The Maybach brand has a history dating back to 1909 and it was acquired by Mercedes-Benz in 1960. However, the carmaker didn’t do anything with the brand till the late 1990s when it decided to create a new ultra-luxury brand standing alone above what it already offered, in the same way that Toyota and Nissan created new luxury brands (Lexus and Infiniti) above their mainstream brands. The strategy was scrapped after sales were poor and it seemed that customers did not see the same appeal as a Rolls-Royce or Bentley, which Mercedes-Benz had been hoping for.
Nevertheless, some potential was seen in still using the brand for more personalised and more luxurious variants so the Mercedes-Maybach sub-brand was created, with the S-Class (W222) being the basis for a model that was launched in 2015. Differentiating it from the S-Class is its overall length which is 20 cm longer than even the long-wheelbase S-Class.
This year, the Mercedes-Maybach gets an update with a new radiator grille, optional two-tone paintwork and new exclusive colour combinations in the interior for an even more majestic look. Customers will have a choice of S560 – with or without 4MATIC – and a S650. The world premiere will be at the Geneva Motor Show early next month and deliveries start from April 2018.
A reinterpretation of the radiator grille with its fine, vertical struts accentuates the front end. The grille was inspired by a pinstriped suit used for the Vision Mercedes‑Maybach 6, an exclusive coupe study displayed in 2016.
The two-tone exterior paint finish is also a classic Mercedes-Maybach theme. In future, there will be up to 9 different colour combinations available on request. The double clear coat is available as a further new option for all dark colours. It creates a brilliant surface finish with a piano lacquer effect and a special impression of depth. The second bodywork clear coat, including intermediate sanding, is intricately applied by hand in the Maybach Manufaktur by specially trained varnishers.
The exterior look is rounded off by a new luxury 20‑inch multi-spoke wheel. There are also three exclusive 20-inch wheels to choose from, including the wheel with a 20‑hole design familiar from the Mercedes-Maybach S‑Cabriolet.
Two new exclusive colour combinations are offered in the interior: armagnac brown/black and savanna beige/black. The black Maybach Exclusive nappa leather upholstery appointments can also be ordered with a choice of copper-, gold- or platinum-coloured contrasting topstitching. Also new in the range are trim inserts in designo flowing lines Magnolia.
The revised approach has proven much more successful than the standalone ultra luxury brand attempt. To date, over 25,000 cars have been delivered to customers, mainly in China, Russia and the USA.