Mercedes-Benz has just unveiled an even more luxurious version of their flagship S-Class, which recently received a full redesign earlier this year. Now on its second iteration, the primarily chauffeur-driven 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class builds on the tech and luxury of the standard S-Class, but with the Maybach sub-brand dialing up the car’s luxury level to 11.
As a recap, Mercedes-Benz now has two sub-brands with two polar opposite goals. Mercedes-AMG is all about making cars go fast, while Mercedes-Maybach, which used to be a separate brand competing with Rolls-Royce and Bentley, aims to make standard Mercs even more luxurious than they already are.
The new 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class features an 18-cm longer wheelbase compared to the standard S-Class. This added length solely benefits the rear occupants, which is evident when you see that the rear doors are much longer than the front doors. Compared to the standard S-Class, this long sedan features more chrome detailing and more extravagant wheel designs. Buyers can opt for an optional two-tone paint scheme, which believe it or not, is applied entirely by hand and takes a full week to be completed.
As for the interior, most of the upgrades are focused on the rear occupants. The extended wheelbase introduces a number of possibilities for the rear passengers, and it begins with the twin Executive Seats. Seat massagers aren’t new in flagship luxury sedans, but the Maybach S-Class takes it up a notch by adding a massage function for your calves. One of those Executive Seats, specifically the one behind the front passenger seat, can be fully reclined in a way that promotes sleep for the rear occupants. Oh, and like most ultra-luxury sedans out there, the Maybach S-Class features a fridge and champagne glasses for the rear occupants.
The 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is also equipped with seatbelt extenders. Usually equipped on the automaker’s coupes and convertibles, this feature hands over the seatbelt to the rear passenger once the new MBUX Interior Assist’s motion sensors detect that the passenger intends to reach for the belt. This motion-sensing tech, which is optional on the standard S-Class and standard on the Maybach S-Class, isn’t just for the seatbelts though. This system enables gesture commands for features such as the sun blinds, sunroof, and interior lights. For instance, if the rear passenger is looking for something in a certain area of the interior, the interior LED lights will cast a glow on the specific area that needs illumination.
Another useful feature in the Maybach S-Class is its self-closing rear doors, which are similar to what you’d find in all of Rolls-Royce’s vehicles. It’s certainly a welcome feature to have since the rear doors of the Maybach S-Class are long and quite heavy. Lastly, for added quietness, the Maybach S-Class gets active noise cancellation. Though the S-Class is already known for its supreme refinement, the Maybach S-Class takes it up a notch by using the Burmester surround sound system to send “counter-phased audio signals” to cancel road noise before it even reaches the occupants’ ears.
Three engine options will be available depending on the market. The Mercedes-Maybach S 580 gets a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 gasoline engine that produces 496 hp that’s mated to a 48-volt mild-hybrid (MHEV) system that adds 21 hp. There’s also going to be a Mercedes-Maybach S 650, which features a 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 gasoline engine that produces 621 hp. Lastly, a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain will also be offered, which consists of a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 gasoline engine mated to an electric motor. Combined system output is expected to be at 503 hp.
In terms of the driving experience, the 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class gets a specially-developed air suspension to complement the ultra-luxury sedan’s new “Maybach Mode.” When using this mode, the accelerator pedal gets recalibrated for a gentler acceleration and the transmission always starts off in second gear. The transmission also adjusts to deliver buttery-smooth shifts while the Active Rear Steering makes the Maybach S-Class smoother yet more agile when going through corners.
Chauffeurs will certainly be happy with the 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class’ Level 3 autonomous driver-assist systems. Once these cars go on sale, the hardware for these systems will already be equipped in the Maybach S-Class, but the software for the self-driving systems will only be activated once Level 3 autonomous systems become legal in certain cities by the second half of 2021. With these systems activated, completely hands-off driving will be possible in traffic jams and select highways around the world.
The 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class will go on sale before the end of 2021. Since 2015, around 60,000 units of this ultra-luxury sedan have already been sold worldwide. Mercedes-Benz says that Russia, South Korea, USA, Germany and China will be the ultra-luxury sedan’s key markets. As a matter of fact, the Maybach S-Class experienced double-digit sales growth in China in 2019.