The Mercedes-Maybach S600 is to opulence what Mercedes-AMG is to performance… and you could set up home in its back seat. The $449,000 vehicle extends both the space and exclusivity of a regular S-Class, the 20cm-longer body doubling knee-room over even a long-wheelbase S-Class.
Now to the real luxury: the seats are ridiculously comfortable, the pillowy headrests invite rest, and there are foot cushions available in the boot. Foot cushions!
Then there are iPad-style TVs, with any of three remote controls also operating a massage function that uses heated elements in the seatbacks to mimic hot-stone principles. When it’s time to eat and drink, the large central-rear console incorporates temperature-controlled cupholders and airline-style pull-out tables. Your bottle of Veuve can be chilled in an optional rear-console fridge – though this does rob a fifth of available boot space – and consumed from also optional-extra silver-plated Robbe & Berking flutes that are widely used in Michelin-starred restaurants.
How is the driving experience up there, James? Well, sir, the 6.0-litre V12 engine doesn’t accelerate with the same vim as the regular S600 that shares the same (AMG built) engine but then this S-Class is about smooth momentum rather than explosive take-offs – the accelerator pedal is even recalibrated to provide a softer initial response, the seven-speed gearbox shifts almost imperceptibly and the 12-cylinder remains a distant noise.
For the wealthy but wise individual, this poshest of S600s represents a relative bargain, offering extra refinement, space and equipment over an S600L for merely an additional spend equivalent to the price of a mid-range hatchback.