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Future models - Mercedes-Benz - S-Class - Maybach S600

LA show: New Mercedes-Maybach cruising to Australia

Maybach is back: Mercedes-Benz’s new super-luxury S-Class Maybach flagship was launched jointly in the United States and China – the two biggest potential markets – this week.

$600k pricetag expected for Mercedes’ new S-Class Maybach limousine in Australia

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Mercedes-Benz logo20 Nov 2014

By RON HAMMERTON

AUSTRALIAN billionaires will have to cool their heels for another 12 months before they can send their chauffeurs to collect Mercedes-Benz’s new pimped and pumped S-Class-based Maybach limousine from showrooms.

Stretched an extra 207mm over the long-wheelbase S-Class to provide first-class rear legroom for business executives, the new Mercedes flagship is expected to cost well-heeled customers up to $600,000 before they start choosing from myriad options that can turn their transport into a personalised rolling executive suite.

This price represents a premium of more than $100,000 on the most expensive current S-Class, the S65L AMG that is available on customer order for about $490,000 plus on-road costs.

However, it is also $400,000 cheaper than the previous-generation bespoke Maybach that cost $1 million when it was launched as a Rolls-Royce and Bentley competitor in 2004.

About 13 of those previous super-luxurious limousines were sold in Australia before the model was discontinued in 2012, and at least some of those owners are likely to be prime candidates for the new version that goes on sale in Europe in February before being rolled out to Australia in late 2015.

Mercedes-Benz Australia Pacific public relations, product and corporate communications senior manager David McCarthy told GoAuto he expected Mercedes-Maybach volumes to amount to “a handful a year” in this market.

He said the price had not yet been set, but it could be “close to $600,000” for the base model.

The unveiling of the new Mercedes-Maybach jointly at the Los Angeles and Guangzhou motor shows this week marks the advent of the German’s company’s second sub-brand after the AMG performance branch.

Mercedes says other super luxury Maybach models can be expected from the new sub-brand in future.

The S-Class Maybach comes in 4.7-litre 335kW bi-turbo V8 S500 and 6.0-litre 390kW V12 S600 forms, with the bigger engine expected to attract the most attention in Australia.

At 5453mm long, the Mercedes-Maybach is 207mm longer than the stretched S-Class limousine, with 200mm of that slotted into the body between the B- and C-pillars to provide voluminous room to stretch out in the back.

Rear knee room grows from 166mm to 325mm, while a taller roof means head room climbs from 951mm to 963mm.

Despite its massive proportions and big sticker price, the Mercedes-Maybach is still well short of the hulking 5840mm-long Roll-Royce Phantom that sells for $853,000.

Oddly, Mercedes has trimmed the rear doors by 66mm, shifting the triangular quarter window from the door to the C pillar. With the seat moved backwards by 200mm, this means the rear-seat passengers effectively sit behind the door.

Mercedes says the new Maybach is the quietest model for rear seat passengers in the world, eclipsing the previous champion, its own new S-Class Coupe.

Those passengers sit in a pair of “executive seats” that can be adjusted electrically in a multitude of ways, including a backrest angle of 43 degrees for weary workers.

Because a laid-back passenger is in danger of “submarining” under the seatbelt in a crash, Mercedes engineers have come up with a world-first seat airbag that inflates the front edge of the seat squab, effectively lifting the passenger’s legs to hold them in position should the Maybach suddenly fail to proceed.

As well, the rear seat belts inflate in a crash for better chest protection, and the side airbags move with the seat back to provide full protection to the occupant’s chest and head, no matter how they are sitting.

A number of special extra-cost packages are available for the rear-seat configuration, adding items such as massage function “based on the hot-stone principle”, and a “first-class rear suite” package that includes a centre console with cup cooler/heaters and aircraft-style fold-out tables.

Of course, the Mercedes-Maybach is cloaked in hand-stitched, monogrammed Nappa leather, even on the doors.

If the customer prefers polished wood, the Exclusive trim package envelops the rear cabin area in handcrafted timber, even including the air nozzles.

The Maybach sits quite high at the kerb to allow easy entry and exit, but drops 20mm at high speed to aid handing and aerodynamics.

Externally, the Mercedes-Maybach gets a number of special details to set it apart from its smaller S-Class siblings, including chrome touches such as radiator grille louvres.

Apart from a Maybach badge on the boot lid, a unique “double M” badge is fixed to the C pillar, denoting the historical Maybach Manufaktur origins of the sub-brand dating back to the 1920s.

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