After an unsuccessful bid to revive Maybach as a separate division, Mercedes-Benz has brought the ultra-luxury nameplate back as a new sub-brand designed to complement the existing Mercedes-AMG lineup. Called Mercedes-Maybach, the newest offshoot's first entry is based on the German automaker's S-Class. The 2015 Mercedes-Maybach S600, which essentially a stretched S-Class sedan with a bespoke interior, will bow next spring.

Mechanically similar to the current 2015 Mercedes-Benz S600, it uses the same 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 engine, which produces 523 horsepower and 612 lb ft of torque. The Mercedes-Maybach difference is its imposing size: it's 8.1 inches longer both overall and in its wheelbase, stretching to 132.5 inches between the axles and 214.6 inches from nose to tail. That extra length means more weight and one of the reasons why the 0-60 mph acceleration is a half second slower than the standard S600's 4.5 seconds.

Understated design cues

In its overall shape and styling, the Mercedes-Maybach is similar in appearance to the standard S-Class, but there are some subtle differences. Rather than using the extended doors from the LWB version of the S-Class, the Maybach portals are 2.6 inches shorter with no triangular window which has been moved into the C-pillar. This allows the rear doors to more seamlessly blend in the overall design and, in true limousine style, allows for the back seat to be positioned behind the door cutout, adding an element of privacy.

The glass areas are outlined in chrome trim, while chrome is used to cover the B-pillar. A Maybach Manufaktur double M logo is fixed to the C-pillar and the car rides on exclusive 20-inch alloy wheels. A larger grille with prominent trim with three double louvers along with the use of additional chrome accents on the lower intakes and tail distinguish the car from standard S-Class model.

Cabin fit for a king

The 2016 Mercedes-Maybach S600 puts its extra length to good use by creating a sumptuous interior that coddles the two rear seat passengers in the lap of ultimate luxury. In addition to outfitting the interior with the finest in leather, and wood, the clock designed and handcrafted by timepiece maker IWC. The use of high quality materials from the stitched leather to the wood/chrome accents fitted to the center console and door panels adds to the interior's exclusive aura.

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The adjustable rear seats feature a seatback pitch of up to 43.5 degrees and the Chauffeur Package features a passenger side front seat that is positioned to give the rear occupant up to three more inches of foot room. The back of that front seat can be flipped forward and the rear seat positioned for full recline. Other rear seat amenities includes console mounted tables and heated/cooled cupholders. Each rear seating position has its own climate control zone and the cabin features Mercedes' Air-Balance package that includes ionization, enhanced air filtration and fragrancing with Agarwood, an exclusive Maybach aroma.

Due in part to their positioning behind the rear door opening, back seat passengers will also experience the world's quietest production vehicle, according to Mercedes. Special door seals, additional cabin insulation and sound deadening in the wheel wells contribute to the reduced noise levels.

Unique market position

By creating a super-premium S-Class within its own Maybach sub-brand, Mercedes feels that it has created a new niche in the luxury segment between its previous flagship and higher-priced luxury cars like the Rolls-Royce Ghost

The current 2015 Mercedes-Benz S600 starts at $166,900 and the Mercedes-Maybach variant is expected to retain somewhere around $200,000. In comparison, the Rolls-Royce Ghost standard wheelbase model starts at over $265,000 and more than $300,000 for the long wheelbase model. By adapting its successful S-Class to carry on the Maybach legacy, Mercedes-Benz has found a way to further extend its brand further upmarket.

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