If you were wondering what the top-of-the-line Mercedes is, you’re looking at it: The 2022 Mercedes-Maybach S 680 4MATIC Sedan. If this ride is missing anything, it’s a lightweight body and an affordable price tag. Other than that, this boat is loaded to the gunwales with tech, luxury, and safety gear in a way that only German engineers could pull off.
Really, at this point, my main question is how much further can we go? High-end luxury carmakers – like Mercedes-Maybach, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Bugatti, and such – already pack their vehicles full of the aforementioned tech, luxury, and safety gear. And their in-house custom departments offer a fairly wide range of dressings and trims and other bespoke treatments. But it seems to me that eventually, some oil-soaked oligarch will peruse the custom offerings and say, “Nope, that’s too ‘off the rack’ for me!”
I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re not too far away from the rebirth of specialized carrozzeria. People will buy the running gear and chassis from Mercedes, BMW (Rolls), and Bentley (VW), and then have bodies made and trimmed to their exacting (and expensive) demands. It will be just like a century ago where someone like Henry Flagler would buy the chassis and engine from Duesenberg then have Fisher make the rest.
But here we are now in 2021, and, for all intents and purposes, the height of prêt à conduire automotive fashion would seem to be the Mercedes-Maybach S 680 4MATIC Sedan.
For starters, the exterior is unique to the Maybach and includes such flourishes as the front bumper and radiator grille with Maybach lettering, a hood trim strip, illuminated door handles, and stainless steel door sill panels that are illuminated in the front and rear. This is not badge engineering Buick/Pontiac/Cadillac circa 1981. If that’s not enough for prospective Maybach S-Class buyers, you can also get a two-tone paint job with a pinstripe for a total of 10color combinations.
The interior, justifiably described as “sumptuous” by Mercedes-Benz, features Nappa Leather finishes throughout. And by throughout, they mean throughout! Nappa Leather adorns the headliner, dashboard, instrument panel, armrests, glovebox, window frames and pillars, sun visors, backrest pockets, and door sill panel inserts. Seriously, there’s more leather on the inside of this thing than a herd of longhorns. There’s also wood, Designo wood trim to be exact.
The wood and leather are complemented by diamond stitching, contrast piping, a Maybach pedal cluster, Mercedes-Maybach emblems, and even a Maybach-specific cabin scent. That last one is good for when you hit the drive-thru. You don’t want your fancy Maybach smelling like stale burgers and warm milkshakes when all your “influencer” friends pile in for a ride. Instead, you can all enjoy the available silver-plated champagne flutes and rear refrigerated compartment. A tailor-made insert in the stowage compartment and two matching holders in the center console hold the flutes in place even when on the move.
Hand Gestures & Movie Watching
Getting in and out of the Mercedes-Maybach S 680 4MATIC Sedan should be a breeze. Electronically-powered comfort doors that open and close with no human effort are available (with the rear doors controlled by the driver). The MBUX infotainment system is standard, along with MBUX Interior Assist for the rear passengers. MBUX Interior Assist includes gee-whiz features like starting or stopping the closing of the automatic doors with a hand gesture. No, really.
MBUX Interior Assist can detect rear-seat passengers and automatically extend the head restraints. All-new rear seat airbags provide added protection via an inflation system that deploys more gently to help further reduce occupant injury. Other highlights for those riding in the back include the whole MBUX experience with direct access to vehicle functions, including the ability to watch movies or stream content by way of two 11.6-inch high-resolution displays.
Engine & Powertrain
All this elegance is hustled down der bahn via a handcrafted 6.0-liter V12 bi-turbo engine, the most powerful in the Mercedes-Maybach lineup. The engine produces 621 horsepower and 738 lb-ft. of torque, enough to hurl the big sedan from zero to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds. Pretty impressive for something that weighs 51,800 long tons. Wait, that’s the Tirpitz! Sorry. The actual curb weight of the Mercedes-Maybach S 680 4MATIC Sedan is north of 5,000 lbs.
Even though the Mercedes-Maybach S 680 4MATIC Sedan is 792 feet long – oops, sorry, that’s the Tirpitz again – I mean 18 feetlong, it’s quite maneuverable thanks to rear-axle steering. According to Mercedes-Benz, the rear steering angle can be up to 4.5 or 10 degrees, depending on the wheel selection (staggered or non-staggered).
Pricing & Availability
The 2022 Mercedes-Maybach S 680 4MATIC Sedan will arrive in the first half of next year. Mercedes-Benz did not mention the price, but I’d wager you better have a defense department level of budget to throw around when it comes to picking up one of these guys. I have a feeling this new Maybach will be over $200,000 when it hits the market next year.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz.