News: 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class Grows Even More Lavish, Brings In More Twin-Turbo V-8 Power

Don't worry, it still has its hallmark two-tone paint and business jet-like luxury

The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class sports a seven-inch longer wheelbase, and packs in even crazier levels of luxury. (Photos: Mercedes-Benz)

If you’re shopping at this end of the luxury market, then it’s the small details that tend to matter most. Let me give you one example with the 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class: Did you know the temperature of the optional rear armrest-mounted refrigerator is adjustable between 33.8 and 44.6 degrees Fahrenheit? Not “34 to 45”, no — those extra tenths of a degree matter here. Here’s another: Rear seat passengers can adjust the front passenger seat backrest forward exactly 23 degrees beyond the 90 degree position to create more legroom. Not a round 30 degrees, not 20 degrees, but 23. Precisely.

I digress, suffice it to say the Maybach model still takes the S-Class’ already extravagant luxury and pushes pretty much everything that one step further. Mercedes hasn’t announced pricing for the updated model, set to follow the revamped S-Class. But you know how the adage goes. If you have to ask…

Key details for the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class

Naturally, this is the absolute flagship of Mercedes’ sedan lineup. Expect every piece of available technology, from Airmatic air suspenion to E-Active body control. Noise, vibration and harshness isn’t exactly an issue in the standard S-Class, and yet the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class gets more acoustic insulation in the wheel arches. The fixed windows in the C-pillars, nearest the passengers’ ears, get thicker laminated glass. You can even spec noise-optimized tires, and this high-end luxury model uses active road noise compensation for the first time. Up front, the chauffeur — because, as ever, if you can afford this car it’s almost certain you’re not driving it yourself — sports a 12.8-inch central OLED display. There’s a 12.3-inch 3D driver display, along with three other display screens as standard equipment.

But what about physical dimensions? The 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class sports a 7.1 inch longer wheelbase than the standard S-Class. That exact difference also translates to overall length, so the space is well-utilized to create even more interior space. The Maybach is no wider than the standard model, but it is ever so slightly taller. The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class dons the signature two-tone paint scheme, and uses specially-designed 19- to 21-inch wheels.

One key difference you may not expect, though, is under the hood. While past Maybachs proudly used a large V-12 engine, that is no longer the case here. Instead, we have a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 with 496 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. That mates up to a 9-speed automatic transmission as well as Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel drive system. EQ Boost also comes as part of the equation, providing brief periods of 21 extra horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque.

Update: I wanted to clarify that a 6.0-liter V-12 is not impossible, but it appears it will not be available at launch. In an earlier version I said Mercedes ‘ditched’ the powertrain, and while the 4.0-liter V-8 is front and center, it can always return post-launch. That said, a more fuel-efficient version (with plug-in hybrid capability, maybe?) is more likely given the current climate, particularly in Europe.

There’s even more technology than you think

From the classic soft-close doors to the reclining seats and infotainment displays, there’s even more tech worth mentioning. Driver assistance systems ranging from radar-guided Active Distance Assist to Active steering Assist and Car-to-X communication is all standard fare here. The car maintains a constant vigil over its surroundings and can even interact with its surroundings to some extent (a hallmark in future mobility tech). Mind you, it does still notably have exclusive drive modes tailored to the way most Maybachs will be used — with a chauffeur at the wheel.

On top of the 3D instrument cluster, the 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class also packs a 1,750-watt Burmester “4D” surround system and the MBUX infotainment system. Two 11.6-inch screens power media, climate controls and more in the rear.

While the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class will go on sale in mid-2021, so we won’t get the opportunity to test one first hand for a little while yet. That said, we will be testing its larger brother, the Mercedes-Maybach GLS, so stay tuned for more updates! If you’re looking for something a bit dialed back, there’s also the standard S-Class, shown below: