Gets new tech from the standard S-Class

The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is the first Merc to sport the vintage "Maybach" badge since the brand was revived for the second time in 2015. But unlike it predecessor, offered between 1997 to 2013, the current Maybach isn’t positioned as a stand-alone name. But the principle is pretty much the same, as both vehicles are mildly revised versions of the familiar S-Class. After three years on the market, the Mercedes-Maybach was updated with the same modifications seen on the regular S-Class in 2017. The official debut will take place at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show in March.

The mid-cycle facelift includes only minor tweaks inside and out in terms of design and layout, but it’s more significant in the tech department. Just like the standard S-Class, the Maybach model now benefits from the features introduced with the smaller E-Class sedan. Highlights include semi-autonomous drive, big displays for the infotainment system and instrument cluster, and extra convenience features. The upgrade is supposed to keep the Mercedes-Maybach ahead of the competition, which is likely to happen with both the Rolls-Royce Ghost and the Bentley Flying Spur being significantly older.

But the big news is that the Mercedes-Maybach brand is working far better than the previous Maybach attempt. While the 57 and 62 models offered between 1997 and 2013 were built in only 3,000 units, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class model already sold more than 25,000 units since its introduction in 2015.

Keep reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

Exterior

  • New front grille
  • Two-tone paint
  • New wheel designs
  • New headlamps
  • Revised taillights
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The sedan borrows the cascading grille with vertical slats seen on the Maybach Vision 6 concept

Having already seen the facelifted S-Class and its minor, hard-to-find updates, I wasn’t expecting much from the Maybach model. But Mercedes did a bit more than it did with other recent facelifts. At least up front, where the limousine gained a new radiator grille.

Specifically, the four-door borrowed the cascading grille with vertical slats seen on the Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6 concept. This is a big change compared to the grille of the old model, which had thick horizontal bars too, and a throwback to the pre-2003 Maybach brand. The 57 and 62 had a similar grille, albeit with a thick center slat that split the radiator in two distinct pieces.

The new Maybach S-Class also gained the bumper and headlamps of the revised sedan. The former have the new three-bar LED lights toward the grille, while the bumper has a continuous vent from corner to corner with bigger intakes on the sides and significantly more chrome.

2019 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class Exterior
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Mercedes also introduced a two-tone paint option for the Maybach S-Class

The rear end is not as impressive, with just the taillight cluster being different. The same goes for the profile, which stands out only by means of a new, 20-inch multi-spoke wheel design. These new rims also remind me of the old Maybach 57 and 62, so maybe Mercedes is actually trying to revive the 1990s. Three additional and exclusive 20-inch wheels designs are available via the options list, including the 20-hole design from the Maybach S-Class Cabriolet we saw last year. The latter should look interesting on the sedan.

Finally, Mercedes introduced a two-tone paint option for the Maybach S-Class. And this is yet another feature that moves it closer to the Maybach models of the late 20th century. The new paint scheme includes a double clear coat for a lacquer effect and a clear coat with intermediate sanding applied by hand in Maybach’s special paint laboratory. Mercedes says that there will be nine different color combinations in the future, but for now we can only see the light beige top over the black sides.

Interior

  • Same design
  • Touch-sensitive steering wheel
  • 12-inch displays
  • Drive Pilot function
  • 64-color ambient lighting
  • New upholstery colors
  • New stitching
  • New trim inserts
2019 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class Interior
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Noticeable upgrades in the tech department include a new steering wheel with touch-sensitive buttons

At first glance, the interior of the updated Maybach S-Class looks the same. This isn’t surprising though, as the regular S-Class didn’t get many changes either design-wise. There are a few noticeable upgrades in the tech department though, starting a new steering wheel with touch-sensitive buttons. The feature was launched with the E-Class as a world-first in the automotive industry and made it in a few other models until now. The technology detects horizontal and vertical swipes just like the screen of a smartphone or tablet, enabling the driver to control features of the infotainment system using only their thumbs. This obviously makes driving safer.

Another important upgrade is the infotainment system. Also taken off the E-Class, it has two 12.3-inch displays integrated into the same frame, which makes it look as if a really wide screen stretches from the driver’s side over the center stack. Also, the energy-saving LED lighting for the interior now has 64 colors, yet another feature taken from the E-Class.

2019 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class Interior
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The Drive Pilot function enables the S-Class to follow the car in front at speeds of up to 130 mph

Finally, there’s the Drive Pilot function, which enables the S-Class to follow the car in front at speeds of up to 130 mph. The system uses automatic braking and accelerating, as well as the Steering Pilot to handle moderate bends. This feature is optional on the S-Class and we don’t know yet if its included as standard on the Maybach model.

Moving over to visual updates, Mercedes offers a couple of new, exclusive color combinations. There’s Armagnac Brown with Black, pictured in the official photos, and Savanna Beige and Black. The existing black Maybach Exclusive nappa leather upholstery can now be ordered with a choice of copper, gold, or platinum-colored contrast stitching (how very Rolls-Royce of Mercedes), and there’s a new trim insert package in Designo flowing lines Magnolia. Whatever this is, because Mercedes didn’t share any actual details.

Overall, it’s an important update for the Maybach model, which is now on par with other high-tech luxury models on the market in terms of technology and convenience features.

Drivetrain

  • Same drivetrain options
  • 4.0-liter V-8
  • 6.0-liter V-12
  • Up to 621 horsepower
  • Up to 738 pound-feet of torque
  • 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds
  • Top speed limited to 155 mph
2018 Mercedes-AMG S63-S65 High Resolution Drivetrain
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The revised Mercedes-Maybach sedan is available with two drivetrains

The revised Mercedes-Maybach sedan is available with two drivetrains. First up is the S560 4Matic, which uses the twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 engine found in most AMG models. The unit is rated at 463 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, just like in the regular S560 S-Class and the outgoing Maybach model and it enables the big sedan to hit 60 mph from a standing start in only 4.8 seconds. More oomph comes from the S650 model, powered by the big 6.0-liter V-12 that generates 621 horsepower and a whopping 738 pound-feet of twist. This version hits 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, two tenths quicker than the base model. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph for both variants.

Prices

2019 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class
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Prices should remain about the same with the facelift, so expect the Mercedes-Maybach S560 4Matic to retail from around $169,000. The Mercedes-Maybach S650 model with the big V-12 engine should start from nearly $200,000.

Competition

Rolls-Royce Ghost

2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II High Resolution Exterior
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While the Phantom was redesigned in 2017, the Ghost will soldier on for at least one more year in current spec. The British sedan is almost ten years old as of 2018 but received a facelift for the 2015 model year. The refresh brought minor exterior changes, such as reshaped LED headlamps, revised bumpers and enlarged air intakes up front. That’s not much, but the Ghost remains one of the most desirable luxury cars out there. Inside, the redesigned front and rear seats, and new veneers and chrome inserts round off the update that goes by the name Series II. One thing that sets it apart is that Rolls-Royce offers more customization options. Under the hood, the Ghost carries the same twin-turbo, 6.6-liter, V-12 engine as its predecessor. Output remained unchanged at 562 horsepower, but torque increased from 575 to 605 pound-feet of torque. The Black Badge model comes with a bit more oomph at 604 horses and 620 pound-feet. The 0-to-60-mph sprint is achieved in only 4.7 seconds with help from an eight-speed, ZF automatic transmission, while top speed is electronically limited at 155 mph. Pricing starts at around $270,000 before options, which makes the Ghost significantly more expensive than the V-12-powered Maybach.

Read our full story on the 2017 Rolls-Royce Ghost.

Bentley Flying Spur

2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S High Resolution Exterior
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Much like the Ghost, the Flying Spur isn’t exactly new either. The second-generation model has been around for five years as of 2018 and if previous cars are any indication, it should remain on the market for a couple more years. It may seem a bit dated design-wise now that a new Continental GT is available in dealerships, but the Flying Spur looks just as elegant as the Maybach S-Class. The interior is equally fancy with soft surfaces all over the place and an impressive list of options (including those from the Mulliner division), but just like the Ghost, the Flying Spur lacks the cutting-edge technology in the Merc. Bentley provides competitors for both the S560 and S650. The V8 S model uses a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 rated at 521 horsepower and 502 pound-feet, while the W12 S comes with a twin-turbo, 6.0-liter W-12 that cranks out a more impressive 626 horses and 605 pound-feet of twist. All versions are equipped with ZF eight-speed automatic transmissions. Pricing starts from a little over $200,000.

Read our full review of the 2017 Bentley Flying Spur.

Conclusion

2019 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class Exterior
- image 767735

While styling upgrades are far from significant, the revised Mercedes-Maybach S-Class has a big advantage over the competition in the technology department. The semi-autonomous drive, the big displays, and the advanced safety features place the Maybach at the top of the segment, despite Rolls-Royce and Bentley offering far more customization options. Until more advanced versions of the Ghost and Flying Spur arrive starting 2019, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class remains the best option. And if you don’t want the big V-12 engine, it can be significantly more affordable than its rivals, which fetch in excess of $200,000.

  • Leave it
    • * More options from Rolls-Royce and Bentley
    • * Just an S-Class with extra features

References

Mercedes-Benz S-Class

2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

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Read more Mercedes-Benz news.

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Read more Geneva Motor Show news.

Press release

Mercedes-Maybach stands for the ultimate in exclusivity and individuality. The luxury brand combines the perfection of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class with the exclusivity of Maybach. Now the top model from Mercedes-Benz is even more refined. A new radiator grille, optional two-tone paintwork and new exclusive colour combinations in the interior ensure an even more majestic look. The world premiere is at the Geneva Motor Show (6.3. to 18.3.2018). The sales start is in April 2018.

A reinterpretation of the Mercedes-Maybach radiator grille with its fine, vertical struts accentuates the front end. The grille was inspired by a pinstriped suit. It celebrated its world premiere in the Vision Mercedes‑Maybach 6, the exclusive coupé study which thrilled connoisseurs and fans of the brand in 2016.

The two-tone exterior paint finish is also a classic Mercedes-Maybach theme. In future there will be nine different colour combinations available on request. The double clear coat is available as a further new option for all dark colours. It creates a brilliant surface finish with a piano lacquer effect and a special impression of depth. The second bodywork clear coat, including intermediate sanding, is intricately applied by hand in the Maybach Manufaktur by specially trained varnishers.

The exterior look of the top model is rounded off by a new luxury 20‑inch multi-spoke wheel. There are also three exclusive 20- inch wheels to choose from for the Mercedes-Maybach, including the wheel with a 20‑hole design familiar from the Mercedes-Maybach S‑C abriolet.

Two new exclusive colour combinations are offered in the interior: armagnac brown/black and savanna beige/black. The black Maybach Exclusive nappa leather upholstery appointments can also be ordered with a choice of copper-, gold- or platinum-coloured contrasting topstitching. Also new in the range are trim inserts in designo flowing lines Magnolia.

With a length of 5462 mm and a wheelbase of 3365 mm, the flagship of the Mercedes-Benz model range exceeds the long-wheelbase S‑Class Saloon by 20 cm in both dimensions. Rear passengers benefit from this increased size, as well as from standard equipment that includes Executive seats on both left and right and other exclusive details such as innovative voice amplification. The huge success of the Mercedes-Maybach speaks volumes: since the market launch of the Maybach in February 2015 over 25,000 Mercedes-Maybach S‑Class models have already been delivered to customers. In 2017, too, more than 1 in 10 S‑Class models sold was a Mercedes-Maybach. The main markets are China, Russia and the USA.

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