First Drive: The Mercedes Maybach S580 Is Basically A Yacht On Wheels
With a hidden champagne chest, adjustable fragrance settings and other opulent amenities, Mercedes’ latest luxobarge is truly something special.
There’s nothing particularly common about a $111,000 S-Class, but some people want more. That’s who the Mercedes-Maybach S580 is for. Even with a fully optioned price tag hovering around $230,000, one can argue that Mercedes’ luxobarge offers bang for your buck. Here’s why:
A Yacht On Wheels
Generally, big limousines from Rolls-Royce and Bentley appear as a formidable presence on the road, and there’s no denying that the Maybach S580 is too.
But it also shows some executive restraint, borrowing most of its outer design cues from its S-Class sibling. There are some additional chrome elements popping out here and there, plus the plethora of lit-up Maybach logos emblazoned around the car. The 20-inch monoblock-style wheels come as standard and the two-tone paint option costs another $12,750.
The meticulous painting process warrants the lofty cost. Robotic arms first paint the whole body in the bottom color, then the separation line is painted by hand. Finally, the lower part is wrapped and the coating for the roof, bonnet and rear is applied manually by Maybach’s expert painters.
On the front, the rather compact front grille of the S-Class is replaced by a behemoth radiator-style grille. Thanks to its seven-inch extended wheelbase, rear ¨comfort¨ doors are larger as well. They are electronically opened and closed, either via touching the pop-out door handles, an interior roof switch, or the infotainment touchscreen.
The C-pillar is considerably more upright, ensuring there is plenty of headroom where it really matters for VIPs—in the back.
Usually, the front of the cabin’s amenities get all the attention. However, when it comes to uber-luxurious limousines, chauffeured driving is the norm, so the rear compartment is massive.
The comfort level is commensurate with that of a private jet. Everything inside screams luxury, from the design to materials and overall feel.
Take the rear seats. You don’t get just a headrest to take tension off your neck, you also get a head pillow attached in front of the headrest. The S580 boasts another set of leather-wrapped pillows at the bottom of the seats, where your calves rest. These can be extended out to stretch your legs in multiple positions.
Reach to the right door panel and, with the press of a button, the front seat moves as forward as possible and folds away to give an incredible amount of space in the back. Press the next button on the door handle and the rear seat goes in a lying down position.
A hidden compartment reveals itself from the center console splitting the two rear seats, uncovering four cup holders: two for champagne flutes ($3,200 a pair) and two for regular cups (not included). And they’ve got their own climate controls. Press a button and the cup holders will turn either red or blue, depending whether you want to cool or heat your drink. There are also USB chargers and climate controls for the cabin, set above the cup holders.
The touchscreens positioned on the front seatbacks allow the passengers to control all aspects of the vehicle: radio station, navigation destination, climate control, phone calls, even fragrance settings. This is truly a car for the passenger first and then for the driver.
The rear console also features foldable tray tables that extended and rotate to be used with a laptop or agenda. The tiny screen at the base of the console actually pops out, turning into a mini tablet for yet another interface with which to control the S580’s amenities.
As expected, the Maybach S580 brings the utmost quality materials all around the interior. There are basically limitless choices when it comes to configuring the interior, both in terms of technology and upholstery. Even the very small handful of plastic parts are pleasing to the touch.
From the Driver’s Seat
The 2022 Maybach S580 is powered by the same 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 in the S-Class. Despite being 472 pounds heavier than the S-Class, the S580 is still able to reach 60 mph in 4.7 seconds thanks to a sporty launch mode.
The accelerator pedal is gentle and the nine-speed automatic gearbox shifts at lower revolutions to maximize graceful motion. The air suspension is pushing for utmost comfort regardless of where you are being seated in the car. Even the brakes are more progressive than those found in the S-Class, so as not to disturb your sips of coffee on red light approaches.
Not even the extended wheelbase causes any problem for this sedan. The rear wheels are capable of 10-degrees of opposite lock. Basically, turn the steering wheel to lock and the S580 will have a turning radius more similar to C-Class’ than a stretch limo’s.
Seamless is the way to describe how the start-stop technology feels like in the S580. If it weren’t for the notifications on the dashboard, you would barely know whether or not the engine is running.
Driver stress and fatigue are kept at bay via Mercedes’ vast suite of passive and active assistance systems. While most cars would start acting erratically when encountering improperly marked lane lines, damaged road signs or unfamiliar construction zones, the Maybach S580 can simply be trusted to continue. It won’t, under any circumstances, trigger erratic or non-human moves, regardless of all the hectic situations it has been put through during testing.
The Maybach S580 can be configured to reach in excess of $230,000—over $100,000 less than the competing Rolls Royce Ghost. But that price tag is still hefty.
However, what you get for the money spent can hardly be put into words. The only proper way to witness the refinement, luxurious whisper of elite and faultless technology of the Maybach S580 is to find yourself driven in one.