by Michael Butler
The ridiculously luxurious 2020 Mercedes-Maybach S-line of cars offers more than you'll ever need - and then some. The ultra-lux branch of Mercedes-Benz is renowned the world over for building personal limousines for the rich and famous, and its 2020 S560 and S650 are best described as five-star hotels on wheels. Although 2020 doesn't see any changes, you still get two bi-turbo engines producing between 463 and 621 hp, as well as a list of luxury and safety features longer than your arm. With starting prices ranging between $173,000 and $202,550, the 2020 range of Mercedes-Maybach cars go up against the likes of the 2020 Bentley Flying Spur and the 2020 Rolls-Royce Ghost. So sit back, pour yourself some champagne, and read on.
The Mercedes-Maybach range of cars is packed with cutting edge tech and timeless luxury, so much so that its creators did not find it necessary to update it for 2020.
The hoi polloi won't be able to differentiate between a standard S-Class and a Maybach car at first glance, but the trained eye will immediately spot the elegantly lengthened body and distinctive Maybach grille that features two sets of twelve fine vertical chrome vanes. The front apron also features chrome inserts, and the multi-element LED headlights feature Maybach's signature Stardust effect. Both the S560 and S650 offer the same exterior features. Those worth mentioning include triple-band LED daytime running lamps, a panorama roof with tilt and slide functionality, soft close doors, and electronic trunk with foot motion detection, as well as hands-free access and an illuminated entry system. There is a wide range of optional wheels to choose from, and wheel sizes range from 19 to 20 inches. New buyers can also opt for the Magic Sky Control roof, which lightens and darkens the glass roof at the flip of a switch.
Both the S560 and S650 share the same dimensions, which is to say they are both titanic in proportion. Total length comes in at 215 inches, which is over eight inches longer than a standard S-Class. Combine this with a wheelbase of 132.5 inches, which is over seven inches longer than the S-Class, and you get a car that offers tons of interior space. The Maybach S is 83.9 inches wide when you include the mirrors, and the front and rear track comes in at 64.3/64.3 front to back. These cars sit 59 inches tall. The S560 weighs in at 5,170 pounds, and the S650 tips the scales at 5,280 pounds.
The 2020 Maybach range of cars straddles the line between understated and blingy. On the one hand, it's hard to ignore its sheer size and clear opulence. Still, for most, it will just look like another big European or American luxury barge. What makes that classification a bit more easy to make is the range of colors on offer. If you want to fly under the radar, simply go for one of the no-cost options such as Magnetite Black metallic, Iridium Silver metallic, or Emerald Green metallic. Designo Diamond White is the first color with a price tag - $795, to be exact. Next up, you get colors such as designo Cashmere White Magno for $3,950. For those who don't mind spending a lot more on a paint job, Maybach offers nine two-tone options, including Selenite Grey metallic/Magnetite Black metallic and Obsidian Black metallic/Ruby Black metallic, both of which will set you back a whopping $12,000. In total, there are 22 colors on offer.
Performance levels become almost irrelevant when you start talking about cars in this class. Because the majority of Maybach cars will be piloted by personal drivers, those in the back won't place much thought on zero to 60 times or top speeds. As long as they get to where they need to be going on time and in maximum comfort, that's all that matters. Maybach has made their range of S cars fast as hell in any case. With power outputs starting at 463 horsepower and escalating to 621 hp in the S650, there is an abundance of pulling power, despite the 5,000-pound-plus curb weight of these cars. It goes without saying that both city driving and highway cruising is done without breaking a sweat, and most will be astounded by how fast these behemoths can pick up speed. The smaller S560 will sprint to sixty in only 4.8 seconds, while its larger sibling, the S650, will do the same in 4.6. That power will come in handy for third-world dictators that need to escape roadside ambushes, but for the rest, it is a bit overkill.
The 2020 Maybach S lineup receives two equally impressive powertrains, both of which offer more than enough power for everyday driving situations. The baby of the pair, the S560 4MATIC, is powered by a bi-turbo 4.0-liter V8 engine that produces 463 hp and a beefy 516 lb-ft of torque. It's that torque number that does most of the talking and offers a solid shove to the chest under hard acceleration. Power is sent to all four wheels via a 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission. If a bi-turbo V8 isn't enough for you, then there's always the S650 with its massive bi-turbo 6.0-liter V12 engine. This engine produces a supercar-like 621 hp and an astounding 738 lb-ft of torque. This engine provides a seemingly endless rush of power and will make most multi-millionaires lose their breakfast. The S560 uses a nine-speed auto transmission that has been tuned for relaxed shifting, while the V12 is paired to a 7G-Tronic auto 'box that functions smoothly and efficiently.
Cars in this class traditionally focus on three things: interior space, luxury, and driving comfort. It comes as little surprise, then, that the Maybach S line of cars offers the type of ride quality that you'll only find on magic carpets and clouds. The secret behind the almost completely detached driving experience is Mercedes-Benz's adaptive, self-leveling four-wheel multilink with AIRMATIC suspension system, which employs electronically controlled air springs that adjust to changing driving conditions. This system automatically compensates for additional cargo or passengers and is one of the best in its class. Behind the wheel, the Maybach S offers light steering at low speeds, which weights up nicely as speed increases. Throw the car through a set of turns, and you'd be surprised at how well it manages body roll. Just don't expect any power sliding oversteer - the Maybach likes to push its nose to the curb.
No one cares how much fuel a monster truck uses - it's all about the show. The same can be said for the Maybach S. With an asking price that stretches up into the stratosphere and a single purpose of transporting people in ultimate luxury, gas mileage figures fall by the wayside. The fact that Mercedes-Maybach chose a V8 and V12 with a bunch of turbos strapped on just makes it that much clearer; gas mileage ain't nothing but a thang. According to the EPA, the S560 will achieve 16/25/19 mpg city/highway/combined. That's not that bad, actually. The massively powerful S650 with its 6.0-liter V12 will manage 13/21/16 mpg. Both cars get a 21.1-gallon fuel tank, which means a maximum range of between 338 and 401 miles.
Burj Al Arab, The Plaza Hotel, Copacabana Palace. These are some of the most luxurious and well-known hotels in the world, and they all have one thing in common: they don't offer the same levels of luxury as the interior of the 2020 Maybach S. Honestly though, the interior of this car will bowl you over with its attention to detail and the sheer amount of standard features. Each and every 2020 Maybach S is fitted with all-LED interior lighting (three-zone 64-color to be exact), four-zone automatic climate control, heated and ventilated 12-way power front seats with memory and massage functions, as well as heated and ventilated rear seats with heated armrests. Basically, both the front and rear seats are full house. The windshield is heated, and those in the back get power sunshades. There's a HomeLink garage door opener, a head-up display, and inductive wireless charging with NFC pairing. Optional interior features include folding tables for the rear seats, heated and cooled rear cupholders, a refrigerator box for the rear cabin, and even a set of handcrafted silver champagne flutes. Hold the wheel Jeeves, I'm going in for another Veuve Clicquot.
It is a scientifically proven fact that the rich need more legroom than the ordinary civilian. That is why Mercedes-Maybach has extended the wheelbase and overall length of the Maybach S to accommodate such requirements. The Maybach S will seat five adults in royal comfort, but how does it stack up to the competition? Headroom in the front is a spacious 42.3 inches, dropping to an adequate 37.9 inches in the rear. Front legroom comes in at 41.4 inches, which is slightly less than you'd get in a Bentley Flying Spur or Rolls-Royce Ghost. The all-important rear-seat legroom figure is a roomy 40 inches in the Maybach S, but both the Bentley and Rolls-Royce offer over two inches more. As is the case with other mega-luxury sedans, the rear seat bench can be replaced with two individual chairs, which adds a lavish wood-trimmed rear center console and twin folding tables.
The first thing you'll notice once you step into the throne room that is the Maybach S' interior is how they have managed to cloak tons of tech in sumptuous leather. Everything looks and feels old-timey, but in a contemporary way that comes across as completely natural. Virtually every surface you touch consists of either leather, wood, or unobtanium - it's truly astounding. It is important to note that the interior trimmings are all done by hand, and that includes the doors, consoles and armrests, and front console. Nappa leather covers the ceiling, door sill, console, sun visors, seats, and roof pillars. Optional material choices include designo Exclusive semi-aniline leather upholstery, designo Black Piano Lacquer wood trim, and Nappa leather for the steering wheel.
Rich guys carry around massive packages, so naturally, they require from their cars equally big trunks. Fortunately, the Maybach S offers a good amount of space, which is more than competitive in its class. The Maybach offers 17.6 cubic feet of space, which is enough to fit seven fully-grown geese ready for the foie gras factory. The power trunk lid opens up nice and wide, and the liftover height isn't back-breaking at all. The 2020 Bentley Flying Spur pales in comparison, with a total trunk size of 14.8 cubic feet, but the Rolls-Royce Ghost puts up a fight with a total trunk size of 17.3 cubic feet.
Sometimes you see a car for sale, and in the description, the owner simply states that there are too many features to mention; well, we feel the same about the Maybach S. Seriously, the amount of features on these cars is astounding and somewhat intimidating. Let's start with the seats: front occupants are cradled in heated and ventilated leather multi-contour 12-way power-adjustable seats with memory, while those in the rear get heated and ventilated power-adjustable executive seats with memory and massage. Basically, everyone is going to have a good time when seated in one of these cars. Next up is the LED interior lighting system that consists of 300 individual lights and is spread over three zones. Speaking of zones, every Maybach S comes standard with four-zone automatic climate control with the Air Balance cabin-air purification system. There are too many driver assistance features to mention here, so we will just mention some of the major ones: blind-spot assist, lane keeping assist, lane change assist, automatic speed takeover, and active brake assist with cross-traffic function. Yes, the Maybach basically drives itself.
There are two types of people who own Maybach cars; those who listen to Debussy and drink their Moët & Chandon from optional champagne flutes, or those that blast DMX at full blast and spray their Hennessy Cognac out the sunroof. The good news here is that both crowds will appreciate the extensive infotainment system on offer in the 2020 Maybach S. The showpiece of said system is the dual 12.3-inch displays that dominate the dashboard; these customizable displays offer smooth and crisp transitions and are easily controlled via the COMAND system with a touchpad controller. In terms of features, you get pretty much everything one can ask for: there's no-charge online navigation with map updates for three years, enhanced voice control, Bluetooth audio streaming, SiriusXM satellite radio with a six-month all-access trial, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, dual USB audio ports, enhanced voice control, and a Burmester high-end 3D surround sound system with 26 speakers - including a trunk-mounted subwoofer with its own 400-watt amp. If you don't rock out to the breakdown in Bohemian Rhapsody, are you even alive? Optional extras include in-car Wi-Fi and rear-cabin wireless charging.
Only one recall was issued for the Maybach S in recent years, with the incident pertaining to 2019 models for potentially faulty seatbelt detection. 2020 models were recall-free at the time of writing. But even if breakdowns occur, the repair bill should be a trifle for owners. Mercedes-Maybach will cover their cars with a standard four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which includes corrosion and drivetrain cover for the same amount of time or distance. Roadside assistance is also thrown in for good measure.
The NHTSA and IIHS would definitely not smash a triple-figure Mercedes-Maybach car purely for ratings. It is safe to say, however, that the rich and famous who drive in these cars wouldn't put their precious lives in danger, and if they trust the Maybach's safety levels, then ordinary folk can too. The sheer amount of active driver assistance features alone should put most minds at ease; besides, who would dare crash into such a piece of opulent brilliance? Not even trees, pal.
While there might not be any official safety ratings, knowing Mercedes-Benz, the Maybach S should stand up to a nuclear blast or two. Mercedes-Maybach covers the bases with nine airbags, including a driver's knee airbag, rear side-impact airbags, pelvic/thorax airbags for the driver and front passenger, and side curtain airbags. The electronic stability program has been specially calibrated for the Maybach S' sheer size and weight. Now for the juicy stuff. The sheer amount of active driver assistance features is astounding, to say the least. Let's start with the braking system; there's adaptive braking technology with standard anti-lock brakes and brake assist, as well as active brake assist with cross-traffic function, congestion emergency braking, and active emergency stop assist. So it's safe to say that the Maybach S can slow down at a rapid pace when the need arises. Staying in your lane or overtaking is assisted by evasive steering assist, blind-spot assist, lane keeping assist, lane change assist, and
speed takeover assist. Other notables include active driver attention assist, adaptive high beam assist, night-view assist plus, a surround-view camera system, and a head-up display.
When you're spending at this level, common sense sometimes goes on holiday, and what you're left with is a blank cheque and a drooling mouth. What we're trying to say is that buying a Maybach doesn't have to make sense at all. Most people who buy these cars are intelligent enough to realize that for thousands less, you could drive a standard Mercedes-Benz S-Class that offers pretty much the exact same experience. What makes them buy these cars then? And what makes them so great? The simple answer is status. Those in the know will take one look at you in a Maybach and know that you're a person with refined taste and a deep wallet. Sure, the engines are good, and the interior is simply out of this world, but as a whole, it's just an S-Class in fancy dress. Do we love it any less? Never.
If you have to ask, you can't afford it. The 2020 Mercedes-Maybach S range of cars is naturally going to cost a pretty penny when you consider the fact that it offers luxury features such as massage seats and optional champagne flutes. Besides, the people buying these things don't really look at the price tag, but for the rest of you that are dying to know, the S560 4MATIC starts at $173,000, excluding registration, tax, and a destination fee of $995. If you're after the V12 power offered in the S650, you'll have to cough up $202,550. These numbers might seem outlandish to some, but in actual fact, they pale in comparison to what others charge: the Bentley Flying Spur starts at $214,600, and the 2020 Rolls-Royce Ghost goes for an eye-watering $311,900.
Mercedes-Maybach offers two models for 2020: the S560 4MATIC and the S650. Both models share the same dimensions, transmission, and exterior and interior features. What separates the two are their drivetrain configurations. The S560 4MATIC is powered by a 4.0-liter bi-turbo V8 engine producing 463 hp and sends its power to all four wheels via a 4MATIC AWD system. The S650, on the other hand, is powered by a 6.0-liter bi-turbo V12 engine producing 621 hp, which it sends to the back wheels. While the S560 has a nine-speed auto transmission, the S650 gets a seven-speed auto.
After that, both cars share features. The exterior gets all-LED exterior lighting, a panorama roof, and soft-close doors, as well as a power trunk lid. On the inside, the Maybach S range of cars gets heated and ventilated leather multi-contour 12-way power-adjustable seats with memory, four-zone climate control, ambient LED lighting, a Nappa leather-covered headliner and pillars, as well as a 12.3-inch infotainment display with a 26-speaker sound system. Driver assistance features include evasive steering assist, blind-spot assist, lane keeping assist, lane change assist, and speed takeover assist.
As if you'd need to add more features to the Maybach S, there are a good number of weird and wonderful options on the table. On the inside, Mercedes-Maybach offers the discerning buyer a $1,950 Executive Rear Seat package that adds four-place seating with dual-power rear seats, folding tables, and heated and cooled rear cupholders. And for those who have recently been nominated for an Emmy, why not go with the $3,200 handcrafted silver champagne flutes. A Magic Sky Control roof will set you back $4,950, and a four-year/40,000-mile maintenance plan will set you back a reasonable $2,850.
Does it really matter? Both the S560 4MATIC and the S650 share their features, so it will basically boil down to how much power you want to be made available to your driver. Seeing as we're talking about the super-rich, we'd suggest paying a few extra bucks for the big V12 which not only sounds cool, but adds a load of extra rich points to the resume. What can you expect to get for your money? Only one of the most advanced and luxurious vehicles on the road. The cloud-like ride quality is provided by an adaptive air suspension system, and there's enough active driver assistance systems to keep you on the road. The interior is covered in Nappa leather, and you even get seats that will massage stock market stresses right out. If you can afford one of these, you don't really need us to tell you anything.
While the Mercedes-Maybach S rolls around on dated hardware, the Bentley Flying Spur is all-new for 2020. That means more power, new styling, and better tech. Under the hood of the Flying Spur lies a twin-turbo 6.0-liter W12 producing 626 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. This translates into a zero to 60 sprint time of only 3.7 seconds, completely blowing the doors off of the Maybach. Inside the cabin, the Flying Spur exudes traditional coach-building charm with its magnificent attention to detail and class-leading choice of materials. Not only is it a beautiful place to sit in, but the Bentley Flying Spur also gets advanced tech, such as a 12.3-inch display with a ten-speaker sound system and modern driver assistance tech such as forward collision avoidance. With its newly stretched wheelbase, the Flying Spur offers slightly more interior space, and with a starting price that is comparable to the S650, we'd most certainly get behind the wheel of this Brit.
The Ghost is the smallest car that Rolls-Royce builds, which in itself speaks volumes. The Ghost shrugs off its baby-Rolls quips easily: once you get behind the wheel, it all makes sense. Under the hood of the Ghost lies a 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12 developing 563 horsepower and 605 lb-ft of torque, and the zero to 60 sprint takes a comparable 4.8 seconds. On the road, the Ghost wafts along with majestic serenity, but can be placed with surprising accuracy should the need arise. The centerpiece of the Ghost's offering is its interior. Rolls Royce is known for crafting some of the most luxurious interiors on earth, and the one in the Ghost is no different; no expense has been spared, and it is tangible in every nook and cranny. Tech and safety-wise, the Rolls can't match the Maybach, but who really cares if they die in one of these. The only thing keeping us from going with the Ghost is its ridiculous price tag.
Check out some informative Mercedes-Maybach S video reviews below.