that bring it online with contemporary Mercedes cars.
On the Maybach, details include a Maybach badge in the redesigned grille and a Maybach-specific front bumper with chrome-outlined lower air intakes.
Besides this additional detail, the Mercedes-Maybach’s most notable exterior features remain its elongated greenhouse and rear doors. Both are the result of the Maybach’s stretched wheelbase, which is 200 mm longer than its– now extended to long-wheelbase only – S-Class cousins.
REAR OF THE YEAR…
Nowhere more so than in the rear does one expect, and find, the benefit of the car’s longer dimension, than in the rear. Legroom at the back, as legroom increases from 861 mm in the Mercedes-Benz, to just less than 1,020 mm in the Maybach. The extended rear compartment includes four-way power-adjustable outboard seats with heating and cooling functions, power-operated leg rests, and a built-in massage feature.
A refrigerated box in the rear is optional, as are handcrafted silver champagne flutes, while entertainment screens (in the front seatbacks) are standard and offer rear passengers their own set of infotainment controls as well as individual sets of wireless headphones.
…AND UPGRADED IN FRONT
Although the Maybach’s back seat has been even further refined, the comfort of its 12-way power-adjustable front seats is by no means lacking. With heating, cooling, and massage functions, the Maybach is built as much for the benefit of its driver, as its passengers.
As with other S-Class models, the Maybach has received significant tech and style upgrades for the 2018 model year. Some changes are more understated than others – such as placing the Maybach’s pair of 12.3” screens behind a single pane of glass. As before, the screen directly in front of the driver offers standard vehicle instrumentation information and options such as the feed from the front-mounted infrared night-vision camera. The centre-mounted display provides all infotainment functions and is operated by the passenger using the familiar rotary dial, while the driver now accesses functions using touch-sensitive pads located on the reshaped threespoke steering wheel. The left pad works the infotainment screen, while the pad on the right manages the instrument cluster. The infotainment system also accepts voice commands.
MADE FOR CRUISING, BUT…
Mercedes has ditched the previous cruise-control stalk mounted on the steering column by moving all cruise control functions to the steering wheel. Changes to the workings of the system also reveal a wholesale overhaul of the system– including better use of navigation data that allows the Mercedes-Maybach to adjust its speed automatically in preparation for upcoming turns.
Combined with multiple standard driver assistance systems, the Maybach takes a significant step towards autonomous driving, elevating – at least in theory – Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive to the next level.
Yes, the range of systems is comprehensive and includes Active Braking Assist, Crosswind Assist, Attention Assist, Traffic Sign Assist and also the occupant protection system Pre-Safe and Pre-Safe Sound (prepares human hearing for the anticipated accident noise when there is a risk of a collision). However, negotiating some fair to mild road conditions at the car’s South African launch event in KwaZulu-Natal, we found the semi-autonomous functions to come up a little short under harsher conditions. The Maybach tended to slow