Mercedes reveals the most ridiculous Maybach yet
...and you thought the Rolls-Royce Cullinan was overblown...
Are you the chairman of a multi-billion dollar company? Are you a larger than life rockstar with more money than sense? Are you a tyrannical dictator of a small country in Africa or Latin America with multiple human rights abuses to their name and the ability to call an airstrike on anyone who so much as farts in your general direction? If the answer is yes to any of those three look no further, because Mercedes have developed the perfect car for you. This is the Mercedes Maybach GLS 600 and, as you might expect, it's absolutely ridiculous.
If whatever the cult of personality that Corey Glover of Living Colour sung about on his band's seminal hit song existed in car form, it would absolutely be this. The Maybach GLS 600 is a (naturally) V8-powered behemoth with garish two-tone signature Maybach paint that's available in seven different colour combinations, gratuitous swathes of chrome including a massive chrome grille that even BMW might say is a little bit too much, 22 inch wheels as standard (with 23 inch ones as an optional extra) and all the late capitalist luxury you could ever ask for. The car even comes with its its own fragrance ("the white osmanthus blossom, floral and light, is rounded off by a gentle leather note and spicy tea" - yes, that is an actual quote from Mercedes themselves). This is how deep the luxury rabbit hole goes when you order a car that visually tells everyone who cuts you off in traffic that they can expect to receive an airstrike on their 3 bed semi in the suburbs.
As expected for a vehicle bearing the Maybach brand, this is very much a car that you are meant to be driven in, not to drive. The back seat is the place to be when you step into this glorious pile of dictator chic. As soon as you pull the door handle, the GLS 600's air suspension will drop down by 25mm (enough to crush the backs of the dirt poor peasants you gleefully oppress) and running boards will extend to help you get in. When you actually get to the back, you have a choice of specifying the rear compartment with either two or three seats. Even with the three seats in the rear, the outer two are still massive private jet style 'executive' chairs. With the option where there's no middle seat, you get a huge armrest that can be specified with temperature controlled cup holders, the ability for said armest to be heated and a fridge for holding 3 bottles of the finest champagne you can afford (or hiding the dead bodies of your political enemies...). Like all high end Mercs these days, you get the fantastic Burmeister sound system, so you can enjoy your Wagner and Strauss in supreme comfort.
This being a car intended to be chauffer-driven, you'd think that Mercedes wouldn't care much about the way the GLS 600 drives. Surprisingly though, they seem to have thought of that quite a bit. The V8 it comes with is the venerable and brilliant 4.0 twin turbo unit that you can find in pretty much any top end AMG these days, as well as the V8 powered Aston Martins. It cranks out 550 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque, enough grunt to push the 2.75 tonne car from 0-60 in 4.9 seconds. It also has all the usual Mercedes driving modes, including a special "Maybach Mode" that adjusts the car for supreme backseat comfort - the throttle response is made much flatter, the gearshifts from the 9 speed auto are made much more easy, the car will roll off from stationary in second gear instead of first and the start/stop system is disabled. It makes sense, I guess...
All in all, if you're a somewhat totalitarian leaning world leader or some kind of dodgy businessman/gangster with money to burn, you'll probably absolutely love this car. Plus, it's a big SUV, so no doubt it'll sell in droves to the ultra-rich, who are just as crazy about SUVs as the rest of us commoners are. Indeed, one in four S-Classes that have been sold in recent years have been of the Maybach variety - why not make the S-Class of SUVs into one too?