2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class: When You Face the Rare Dilemma of a Normal S-Class Not Being ‘Nice’ Enough

Chances are, you'll be able to buy one for the price of a Camry in about 15 years.

Before Maybach leads Mercedes-Benz into the electric age, it will have to work with what’s already on offer from MB’s lineup—and the electric EQS isn’t yet. The redesigned 2021 S-Class

is, however, and with its active air suspension, a bewildering array of safety tech, and sound system so strong it can be measured in horsepower, it makes a mighty foundation for Maybach to take on Bentley and Rolls-Royce with its 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S 580 4Matic.

Beneath that available two-tone paint and exclusive Maybach headlights sits the biggest engine available in any S-class today. It’s Mercedes’ 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, but with the 48-volt EQ Boost mild hybrid system to boost efficiency and output, which in the Maybach totals a peak of 517 horsepower and 700 pound-feet of torque. Pushed through a nine-speed automatic to all four wheels, the S 580 can reach a limited top speed of 130 mph, which is fast enough to blow off an AMG roof box.

Handling can be summed up by air suspension that tilts into corners to reduce the lateral load on passengers, and four-wheel steering that can turn the rears up to 10 degrees, shrinking the turning circle by up to seven feet. This comes in awfully handy while hunting for a spot in a tight parking garage, and when it does find one, the Maybach S-class can pretty much park itself. Some of the same technology that enables this wizardry also serves to prevent crashes while backing out again, not to mention more miscellaneous scenarios than you care to hear about.

If a crash somehow does happen, there aren’t many safer cars for it to happen in than one with up to 18 airbags stuffed into every imaginable cranny, as even the rear seatbelts themselves inflate. It’d be a shame to ruin that pretty interior as it’s worthy of a Four Seasons presidential suite, one which The Drive’s Managing Editor Jerry Perez would love to live out of like he did in a Rolls-Royce Cullinan and McLaren GT. It’s a space Maybach would surely tell you is one that caters to people with taste, and as such, it theoretically attends to all five senses.

The rear doors can open themselves electronically as your chauffeur presses a button, and the rears open to a second row with seven more inches of legroom than a regular S-class, and lighting from a 64-color ambient setup. You will smell the Maybach-exclusive leather (upgradeable to Nappa), and feel the electronically adjusted seats’ 10-setting massage program go to work on your spine. Its proverbial hands will be warm; the seats are climate-controlled and have warmers everywhere from the armrests to the neck supports. You will hear only what you darned well please, as while not blasting ODESZA, that 30-speaker sound system will actively cancel out noise from the outside world.

Rear-seat infotainment consisting of built-in tablets with wireless headsets will further cocoon you from the world beyond, and their built-in HD cameras and microphones help you get ready for the annual shareholders’ presentation. And if you’re the type to present such, there’s an Executive Rear Seat Plus package, which extends to the rear center console all the way rearward and reduces the number of seats to four, and increases the USB(-C) charge ports to eight. It also adds a 12-volt outlet, HDMI inputs, temperature-regulated cupholders, a chilled compartment, and champagne accoutrements for two.

When the 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S 580 4Matic hits the market has yet to be announced, as does pricing, but Maybach gave us a solid idea of what it’ll cost by acknowledging the Bentley Flying Spur as its benchmark. That suggests a starting price in the low $200,000s, though if you had to read this far to realize you couldn’t afford it, just be patient. If past Maybachs are anything to go by, you’ll be able to buy one for the price of a Toyota Camry in 15 years.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach S 580 4Matic, Daimler

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