When you’re riding in a Maybach, it’s impossible to separate the fact of being in a Maybach from the Maybach itself. “Check it out,” you think. “I’m getting into a Maybach right now. Oh wow, we’re cruising Lakeshore, windows down, late night, in a Maybach. Flying through the city in a Maybach. Listening to Drake in a Maybach. Wonder if Drake also listens to Drake in his Maybach? Probably.”
The flagship sedan’s reputation precedes it, which is surely what would-be owners are looking for in a $240,000 automobile. The Mercedes-Maybach S 580 is meant to go from the plane to the hotel lobby to the club to underground garage to the club to the plane. It’s for celebs and rich kids and members of the board, and it’s good. Really good.
The Maybach’s wheelbase is 180 millimetres longer than even the long-wheelbase Mercedes S-Class, which it’s based on. The added space means rear-seat passengers get a first-class ride through traffic, stretching out and reclining, getting work done, or watching TV like it’s a transatlantic flight. The sedan also has a spooky ability to erase speed bumps: a driver will see one approaching out the front windshield and subconsciously brace for an impact that never comes. The whole Maybach experience is smooth like that; this car makes the world easier to move through.
What separates the Maybach from its British competition — Bentley and Rolls-Royce — is that the German car fully embraces flashy tech and in-car gadgets. It’s as if the Maybach was tailor-made for IG. You likely saw the clip going around where someone gets into the back seat, waves their arm, and the door closes automatically? That’s the Maybach. (There are, in fact, seven ways to operate the rear doors: door handle, key fob, to hidden buttons, touchscreen, gesture, etc.)
For a massage, all you have to do is say “Hey Mercedes, turn on my seat massage” and it starts. The car’s virtual assistant knows which seat you’re in. The technology required to make all this happen would make NASA blush, but nobody cares. All that matters is the result, and it’s superb. With time, of course, drivers and passengers become accustomed to the experience. The novelty wears off, and the fact of being in a Maybach is no longer important.