MERCEDES used the awe-inspiring Motorclassica in Melbourne to showcase its new Maybach S600, a car with a definite wow factor of its own.
Think opulence and luxury, sterling craftsmanship, the most modern of technologies and of course superior comfort - the Mercedes-Maybach has it all.
The made-to-order limousine is powered by a 6.0-litre twin turbo-charged V12 engine and boasts one of the quietest cabins ever seen on a production sedan.
At $448,610 plus on roads it is about half the price of its predecessor but lacks for none of the niceties that people who hand over that sort of money take as given.
The Maybach has been reprised as a luxury Mercedes sub-brand much in the same way that AMG functions as a performance offering. But make no mistake: this is no ordinary S-Class, if such a thing exists.
The Mercedes-Maybach's wheelbase is 200mm longer than an S-Class's and although the layouts are similar, the execution of luxury is far, far different. And the back seat's the place to be.
The Maybach S600 exudes that absolute feeling of exclusivity, from the sumptuous Nappa leather cabin and hand-fashioned wood trim to the reclining seats that are heated or cooled for comfort and also offer a relaxing hot stone massage function.
It is as though you are ensconced in the first-class section of a well-respected airline with form, function and design presenting a triumphant triumvirate.
The headrest, seat and leg support are all adjustable to your needs, the tint of the sunroof can be controlled by the flick of a button and should you have to work, you have a hand-finished alloy and leather table that swivels out easily from the centre console.
Thirsty? Well, if your cup holder with heated and cooled options doesn't do the trick, why not indulge in a glass of bubbly perfectly chilled in the built-in bar fridge and enjoyed in hand-polished silver-trimmed champagne flutes.
This enhanced level of prestige stretches to a range of quality features including voice amplification so you can converse easily with your chauffer and Magic Body Control suspension which scans the road ahead for bumps and adjusts the dampers accordingly.
Wealthy occupants need to keep safe too, so active lane keeping assistance, active cruise control with self-driving acceleration and airbags for the seat belt and seat cushion all feature.
Mercedes Australia has already filled its Maybach allocation for the year, the drop in price having the 12 vehicles quicker to find homes than the 13 cars sold over the past decade.
But despair not, should you have fallen for the Maybach's charms yours could be on its way before Santa packs the sleigh.
Model: Mercedes-Maybach S600.
Details: Long wheelbase rear-wheel-drive limousine.
Engine: 6.0-litre biturbo V12 petrol generating maximum power of 390kW @ 4900rpm and maximum torque of 830Nm @1900rpm
Transmission: 7-speed automatic.
Fuel consumption: 11.7l/100km.
Bottom line: From $448,610.
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