September 30, 2023
Understated Opulence

Understated Opulence

Jul 8, 2019

If you had to take the silence of your reading room, the relaxation of a wellness spa and keen eyesight (for attention to detail) along with you everywhere, the Mercedes-Maybach S 650 it would be. The luxury vehicle incorporates it all, with a colossal weapon underneath its bonnet to boot!

Subtle extravagance-these are the two words that best describe the Mercedes-Maybach S 650. To the untrained eye, it would appear to be an S-Class driving by. But the discerning would spot the subtle hints: the Maybach badging on the chrome louvres in the radiator grille, the striking 19-inch wheels and the Maybach logo on the C-pillars. From the outside, the 5.4-metre barge looks like an understated Jekyll to an ultra-luxurious Hyde inside.

The S 650 is a car of superlatives. And depending on one’s tastes, they keep adding up. And unless you have other-worldly whims like carrying a lion beside you in a car, the Maybach would cater to them all. Even if for some reason you fancy driving the S 650 yourself, the 630 horsepower V12 stands good on its promise, while never breaking its smooth sailing character.

After Daimler’s attempt to revive the Maybach as a stand-alone brand didn’t quite go as planned, in 2015, the company decided to change its strategy by making Maybach a sub-brand of Mercedes-Benz. It would represent the exact opposite of what their AMG range stands for—with hush replacing the hammer.

If you imagine getting off a private jet and getting into an equally well garnished transport, the S 650 is what would come to your mind. The Maybach is eight inches longer than the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (that it’s based on), and all of this extra length is utilised for added rear comfort. This is the maximum Mercedes-Benz would stretch its S-Class in India, unlike the S 600 Pullman that’s available in other markets. But I’d imagine that it would be quite a chore (and an unnecessary one) to be driven around in such an extensive barge on our roads.

The seats are made from supple leather and are designed for comfort in every way. You can turn on the massage mode while reclining completely, resting against soft pillows, as the car perfume fills the interiors with heady fragrance to suit your mood. There are even active side bolsters built into each seat that will hug you if the roads get twisty. All this while the car plays an energising melody through its excellent 24-speaker Burmester® High-End 3D Surround Sound system! Add the double glazed windows and an air suspension system that constantly monitors the road for imperfections (pre-empting any judder from jolting you), and moving about in the S 650 feels like travelling in a hermetically sealed capsule, where no outside influence is allowed to break through its impervious shield of comfort. Just like the private jet, the S 650 ensures a smooth travel without fatigue getting the better of you, before arrival.

There are remotes supplied for passengers at the rear, who can control literally everything in the car, including the main COMMAND unit at the front. This means that apart from arranging the seating and ambient lighting in a zillion settings, you can literally explore all the systems of the car from the comfort of your recliners. And while you are busy customising your own bespoke experience, the panoramic sunroof automatically beams light into the cabin to provide optimum illumination by turning dark when it’s too bright, and lighting up the interiors when it is too dark.

While travelling in the back seat of the Mercedes-Maybach S 650 feels like first-class air travel minus the turbulence, the driving experience behind the wheel isn’t anything short of piloting your own flugzeug. The 6.0-litre V12 engine that otherwise operates silently during regular jaunts, turns into a speed king, if given a heavy right foot, hitting 0-100 kmph in just a little over four seconds! It is incredibly agile too, and yet never discomforting. At full strum, the S 650 accelerates as if it’s being pushed through a sea of double cream. The performance is so silky that there isn’t much sensation of speed, but you’d be breaking every speeding law of the land almost instantly.

The Mercedes-Maybach S 650 is the Swiss Army knife of limousines; a tranquil barge between business meetings, a therapeutic experience while on the move, an ultra-luxury rocket ship when poked and subtle opulence everywhere in-between. But above all, it’s a machine that keeps its occupants in comfort and safety.