited to the C-pillar and rear decklid, respectively. Instead, Mercedes has focused on the interior and stretched body for its high-end S600.
This hulking sedan is 8.1 inches longer than a standard S-Class at 214.6 inches, while its wheelbase has been stretched by 7.9 inches, and is now 132.5 inches long. That means the S600’s wheelbase is nearly four inches longer than a Bentley Mulsanne, while the overall car is over six inches lengthier. On the Rolls-Royce side, it’s situated between the 212.6/129.7-inch Ghost and the 230/140.6-inch Phantom.
While the Maybach S600’s increased size is its most outwardly obvious change, it’s not the sole reason people will buy this surely expensive sedan (early estimates indicate a $200,000-ish price tag). Instead, it’s the work that’s been done throughout the cabin that allows this flagship to shine. The material quality looks extremely impressive, with every observable surface finished in some variety of very high-quality leather, real wood or chrome trim.
It’s clear that Mercedes made a strategic decision for its newest Maybach-badged sedan.
While Mercedes has indeed provided a pleasant experience in the front two seats, it’s the twin second-row seats that have seen the largest transformation. The longer wheelbase is combined with doors that are actually 2.6 inches shorter, while the “executive” seats have been fitted behind the door cutout. Those backrests of these thrones can recline between 19 and 43.5 degrees, while both seats feature cushioned, pop-out ottomans.
A standard chauffeur package adds a maximum of three inches of legroom in the passenger’s-side backseat. A massage function is also standard (because, of course). Finally, as if that isn’t exorbitant enough, an optional Executive Rear Seat Package Plus adds heated and cooled cupholders, among other visual changes.
There’s far, far more to the S600 than we can cover here, including its standard Air-Balance perfume pack, standard Robbe & Berking champagne flutes, panoramic sunroof with Magic Sky Control, pop-out picnic tables, Designo leather headliner and Burmester 3D stereo. You can take a closer look at those and other options in Mercedes’ nearly 6,000-word press release, included below. If you’re thinking of upgrading your chauffeur’s wheels, the 2016 S600 arrives in dealers this April. Stay tuned for more on this new ultra-luxury sedan from its debut at the 2014 Los Angeles Motor Show.