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New 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class on sale now from £162,390

Maybach’s even more luxurious version the Mercedes S-Class is on sale now, with either a 496bhp 4.0-litre V8 or a 604bhp 6.0-litre V12

The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is available to order in the UK now, with prices starting from £162,390 for the 4.0-litre V8 or £204,375 for the range-topping 6.0-litre V12. First deliveries are expected to arrive during autumn this year.

Maybach V8 buyers have their choice of two specifications – an entry-level model and a more generously appointed First Class variant, which adds an extra £14,635 to the car’s starting price. The V12 engine is only available in First Class specification.

As standard, the cheapest Maybach S-Class gets an 18cm longer wheelbase, 20-inch forged wheels and a host of revisions for the cabin, such as deep-pile carpets, active ambient lighting, massaging seats and a premium Burmester stereo system

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First Class models get a unique set of 21-inch multi-spoke forged wheels, nappa leather roof lining, open-pore walnut wood trim and captain’s chairs in place of the standard rear bench. There’s also a few extras for rear-seat passengers, including two wireless headsets, a 10-litre fridge and champagne flutes.

If you’re feeling particularly flush with cash, Maybach also offers an optional nappa leather designo package on First Class models, which adds unique piano black trim, diamond quilted cushions and dedicated topstitched nappa leather upholstery for the roof liner, door sill panels, steering wheel, sun visors and all six pillars. The cost? £28,000.

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The S 580 4MATIC is powered by twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 producing 496bhp and 700Nm of torque. It sends drive to all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic gearbox, linked to a 48-volt starter-generator for complete engine shut-off coasting and seamless restarting.

The V8 has enough grunt to push the luxury limousine from 0–62mph in 4.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 155mph. Fuel economy is a claimed 25.9mpg, while CO2 emissions stand between 233 and 248g/km depending on spec.

The more expensive S 680 model is powered by a non-electrically assisted 6.0-litre V12, which produces 604bhp and 900Nm of torque. The extra power lowers the Maybach’s 0–62mph time to 4.5 seconds, although top speed remains the same at 155mph. It’s also connected to the same automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive system as the V8.

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The V12 is even more thirsty than the V8 as well. Mercedes says it’ll return between 19.6 and 21.0mpg on the WLTP combined cycle. Emissions are rated between 305 and 322g/km, which is only slightly less than the Ferrari 812 Superfast.

To address this, Mercedes will eventually launch a plug-in hybrid version of the Maybach, based on the straight-six powertrain destined for the standard S-Class. Specifications for this option are yet to be confirmed but, in the Mercedes-badged S-Class, it’ll have a pure-electric range of 63 miles – a figure which will likely decrease for the heavier Maybach model.

New 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class: design and interior

Cosmetic revisions over the standard S-Class include a redesigned radiator grille, a new front bumper, fresh LED headlights and a tweaked rear-end with a more svelte diffuser and twin-exit exhaust system. As a £13,650 optional extra, buyers can also spec Maybach’s trademark two-tone paint scheme, which is cut at the saloon’s waistline.

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Like the outgoing model, the Maybach S-Class will be exclusively available as a long-wheelbase saloon. However, despite sharing the same basic underpinnings as the standard car, it’s a full 18cm longer than the extended wheelbase Mercedes S-Class. Maybach says this gives rear-seat passengers extra space to stretch out.

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Maybach expects most of its customers will have their own chauffeur, rather than drive their cars themselves, so the cabin has been organised to suit. In the rear, there’s a pair of electrically adjustable and reclining chairs in place of the standard S-Class’s bench seat, both of which feature massaging leg-rests and footrests built into the floor.

There’s also a host of optional equipment to keep rear-seat passengers comfortable, such as adjustable LED spot lamps, gesture control and two 11.6-inch touchscreens, which allow the occupants to browse the internet or watch films.

The aforementioned refrigerator lives behind the rear armrest (it’s also removable) and can chill food and drinks to between 1 degrees and 7 degrees celsius. For a bit of added luxury, Maybach also sells a pair of optional silver-plated champagne goblets, which slot neatly into a cubby in the centre console.

However, Maybach hasn’t neglected the driver. Up front, there’s the same 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 12.8-inch infotainment system as the standard S-Class, but they’re surrounded by finer-quality trim, plusher upholstery and deeper-pile carpets.

Mercedes-Maybach S-Class: autonomous driving tech

Like the standard S-Class, Mercedes is planning to roll-out a conditionally autonomous driving mode for the Maybach in the second half of 2021, which promises to take the strain off the driver and allow them to browse the internet or check their emails using the car’s MBUX infotainment system.

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The company’s new Drive Pilot system will be one of the world’s first Level 3 autonomous driving modes, which will be able to assume complete control of the Maybach’s steering, throttle and brakes on designated stretches of motorway without any intervention from the driver. Mercedes says the system will also be able to react to events such as speed limit changes and accidents completely independently.

The driver is constantly monitored using the car’s on-board cameras, and if they seem unresponsive, or spend too much time looking into the rear of the vehicle, the system will pull the car over to the side of the road in a controlled manner and call the local emergency services.

The Maybach’s tech-fest continues with an active road noise compensation system, which works in tandem with the car’s premium Burmester stereo system. It’s similar to noise-cancelling technology on a pair of high-end headphones, with microphones in the cabin picking up low-frequency background noise and feeding a counter-phase version of the sound waves through the car’s speakers.

As an optional extra, buyers can also spec Mercedes’s MBUX interior assist – a system which uses a series of cameras mounted in the roof to recognise the passengers’ eye movements, hand gestures and body language to perform certain interior functions. For example, if a rear-seat passenger reaches for the seat belt, the system will recognise the movement and automatically extend the belt into their hands.

What does the new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class have to beat? Check out our review of the Bentley Flying Spur here

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