We've known that Mercedes was re-animating the Maybach name for a while now, but this is the first time we've seen the car in the metal-and-cowflesh. And it's pretty much exactly what you'd expect: a bit underwhelming from the outside, remarkable from the inside. Like an M&M full of veal.
The Maybach branding is now no longer an entire separate brand, but rather just a model of a Mercedes-Benz S600, which frees it from the burden of coming up with its own distinctive brand identity and lets it just play with established Benz design.
The old Maybach logo exists as "chrome jewelry" on the substantial C-pillar, but the hood ornament is all tri-star. The car is stretched 200mm — about 8 inches in Freedom Units — and all that extra space goes to the back seat ("luxury lounge," as the presenter called it) where the Valuable People will sit their silken, taut asses.
The Maybach's goal is smoothness and quiet, so while there's a 523 HP V12 biturbo engine up front, the passengers will likely never even realize it's there, since it will toil in efficient, smooth silence.
We were also told that "almost every surface is covered with leather," and they call the front seats "captain's chairs" and the rear ones "executive seats." The presentation went on, the German-accented speaker growing more and more reverential as he described the analog clock:
The numbers are made of fine metal, individually applied to the clock's face.
No shitty numbers made of recycled catheter plastic and slapped on by some drunk robot all at once for Maybach buyers!
The interior — I'm sorry, "cocoon of privacy" — was still off-limits to us at the show today, but pressing my filthy, oily face up against the window gave me a glimpse of a leatherized womb of privilege and luxury I likely will never be permitted to experience. The seats recline, all the upholstery is diamond-quilted, like a succulent leather comforter, and there's bespoke freaking throw pillows inside.
Throw pillows! They're probably specially genetically-engineered throw pillow mammals that secrete scented oils and are always just the right level of warm.
One design nitpick I do have is that the adaptive-cruise control sensors and other semi-auto driving sensors are placed in the grille, in solid plastic panels. They're supposed to just blend into the grillework, but they just don't. Look at this Benz press photo:
See? Those sensor windows catch the light, and just look like an off-center afterthought. I just expect a bit more attention to aesthetics on a car where they go on and on about the fucking numbers on the clock.
The speaker grilles are lovely bits of perforated metal, the wood on the dash is shaped in undulating curves and the grain flows through it like a mahogany stream where naiads cavort and pleasure one another with silken tongues. It looks to be so luxurious I feel like I'm devaluing the very concept of luxury by just standing outside of it, my contamination only protected by a thin pane of glass.
I'm not good enough to ride in this car. Nobody is good enough to ride in such luxuriant splendification. They should just make one of these, seal it up, and wait for God Himself to come down to Earth so they can tell him that, sorry, he's not allowed in the car.
Maybe they'll let me sit in it tomorrow.