The New Mercedes-Maybach Is, Amazingly, an Even Fancier S-Class
Seven inches of added rear legroom and a suite of luxury additions add up to a better rear seat experience.
When you're growing up, the back seat is generally seen as the lesser choice of a car's thrones. The front seats are where the action is; that's where the driver sits, where the good views are, where the controls for the radio and air conditioning and everything else are.
Then again, if more of us grew up with cars like the new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class...we probably would have fewer qualms about occupying the rear seats.
The all-new S-Class, of course, hardly has a cop car's rear bench; it's jam-packed with comfort features that make it a stellar place to sit when stuck in traffic or rocketing down the autobahn. But much as AMG models are about taking the Mercedes-Benz experience and adding more performance, Maybachs are all about upping the luxury quotient of your "basic" Benzes. And the new Maybach S-Class shows just how far the carmaker can go when luxing-up its flagship.
You might not notice it at first glance, but the new Maybach has been stretched out, packing a wheelbase seven inches longer than the regular S-Class. That added space between the axles is there solely to improve the legroom for the lucky souls occupying the two first class-style thrones in the second row.
Mercedes didn't specifically discuss the number of cylinders found under the Maybach's hood at launch, but considering it did mention the car uses the EQ Boost mild hybrid system and packs a nine-speed automatic and all-wheel-drive, we're assuming it's the same twin-turbo hybrid V8 found in the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 580.
Eye-catching as the exterior may be, especially in optional two-tone paint, the interior is the main attraction of any Maybach. Active noise cancellation operates much like you'd find in a high-end pair of Bose headphones, playing counter-phase sound waves through the speakers to make the interior even more tomb-like. The giant tablet-and-voice-control-based MBUX infotainment system from the regular S-Class is found here, complete with cool features like the vision-tracking 3D gauge cluster.
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Rear-axle steering is standard, giving the chauffeur (or whomever winds up taking the driver's seat) the ability to yank the car around with greater agility. By turning the rear wheels up to 10 degrees, the system cuts the low-speed turning radius down by nearly seven feet.
The optional E-Active Body Control suspension pumps the ride up to another level of comfort, using cameras to survey the road ahead and adjust the individual corners of the active suspension to iron out smaller bumps along the way. Like other Mercedes models with the feature, the new Maybach can even lean into curves (though not as dramatically as, say, a motorcycle).
The back is where the magic, happens, however. The rear doors can be electrically operated, making entry easy in spite of their massive size. Settle into the thrones (you might want to move the pillow), and the seatbelt will be passed up to you via a power-extending arm.
Up to 44 inches of legroom greets each rear-seat occupant; to make the most of that, the seats can recline to a backrest angle of 43.5º. If you're in the right-rear seat, the front passenger's chair can fold forward and down farther than ever to provide a better view out the windshield for the backseat resident.
Wood envelops the front seatbacks, to ensure the rear occupants don't feel like they're missing out on the luxury of staring at tree-sourced trim. Should they grow weary of looking at wood, each seat has their own 11.6-inch touchscreen infotainment setup; there's also a shared Android tablet that can be used to control the system or surf the web. Fold-out tables like those found in an airplane even provide a place to set up a laptop or prop up a book.
And, of course, the back seats are heated, ventilated, and capable of multiple massage programs. (The legrests can even deliver a calf massage now, because, of course, Maybach buyers know better than to skip leg day.) You can even opt for a back-seat refrigerator that cools down beverages to as low as 34º Fahrenheit.
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