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Cooley On Cars
On the road: 2016 Mercedes Maybach S600The Maybach name is back, denoting an ultra-high-end S Class model. Brian Cooley drives it and checks the tech.
I can give you the short story on the Maybach S600 in ten seconds. It's an eight inch longer Fully loaded S-Class 600. [MUSIC] And the eight inches longer gives you a whole bunch more room in the back. That's where the focus is on the extra length. Notably, it doesn't pick up a whole lot of extra weight. It only weighs about 230 pounds more than the short S-Class. Otherwise the sheet metal on an S Class versus a Maybach is so similar, you should look for the badges. The one here on the CL panel and the one on the rump. You won't find those on any other Mercedes. Now getting into a Maybach S 600 is not shockingly different than an S Class. The first thing your eyes are drawn to are the dual 12.3 inch widescreen LCDs. I don't think I've go that much LCD real estate in my TV room. The on the left, of course, are your virtual gauges, which occasionally move out of the way to allow night vision to take over the center. This big screen, we've seen before, is the command system that has navigation, that is well rendered but doesn't strike any new ground. Beyond on the in-car, broadcast, and satellite external media sources, you've also got the ability to have tunein as a streaming radio choice. And an in-car hotspot. But that's part of a Telematics subscription at $450 a year. Now all of this is driven by two controllers, no touch. German, remember. I must say, you think this track pad is gilding the lily, with this control knob right near it. But this does wonders. That touchpad is also good for handwriting and pinch-in zoom on the map. It's right about now, diving into all the menus you can access with these controls, that you realize that there's too damn much going on in this car. If you are working hard enough to afford this, you don't have time to be playing with your car's menus. You're making money. Chief example, go to the HVAC ribbon of buttons here, and just press the one that says menu. Then spend the next afternoon or so figuring out all the ways you can set up the climate in this car, from the temperature to the air distribution to the air flow. You can blow hard, soft or moderate to foot well airflow, climate mode, the air freshener which is separate from the ionizer. Really? And similar layers and layers and layers of possibility occur on almost every system in the infotainment unit. You don't need a loan to buy this car. You need a degree in engineering. And you know you're not in a Lexus in this car. Completely different design language of course. But, the seats are hard. A Lexus always has plush seats. This one does not. And let's talk about some visual tech going on in this car. I told you about the night vision that we have in between the main gauges. We've also got the best 360 bird's eye view camera in the business. Look how beautifully it stitches the four cameras together. It doesn't even appear to be four angles. That's pretty slick. And we've got the magic sky controls Sun roof, front and rear. Hit this little button right by the sun roof control, and it goes from dark blue to nearly clear electronically. They apply high voltage to a crystalline structure inside the glass panel to have it either reflect Or pass light. I bet your Hyundai doesn't have that. And my last visual trick to show you is this one, you find that little icon looks like a book, and now you've enabled split view. On the passenger's side right now I'm seeing media. From the driver's side right now, you might be seeing navigation. Same screen, same time but at this 45 degree angle, it means two different displays. That's pretty hot. The audio in this car is off the charts and that's bass. 1540 watts, 24 speakers from Bermeister. There's even a ceiling speaker in the rear and a separate sub in the trunk that gets it own 400 watts. The [UNKNOWN] even rotate. I'm not sure why. And this is low-tech but really cool, the hinge on the console changes depending on where you open it. [MUSIC] I couldn't get enough of this. I played it with it all day. [MUSIC] Now driving the [UNKNOWN], not much different than any other S class. You've got this sort of old-school electronic column shifter here. Paddles on the wheel by the way. Over here in the center console you've got a sport or economy mode for the powertrain. And below that is ABC, not a spelling lesson. That's automatic body control. That's the active suspension. Either sport or comfort. The adaptive suspension on this car is not just mechanically based. It uses a camera to look at the road and to know when there's a big bump or divot coming and preadjusts the suspension, not wait for the impact to happen. This drives me nuts, though, about the rear compartment and the front for that matter. you don't have infinite door checks. You got old school three position notched hinges. This thing is gonna cut your shin off, it did it to me several times. Now since you have to work 18 hours a day to afford one of these they give you some nice tables to do your work upon. And what's interesting about these compared to some other cars of this luxury category is these are Pretty darn good. This is like what you get in the airplanes. Aluminized, and they come to the right place. Dual tablet like screens, these are not iPads, these are Mercedes proprietary screens that can be playing either plugged in media, DVD or get you access to almost anything at the front Or let you bring up Media that gets sent to the front or master system distribution. Let me tell you this is better then my office. Cup holders are so passe, instead you want a heated and It's cooled cup holder. Just press the button for which you want, and the little light inside changes accordingly as well. These people are nuts. And of course, in a car like this you have to offer the coupe-de-grais of luxury silliness. The bottle cooler, the fridge. Right here behind your elbow. Holds a couple of what looks like full size bottles of champagne. Though. I'm sure they don't officially endorse that. Problem is, look how much room in the trunk it takes up! There's barely enough room for the owner's ego in there anymore! The Mibach S600 shares an engine with a standard S600. Luckily, it's a lot of engine. A six liter twin turbo V12 doing 523 horsepower and 612 pound feet of torque. Rear wheel drive only through a seven speed automatic. Zero to 60 in five seconds is only half a second slower than a short S-Class, and the weight at 5,269 is only 28 more pounds pure inch of added length. 13/20 MPG escapes single digits, but not by enough to escape a gas guzzler. First thing I notice in terms of its driving behavior though is if you have it in this economy mode and if you have auto-start/stop enabled this may be the most laggeredly driving experience on the road. For that to make it a more comfortable, less transitional ride between stop and go. When you put it in sport mode though and trust it, it's great. How can something this big go that fast is what you think. It's not something new about a Mercedes, but need to take some lessons from BMW. It's not that sharp. It's not real satisfying. The overall smoothness is incredible as you'd expect partly because we've got over five thousand pounds to dampen out road undulation. In all the power that is available, buried as it may be. The heaviness, the adaptive rod control and of course, who knows how many hundreds or thousand pounds of sound dimming insulation. [UNKNOWN] sublime driving experience. Ok. Base, if you can call it that, my [UNKNOWN] F600 is about a $193,000 proposition. But of course, we gotta go CNet style. We're gonna add a few grand to that in the following fashion. Those rear tables, and heated and cooled cup holders, gotta have those for two grand. The ridge is $1,100, I'm gonna skip that all day long and get some trunk space. Split view, I love it, 700 bucks. Magic Sky Controller's a pricey overhead toy, $5,000, but boy is that slick. And of course, the Gas Guzzler Tax. That's $1,700 you could have spent in a lot better ways all in about $203,000 the way we would do it. Now if you're gonna buy a car like this, you sure don't need my opinion whether you need it or not. It's not a need product, but it's a whole lot less ostentatious and over-the-top than the old Maybach '57s and '62s. It utterly separates driving from the chore of driving. More cars driven CNET style standing by now at CNETOnCars.com Click On The Road.