I Honestly Thought This Maybach Was A Joke At First Glance

Illustration for article titled I Honestly Thought This Maybach Was A Joke At First Glance
Photo: Mercedes/Maybach

I’ll freely admit that, not only am I not anywhere near the target market for a Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, I’m probably not welcome to be even physically near one, should that chance pairing actually occur. So, with that in mind, it may simply be that my opinion here has as much value as a subscription to the Utne Reader would have to a sea cucumber. I get that. That said, I also have to be honest and say that new Maybachs look like Mercedes that have had the contents of a Pep Boys decanted onto them.

Since I’m not someone who routinely seeks out Maybachs, I saw the one that got me thinking by chance on Mercedes-Benz’ Twitter feed:

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When I first saw the image, I thought maybe someone was joking around, having Photoshopped a bunch of stick-on chrome crap to a fancy Mercedes. I was half-wrong, though, because the stick-on chrome crap wasn’t Photoshop, it’s real, and the someone is Mercedes-Benz themselves.

In fact, Mercedes has plenty of press photos of this same car:

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Photo: Mercedes/Maybach

Am I miserable philistine, or does this thing look ridiculous? I’m all for many of the elements seen here, like a two-tone paint job and intricate detailing, but there’s something about the overall look of this thing that just feels, um, well, like this car:

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Photo: Mercedes/Maybach
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Remember that thing? I get that one is an absurd display of excess by slapping on any shiny thing you can find and the other is a 1985 Chrysler Executive with a whole catalog of mail-order crap on it, but did you see what I did there?

In the end, it still looks like a sedan with the same general shape as a new Hyundai Elantra, just bigger and with more shit on it.

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Photo: Mercedes/Maybach

I’m sure this $200,000+ car is amazing and comfortable and sublime and has a V12 and power everything and NVH that could put a hyena into a comfortable slumber and all that crap, but I can’t shake the fact that when I look at it, my first impulse is to laugh, not be awed.

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Photo: Mercedes/Maybach

Even those fake instruments on the LCD dash look dopey. It looks like an old WinAmp skin with a “steampunk” theme, or something.

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Were I to spend that kind of money on a car, I’d want something that felt elegant and sublime, not something that seeks to scream how rich the people inside are by trying to dazzle them with shiny crap like we’re all magpies or something.

If this is the sort of goofy thing that rich people are expected to want, I’ve never been more okay with being a broke-ass dipshit.

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus, 2020 Changli EV • Not-so-running: 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!: https://rb.gy/udnqhh)

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DISCUSSION

meanwhileinpdx
TheManBearPigRoams

Jason, your problem is that you’re American with tastes that skew toward the understated. You project yourself as sweet, quirky and intelligent. I’ve always assumed you moonlight in an alt-rock band that plays lots of ukulele heavy songs about tail light design.

If you were the scion of a wealthy family who wanted to inspire awe and fear everywhere you went in Shenzhen, Dubai or Vancouver this might be just the ticket. If you’re pulling up to your family’s factory to cut the budget for suicide nets, who is going to question how much chrome you have on your car?

In short: You’re right, it’s tacky; but you can’t get picked up from a private jet in a Pao.