The lower-displacement sedan still has oodles of luxury.
Japan, China and many European countries have a road tax that goes up as your car's displacement gets bigger. Thankfully, we don't have that here in the states, so we get things like a Mercedes-Maybach S V12 that are still expensive, but without a big extra tax on top. But for places like China, automakers find smaller displacement engines for their most luxurious sedans.
Take the Mercedes-Maybach S480, exclusive to China, at least for now. It uses the company's relatively new turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six to make 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. That engine goes along with the company's EQ Boost 48-volt electrical system that can add 21 more hp and a ton of extra torque for short bursts. The S480 can sprint to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds.
So the power is down a little (okay a lot) from our S580 version, which makes 496 hp and 516 lb-ft. But the point of a Maybach isn't speed, though it does that well - it's luxury. And here the Chinese version looks to be every bit as good as ours.
In pictures we can see the main 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment, diamond-stitched leather and wood trim on the steering wheel and dashboard. The gauge cluster display seems a little out of place, or maybe an afterthought, but we see no reason the next Maybach couldn't borrow the company's stunning Hyperscreen stretching across the dash. For the record, our version doesn't get that either.
In the back we can see Hollywood-star levels of luxury with footrests, headrest pillows and a drink chiller in between the seats. Back passengers also get their own infotainment screen and climate control.
The Mercedes-Maybach S480 is listed at RMB 1,485,000 on the website, which translates to about $225,000. We could see this version going to Europe too, with an S450 badge more in line with our versions. Our next Maybach S580 will arrive this summer, and the V12, which Mercedes was touting on the luxury brand's 100th birthday, will be out sometime after that.