Mercedes-Maybach 'Grillin' It' With Updated Styling Cues
Returning from the dead in 2014, Mercedes’ ultra-luxury Maybach sub-brand has become the only way to make absolutely certain you’ve purchased highest-spec S-class in existence.
There was a problem, however. With the exception of a handful of subtle visual cues, there was no way to distinguish it from the standard fare. While a single glance at the interior would obliterate any doubt that this car was a cut above the norm, external indicators were dependent on the vehicle’s added length and badging.
That’s no way to arrive at a high-profile event, so Mercedes-Maybach has decided to guarantee the rest of society is aware you’re riding in something special via a new grille and optional two-tone paintwork. The updated visuals certainly separates the Maybach-branded S-Class from the rest of Daimler’s lineup, but it also might make it too reminiscent of the cars that ultimately forced the brand into an early grave.
Thankfully for parent company Daimler, Maybach’s relatively strong sales in China, Russia and the United States makes a repeat of this unlikely.
Still, plenty of people will accuse the vertically slatted grille and two-tone gloss of having an aftermarket gaudiness that’s unbecoming of a serious luxury brand. But based on initial looks, the finished product really doesn’t leave much to complain about. The contrasting paint scheme is isolated to the roofline, where it should be, and the grille straddles the line between contemporary and vintage.
Either way, the nine different color combinations are entirely optional. Also available is a new double clearcoat on all dark colors. Maybach claims the double glazing creates a “piano lacquer effect and a special impression of depth.” Elite shoppers also have their pick of three 20‑inch multi-spoke wheels, including one set that’s reminiscent of the ultra-sexy Mercedes-Maybach S‑Cabriolet’s.
New interior colors are also on offer: armagnac brown/black and savanna beige/black. The black Maybach uses nappa leather upholstery appointments that can be ordered with a choice of copper, gold, or platinum-colored contrasting topstitching. Inserts can also take on the Designo Magnolia “Flowing Lines” wood treatment.
North American Maybach sedans will still come in S560 4Matic and S650 trims, with the former using a 469-horsepower V8. The latter will make use of a 621-hp V12. Pricing should be announced later this year, with the cars expected to hit dealerships in late summer. Hopefully, you’ve been saving up.
[Image: Daimler AG]
A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.
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