Mercedes-Benz Malaysia has just introduced two of the most absurdly luxurious German cars into the Malaysian market, at the same time.
Already that’s saying something, but given that this launch is barely days after the W206 C-Class made its local premiere tells us MBM is going into 2022 with some real firepower.
Successor to the Maybach 57 and 62 from the early 2000s, this S 580 4Matic is the luxury brand’s quintessential model as we’ve known them after their revival under Daimler AG. Naturally, it’s based on the latest W223 S-Class, but unlike that car’s initial launch, a starting price has been disclosed: RM1,928,815.76.
For that, you’ll get a car that’ll not only easily rival anything from the likes of Rolls-Royce and Bentley, but perhaps beat it in terms of the kind of insane details, features, materials, and craftsmanship that this level of automobile customer demands.
Starting with the exterior, it does still look like the W223 at a glance with that bespoke Maybach grille and wheels not quite enough to set it apart. The two-tone body colour, however, is a distinctly Maybach characteristic. Despite the visual resemblance, most of the car’s body is completely new and not interchangeable with the Benz variation.
Naturally, there’s a galaxy of available colours among other customisation options, but the paint on every Mercedes-Maybach is said to receive a dual-layer of clear coat before being painstakingly hand finished/perfected for a full week before being deemed worthy of the badge.
Crucially, since this is a car fit for billionaires and heads of state, this is a true limousine meant for chauffeured driving. To this end, literally, the Maybach S 580’s wheelbase has been extended by 180mm to ensure more than ample legroom. The door handles not only sit flush with the body when not in use but the rears can even open fully automatically at the press of a button.
Upfront, there’s the expected pair of very large and sharp MBUX infotainment displays as we’ve seen in the W223. While the software interface seems identical on the surface, there’s surely deeper functionality accessible only in Maybach models.
There’s a tonne to cover in terms of luxury features and upgrades over the S-Class here, but in summary, there’s extremely supple leather upholstery with lashings of intricately machined aluminium and wood inserts, each rear passenger receives fully adjustable reclining thrones with a dedicated MBUX screen just ahead. In between, any super luxe car isn’t complete without its own mini-fridge for that bottle of expensive champagne (or two).
The Burmester sound system in the Maybach S 580 is important in that it isn’t just there to sound good, but to make sure nothing else corrupts the auditory experience of its occupants regardless of whether music is playing or not.
Lots of calibration and acoustic witchcraft have gone into the car’s active noise cancellation, which isolates the cabin from any external sound, including the engine. No doubt this has also been developed alongside the Airmatic suspension to dampen the auditory disturbances of road surfaces and imperfections.
Moving onto the GLS 600 4Matic, this sits slightly lower on the Mercedes-Maybach hierarchy, hence its starting price of RM1,789,453.18. Cosmetically, they’ve applied the same superlative treatment given to the S-Class and applied it to the GLS-Class, Mercedes-Benz’s largest SUV.
Luxury, fit and finish, and overall opulence are about on par with the Maybach S 580 but immediately noticeable is the reduced legroom thanks to its unchanged (and unextended) wheelbase over the standard W167 GLS.
It’s definitely the more imposing of the two Maybachs launched here, being taller and larger by volume. Those 23-inch alloy wheels are all bling, though, and exiting a Maybach GLS as its automatic footstep discreetly slides out is just gangster.
Under the bonnet, both the S 580 and GLS 600 share the same 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 that we’ve come to be familiar with in many high-end Mercedes-Benz cars, albeit now with standard 48V starter-generator, making them both mild-hybrids technically.
They’re tuned differently as well. Where the S 580 gets 503PS and 700Nm, the GLS 600 receives a beefier 557PS and 730Nm. This was done perhaps to offset the latter’s weight disadvantage since both are able to accelerate to 100km/h from rest in a hot-hatch shaming 4.9 seconds (4.8 seconds for the S 580, to be precise).
Both cars are far and away the most obscenely luxurious permutations of the S-Class and GLS-Class ever made, much less that have graced Malaysian shores; the kind of vehicles that can only really be purchased by someone that values it above facts, figures, and price tags.
The phrase “if you have to a$k, you probably can’t afford it” definitely applies here, but you don’t even have to (ask) as the upfront starting prices are here begin with. Of course, that’ll start to skyrocket when you get to the customisation and optional extras.
There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.