By Scott Oldham -- Contributing Editor
When a loaded S-Class just isn’t enough there’s the 2016 Mercedes-Maybach S600. It is the ultimate sedan from Mercedes-Benz, a twin-turbocharged celebration of performance, prestige, luxury and technology. Longer, more expensive and more exclusive than the run-of-the-mill S-Class, Mercedes says the flagship Maybach (pronounced “Mybach”) is designed to be chauffer driven as its expansive rear seat is where the additional eight inches of legroom and features are found. But it’s your driver who will be smiling as the twin-turbocharged V12 in the S600 makes 523 horsepower and can get the huge rear-wheel-drive sedan from 0-60 mph in just five seconds. The Maybach competes in the ultra-luxury space against such desirable competition as the Bentley Mulsanne, the Rolls-Royce Ghost and Phantom and the Range Rover SVAutobiography.
If only the finest will do. If you want a sedan that’s as enjoyable to drive as it is to ride in. If you want a car as special, as technically advanced, and as exclusive as your Gulfstream G550. If you think dismal fuel mileage is a badge of honor.
Although special in every way, the Mercedes-Maybach S600 does look extremely similar to a pedestrian S-Class both inside and out. Things could get awkward at the country club valet stand, meanwhile, where the competing Bentleys and Rolls-Royces are sure to impress your fellow heads of state.
Everything about the Mercedes-Maybach S600 sedan is new for 2016. It’s an all-new model at the very top of the Mercedes-Benz line.
From behind the wheel, the new 2016 Mercedes-Maybach S600 quickly justifies its price tag. This is one of the finest-driving road cars in the world. After just a few minutes...
... you realize this is the state of the art. Fast. Smooth. Quiet. Sublime. It perfectly isolates you from the ugly outside word, but it never feels like a pod or a cell or a chamber. It never feels uninteresting. Or dumbed down. Or overdone. It just feels like a $200,000, 500-horsepower super sedan should feel. And that’s pretty damn good. Most of the magic dust is in the suspension. The S600 is equipped with a camera-assisted suspension system Mercedes calls Magic Body Control. It’s an industry first. The car can actually see bumps ahead, and take action to set up the suspension for the impact in real time. The ride it provides is so good it’s hard to believe.
EXECUTIVE REAR SEAT PLUS
Although the Maybach’s rear seat comes standard with power adjustment, massage and a power right footrest, this $2,000 optional package adds heated and cooled cup holders and dual power rear seats with folding tables. It makes the Maybach a 4-seater and as comfortable as any private jet.
6.0-LITER BITURBO V12
When you spend about $200,000 on a car it better have a special engine, and the new Mercedes-Maybach S600 is powered by one of the finest internal-combustion engines ever conceived. Mercedes’ spectacular twin-turbocharged all-aluminum 6.0-liter V12 is incredible in every way -- it’s incredibly smooth, incredibly powerful and incredibly thirsty.
Simply one of the most luxuriously appointed cars ever, the interior of the 2016 Mercedes-Maybach S600 is all the justification you’ll ever need to attend institutions of higher learning. This is why Wall Street raiders raid. Up front it’s essentially an S-Class. Same space, same appointments. Nothing to complain about. It’s all fine woods and leathers artistically mixed with sizable screens and the latest technology. And it’s beautifully assembled with flawless fitments and finishes bordering on perfection. In back it’s all Maybach. More wood. More leather. More space. If there’s a more comfortable car out there we’re unaware of it.
The exterior design of the new 2016 Mercedes-Maybach S600 is one of the car’s strengths, but it’s also potentially its biggest weakness. Long, low and wide the Maybach looks hunkered down and ready to deliver the powerful to a power lunch. It’s unequivocally attractive. And it also looks expensive, but it successfully avoids too much old-world charm once embraced by the world’s old money. The S600 looks modern. Youthful. Athletic. It looks like it’s for the next generation of moguls. More Jay Z than John D. But it also looks a little too much like a run-of-the-mill S-Class.
Essentially anything you can think of comes standard on the Maybach, including LED interior lighting for mood, 20-inch wheels and tires, a reconfigurable high-resolution instrumentation screen, a panorama sunroof, wood trim, Nappa leather on the ceiling, doorsills and console and a real IWC analog clock in the center of the dash that is modeled after one of the brand’s desirable sports watches. Also standard is Mercedes Collision Prevention Assist Plus safety system, which can stop the car autonomously from up to 65 mph. Every S600 also gets night vision and a system that will practically parallel park the car for you.
There are several optional packages we recommend, starting with Executive Rear Seat Plus. Although the Maybach’s rear seat comes standard with heat, power and massage, this package adds heated and cooled cup holders and dual power rear seats with folding tables. It makes the Maybach a 4-seater and as comfortable as any private jet. We also recommend mbrace Connect, which gives you remote access from your phone or desktop. It allows remote start as well as remote door lock/unlock. Also spend up for mbrace Concierge, which is a 24/7 personal assistant ready to help with traffic, directions, even dinner reservations.
When you spend about $200,000 on a car it better have a special engine, and the new Mercedes-Maybach S600 is powered by one of the finest internal-combustion engines ever conceived. Mercedes’ spectacular twin-turbocharged all-aluminum 6.0-liter V12 is incredible in every way: It’s incredibly smooth, incredibly powerful and incredibly thirsty. It not only makes 523 horsepower at 4,900 rpm, but it makes an incredible 612 lb-ft of torque at just 1,900 rpm. That low-end torque makes this very large, very heavy sedan very fast. When your chauffer puts his foot down the Maybach S600 will accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 5.0 seconds. That’ll spill your Grey Poupon. Every Maybach S600 also uses Mercedes’ excellent 7-speed automatic transmission, which shifts smoothly and precisely.
6.0-liter twin-turbocharged V12
523 horsepower @ 4,900-5,300 rpm
612 lb-ft of torque @ 1,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/21 mpg
The 2016 Mercedes-Maybach S600 is one of the most expensive Mercedes currently available. The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is about $192,000. Load up all the options, which of course is the only way to buy your Maybach, and the price will be around $200,000. Compared to its competition, which are all significantly more expensive, that makes the S600 an extreme value. The Rolls-Royce Ghost starts at about $295,000. The Rolls-Royce Phantom is twice as much at over $400,000. The Bentley Mulsanne starts around $300,000. Only the Range Rover SVAutobiography LWB is less, starting at about $146,000. Before buying, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what other S600 buyers in your area are paying.