2014 Los Angeles - Mercedes-Maybach S 600 debuts as the brand's new flagship

When the all-new S-Class made its sensational debut last year, the bosses at Mercedes-Benz were already nursing plans to use their flagship luxury sedan to take on multiple roles within the family. One of them included a potential competitor to uber-luxury offerings from Rolls-Royce and Bentley to fill in the vacuum left by the then-defunct 'Maybach'. In simultaneous events held at the Los Angeles Auto Show and Auto Guangzhou earlier this week, that particular box was checked, as the German manufacturer pulled the wraps off the Mercedes-Maybach S 600. Yes, the Maybach nameplate makes a comeback, but not as an individual brand. Instead, Mercedes-Maybach would tread on the lines of Mercedes-AMG as a sub-brand within Mercedes-Benz. While the latter would focus on performance-oriented models, the former is all about prestige and exclusivity.

The Mercedes-Maybach S 600 might be based on the regular S-Class, but the designers and engineers seem to have brought in quite a bit of differentiation between the standard S-Class and the Maybach S 600. At 5453 mm long, the Maybach S is over 200 mm longer than the S-Class in its Long Wheel Base configuration. All that additional length has gone into the rear of the car, making the two 'executive' seats one of the most sought-after ones for the uber-rich. Of course, the ENERGIZING massage function based on hot-stone principle, that we all love in the S-Class, is one of the highlights in the cabin. An exclusive standard fitment in the Mercedes-Maybach S 600 is the AIR-BALANCE package including ionization, enhanced air filtration and fragrancing with AGARWOOD, the exclusive Maybach perfume. Mercedes-Benz claims that the Maybach S 600 would be the quietest sedan in the planet, the new aeroacoustic wind tunnel at the brand's technology center in Sindelfingen playing a crucial part here.

Externally, the Mercedes-Maybach S 600 has a slew of subtle yet noticeable changes. The radiator grille, for instance, is different with three twin chrome louvers. While the additional length makes its presence felt in the profile, what's also noticeable is the shortened rear doors that ends before the C-pillars to give that much additional privacy to those seated at the rear. The forged light-alloy wheels have large surfaces instead of spokes that we usually get. The Maybach logo proudly adorns the mighty C-pillars while the word Maybach etched in the bootlid brings with it tons of exclusivity and legacy. Powering the range-topping Mercedes-Maybach S 600 is a 6.0-litre V12 bi-turbo engine that produces 530 bhp of power and 830 Nm of torque.

The Mercedes-Maybach S 600 goes on sale early 2015, with China and USA being its main target markets. 

Poor big fella, the S-Class. Having performed its role diligently as a BMW and Audi-beater for decades, the luxo barge from Mercedes-Benz, now slapped with a "Maybach" badge, has even bigger shoes to fill in. Will Rolls-Royce and Bentley be worried? We'll see, very soon!

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