Motors don't get much more luxury than a Maybach and the latest model is a super-lux version of the Mercedes EQS SUV that makes most EVs look a little basic. The Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV has taken what is already a rather special SUV and made it first class. In fact, it's more private jet level.
The vehicle launches today at the Shanghai Auto Show, but I had an exclusive chance to view the car ahead of its launch. So while I can now give you the full specs of this model, I can also tell you what it's like to sit in.
First, the technical side. This is an EQS 680 SUV, which uses two electric motors to 950Nm of torque and a 0-62mph of 4.4 seconds. Not bad for a car that probably weighs close to 3 tons. The range figures are still to be confirmed but Mercedes-Maybach is estimating up to 600km (372 miles).
Exterior details of the Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV
There are lots of external changes that instantly differentiate this from the standard Mercedes version. Firstly, there's the two-tone paint finish – a combination of obsidian black with either silver, blue, grey, gold or brown – which instantly gives the car that Maybach look. Then there's the grill, which follows the Maybach style with its vertical chrome strips. However, this is actually a flat panel that incorporates hidden radar sensors into the design.
While it's the Mercedes three-pointed star that sits proudly on the front of the bonnet, Maybach is printed in the chrome directly below it and the Maybach logo is formed into a pattern in the front trim. One version of the car that I saw also has the Maybach logo pattern as part of the alloy wheel design, which looks really impressive. The Maybach logo is also incorporated into the chrome running boards along the side of the car.
Badging on the car shows both the EQS and Maybach but there's a special digital light projection on entering and leaving the vehicle with the Maybach pattern animated from all four doors.
Inside the Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV
As nice as the outside of the Maybach looks, it's inside where it really counts, and here they have really gone to town. For the driver and front passenger there's a custom version of the MBUX Hyperscreen, with a unique start-up display, a deep blue visual appearance to the displays and a special instrument cluster in 'Maybach mode'.
All of the soft furnishings are finished in an exclusive Nappa leather, and come in a choice of warm colours, such as the espresso brown and macchiato beige, as well as a crystal white. This leather is vegetable tanned using a more sustainable process. This is then paired with natural wood trims and black lacquer. All four seats also have the comfiest pillows on the headrests.
This is a car designed to be driven in as much as it is to drive, so it's the rear passenger seats where you find the true luxury. Here you get two 11.6-inch displays with all the MBUX entertainment options, and a central tablet display in the arm rest. The executive seats offer ventilation and massage functions, while the rear left (for right-hand drive) passenger seat will recline right back, automatically adjusting the front passenger seat forward, to allow you to really stretch out.
The model I saw also had the optional thermal cup holders in the rear to hold the silver-plated champagne flutes safely in position, and a removable fridge in the boot, which can be accessed through the central armrest.
As you would expect, the sound system is the finest Burmester 4D system with Dolby Atmos sound and includes 15 speakers throughout the car. To ensure a silent space, there's a special fixed luggage compartment cover to seal the cabin from any road noise that might come from the boot.
This really is an incredible vehicle and really elevates what is already a very special electric SUV into a true limousine. There's no confirmed price for the Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV as yet, but I would expect this to be over £200k at least. If you have to ask, in this case, you probably can't afford it.