The Mercedes-Maybach S600 has gone on sale with prices starting at £165,700. First UK deliveries of the super-luxury model are planned for June.
The S600 marks the return of the Maybach name two years after its was pulled by Mercedes-Benz because of faltering sales. Now the nameplate has returned for this V12-powered, extra-long-wheelbase S-class model.
The swish ‘upper luxury-class’ saloon received its public debut at the LA motor show last November. The car is planned to compete in a segment of the market occupied by the Bentley Flying Spur and Rolls-Royce Ghost.
For the £165,700 asking price, customers get a choice of leather, wood and stitching options. Other than more opulent paint colours, the only other option available is First Class Cabin, which swaps the three seat bench for two individual seats, which can recline to 43.5 degrees.
The list of luxuries on the S600 is long. Highlights include air-conditioned, heated and massaging seats, armrests that can be warmed, a system to pump scented, ionised air around the cabin, a 1540 watt Burmester 3D surround sound system with 24 speakers.
This saloon also heralds the sensational return of Maybach, which was written off by parent company Daimler after a troubled 10-year comeback.
This time, however, Maybach is a sub-brand that will sit within the Mercedes-Benz fold in much the same way as the Mercedes-AMG performance division does.
Company chiefs expect Maybach to exploit the growing customer desire for high-margin luxury vehicles in much the same way that AMG is sprinkling its go-faster stardust on an increasingly broad range of vehicles.
Mercedes sales and marketing chief Ola Källenius, who was boss of AMG between 2010 and 2013, said: “Mercedes-AMG is the blueprint for the extension of our brand. More than 40,000 AMG cars will be sold during 2014 and it is a great ‘co-pilot’ for Mercedes-Benz.
“With Mercedes-Maybach, we are applying the same logic as Mercedes-AMG, but in the area of prestige and exclusivity. It is not an equipment line; it is a sub-brand that, in future, will deliver Mercedes-Benz vehicles in an even more exclusive form.”
Källenius confirmed that the S600 won’t be the sub-brand’s only offering. “Our deliberations in the area of Mercedes-Maybach are not focused solely on the S-class,” he said, but he wouldn’t be drawn on other future models.
However, the crucial factor is retaining exclusivity, so the new sub-brand will be involved with cars at only the premium end of Mercedes’ vast model range.
“It’s relatively easy to do a Mercedes-AMG version of the A-class, but we will only do Maybachs when we see the potential in the market and when our customers expect it,” said Källenius.
The Mercedes-Maybach S600 is differentiated from other S-class models by a series of subtle exterior styling details, including a more stately style of grille and lengthened rear doors.