We got our first look at the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class a few months ago, but even back then, we knew the company wasn’t planning on leaving well enough alone. Now, there’s a new member of the saloon family, the 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S580. Offering a much larger rear seat and chrome-heavy styling, the Maybach is the company’s luxury darling.
Like its predecessor, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class will go toe-to-toe with the Bentley Flying Spur V8 and Rolls-Royce Ghost. What’s more, even if its base price increases from the £90,000 2020 S560, the 2021 saloon could be something of a bargain (lol) compared to the Brits. Of course, Mercedes doesn’t want its Maybach customers to feel like they’re sacrificing anything by saving money, so the manufacturer threw everything in its luxury arsenal at the Maybach S580, starting with the back seat.
The full Maybach experience actually starts before you even step inside. Taking a cue from the new Rolls-Royce Ghost, the extended rear doors can be operated electrically (using the car’s blind spot monitors to prevent door dings). The driver can also operate the doors from the front seat – doormen, start brushing up your resumes now, because the machines have arrived.
Once on-board, passengers enjoy a larger cabin thanks to a 7.1-inch wheelbase stretch. What’s more, VIPs don’t have to share any of that space with the front seats, with the added space between the wheels dedicated exclusively to the rear cabin. Individually adjustable bucket seats come standard in back, featuring backrests that can adjust between 19 and 44 degrees and a deployable leg rest on the passenger side. As before, a “chauffeur” mode allows the right rear occupant to motor the front seat forward and out of the way, opening up enough room for a 6-foot-3 passenger to stretch out.
The Maybach gets heating, cooling, and multicontour massage in every seating position, with heated armrests and door panels ensuring a cozy cabin on chilly days. What’s more, the rear seat footrest now incorporates – get this – calf massage, which is peak hedonism in our book. Although every Mercedes-Maybach will assuredly be a comfortable place to spend time, more distinguishing owners can select an Executive Rear Seat Package that includes more generous application of wood trim, a full-length centre console, and deployable tray tables. A rear-seat champagne cooler and custom solid metal flutes are optional as well.
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class hearkened the next generation of MBUX infotainment, and the Maybach S580 picks up where the “mainstream” saloon left off – five infotainment screens come standard, compared to the base S-Class’ two There’s a 12.8-inch display front and centre, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, two 11.6-inch rear-seat entertainment monitors, and a removable tablet that docks in the rear centre console.
While Rolls-Royce is pursuing “post-opulence” with the Ghost – think understated styling and minimalist lines – Maybach seems to be going in the other direction. A bold grille with dozens of thin, vertical slats and an embossed MAYBACH wordmark is the first indicator that this is a special Mercedes, with bright-finished front bumper air intakes furthering the effect. Around the side, chrome window trim drapes the surround and the B-pillar, with a Maybach-specific triangular rear quarter window making a return for 2021 to highlight the vehicle’s added length.
The Maybach’s optional 21-inch wheels have a design that the company says is inspired by the aforementioned champagne flutes, but we actually prefer the standard 20-inchers with a retro “monoblock” design. (We also think the smooth faces are much better-styled than those of the AMG GLS 63’s optional monos.)
An illuminated Maybach logo appears on the rear pillar, setting it apart from other S-Class saloons and emphasising its traditional, formal roofline – no four-door coupes here. Mercedes is also proud of the Maybach’s ten available two-tone paint schemes, such as the Kalahari Gold and Rubellite Red combo seen in our in-person first look video.
Benevolently, the Maybach team decided to include the chauffeur on the fun, thanks in part to a standard twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 with EQ Boost mild-hybrid technology. 4Matic all-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic gearbox should put all 496 bhp and 516 pound-feet (370 kilowatts and 700 newton-metres) down effectively. However, keen shoppers will note that power is down compared to the 550-bhp (410-kw), 538–lb-ft (729 Nm) 2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600. That’s because Maybach is preparing a limited-production V12 version of the saloon, or it could perhaps adopt the rumoured AMG S73e’s plug-in hybrid powertrain.
Standard rear-axle steering that can pivot the wheels by up to 11 degrees cuts the turning radius by a whopping 7 feet, a boon in tight city confines. Further assisting the driver is a standard head-up display, boasting world-first augmented reality navigation that projects driving directions right onto the windscreen, pointing out turns, exits, and addresses as appropriate. When it’s time to relax on the open road, there’s a trim-exclusive Maybach drive mode that’s even cushier than the standard S saloon’s Comfort setting.
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The 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S580 will arrive in UK dealers in the beginning of next year. The automaker hasn’t announced pricing for any members of the S-Class family, much less the luxurious Maybach, but we think it will probably split the difference between the outgoing S560 V8 and S650 V12 models – plan on spending at least £140,000 for the pleasure.
With slightly gaudy styling, a tech-forward interior, and the sort of comfort we’ve come to expect of flagship Mercedes saloons, the Maybach S580 should continue the trend set by the outgoing vehicle, its Maybach 57 and 62 predecessors, and other legendary Mercedes like the 600 Grosser. We can’t wait to get behind the wheel – or, more appropriately, ride along while someone else does the driving.