by Jay Traugott
Sometimes a fully-loaded Mercedes-Benz S-Class just isn't good enough for the ultra-wealthy. That's where the Maybach brand comes in. Meet the 2022 Mercedes-Maybach S 680, a V12 version of the already formidable Mercedes-Maybach S 580 that was revealed last year. The latter has a twin-turbo V8 and for some, that's not enough.
The Mercedes-Maybach S 680 is everything we love about the S 580 and then some. Mercedes says it's the most powerful Maybach it sells today and, despite its large size, promises some driver engagement thanks to advanced systems, says Mercedes. The luxury department is where this Maybach shines as occupants will experience a cabin unlike anything else. This might be one of those rare cases where it's more enjoyable to be a rear seat passenger than the driver.
See trim levels and configurations:
|Maybach S680 4MATIC||
6.0L Twin-Turbo V12 Gas
Although the Maybach S 680 shares a platform and other essential components with the S-Class, there are some key exterior design differences. There are Maybach-exclusive touches such as an engine hood trim strip, unique front bumper and radiator grille with engraved "Maybach" lettering, illuminated seamless door handles, and door sill panels covered in stainless steel. The Mercedes Silver Star emblem remains at the front of the hood, but the Maybach takes the place of Mercedes script above the left taillight.
Like the S 580 and past Maybachs, a two-tone paint finish is optional. Mercedes says there are a total of 10 color combinations to select from. This might sound like a lot, but it's nothing compared to what Bentley and Rolls-Royce offer their customers.
One particularly interesting feature are the electronically powered rear doors that are controlled by the driver and can open and close without anyone actually touching them. The chauffeur's list of duties has just decreased by one.
Step inside and you'll find a cabin suited for corporate CEOs and dictators alike. There's Nappa leather everywhere, including the dashboard, instrument panel surrounds, glovebox, sun visors, and even the window frames. The two rear passengers (there's no rear bench seat option) are treated to pair of lounge-like seats with wood trim, diamond quilting, contrast piping and, of course, the Mercedes-Maybach emblem.
A rear-seat entertainment system, which includes direct access to the MBUX infotainment system, consists of two fully-integrated 11.6-inch high-res displays perfect for watching movies. Passengers can use them to control other vehicle functions, such as temperature control, radio and navigation. The MBUX Interior Assist can even detect rear passengers. For example, it'll automatically adjust the head restraints the moment it senses a human body is sitting down. Hand gestures can even be used to control the rear sun blind and panoramic sunroof. A Burmester 4D surround-sound system works to help eliminate road noise and adaptive rear lighting further enhances the lounge-like experience.
One particularly cool and completely spoiled option are the silver-plated champagne flutes and refrigerated compartment found in the rear center console.
Under the hood is what might matter most here. A hand-built 6.0-liter biturbo V12 with a total of 621 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque is paired to a nine-speed transmission. Power goes to all four wheels with the 4MATIC all-wheel drive system, but there's a rear wheel bias. A total of 69 percent of available torque goes to the rear axle and 31 percent to the front under normal conditions. Mercedes hasn't revealed total curb weight, but this big sedan is still mighty quick with a claimed 0-60 mph time of 4.4 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 130 mph.
The rear-axle steering makes it much easier for drivers to maneuver the big sedan in tough places like narrow city streets. This system also allows for a reduced turning radius.
Safety-conscious folks can be rest assured they'll be fine if there's an accident thanks to a long list of standard safety features. It comes with rear seat airbags that can adapt to the passengers so that they'll deploy more gently following an impact.
Mercedes-Maybach has not released S 680 pricing, but if you have to ask then don't even bother considering one. Take the V8-powered S 580, for example. It begins at nearly $185,000, so don't expect its V12 sibling to cost anything less than $200k. Fully-loaded, we could easily see the price inflate to nearly $300k.
The competition in this ultra-luxury big sedan segment is limited to two key, and seriously expensive, vehicles: the Bentley Flying Spur and Rolls-Royce Phantom, the latter being the most direct competitor. It really boils down to brand preference, though it should be noted all three are German-owned (Bentley is part of the Volkswagen Group and Rolls-Royce belongs to BMW). While a majority of full-size luxury sedan buyers will be more than satisfied with an S-Class or BMW 7 Series, sometimes it's all about being driven around instead of driving. That's why cars like the 2022 Mercedes-Maybach S 680 exist.
The most popular competitors of 2022 Mercedes-Maybach S: