If there was a prize for transforming an existing brand to make it an absolute favourite of the rich and mighty, Mercedes would win it outright, owing to what it has done with the Maybach brand over the past few years. While the original reincarnation of the Maybach brand didn’t work so well in the early 2000s, its recent avatar – wherein they produce some uber-luxurious versions of their existing cars and sell them at a serious premium – worked like a charm. In fact, it can be seen as a masterclass in creating a new segment.
Of course, what also helps is that new-generation Mercedes products are already benchmark-setters in their respective segments, which means that they offer a solid platform for the further enhancement of Maybach products. For instance, the S580 Maybach is based on the standard S-Class, which is already a segment leader. This allows the S580 to take the luxury and comfort quotient to another level. The increased cabin space, plusher seats, and increased luxury appointments in the form of better trim and higher quality materials work together to give you the feeling that you are sitting in something really special.
Now, at the same time, the visual enhancements to the exterior are a bit of an acquired taste. While most customers seem to love the extra chrome on the grille and other parts of the car and those large rims, I think it looks a bit tacky—I would rather prefer something understated. What I can’t complain about is its powertrain, for the 496bhp producing 4.0-litre V8 really offers brilliant performance. What really makes a difference here is the 700Nm of torque, which means that the acceleration is instant and brutal.
No wonder, then, that the Maybach was pretty quick on the track. However, both on the road and the track, you have to be mindful of the overall size of the car. Of course, the major drawback of the Maybach is its price, which means that it didn’t do very well in the value-for-money category. But, then again, if you’re looking for a premium sedan and find the S-Class to be a bit too common, the Maybach is your best bet in the Indian market. And going by the waitlist, there is but one conclusion to draw – Indian customers can’t get enough of it.
- Mercedes-Maybach S 580 (Lap Time – 01:10.4)
|COMFORT / SPACE||5||5|
|RIDE & HANDLING||5||4|
|VALUE FOR MONEY||30||9|