This is not a driving report. No test. This is not a folding rule article, not even journalism. It's just a way of life. Of the expensive kind.
It's probably the best way of life money can buy. Stopover in Los Olivos. A little nest near Santa Barbara. The Neverland ranch is not far away and the ranch of ex-president and actor Ronald Reagan is also nearby. What one understands in the USA by “nearby”.
Los Olivos is a nest. A cute little nest. It is reminiscent of Western backdrops, one almost expects to see Karl May walking around the corner. Los Olivos owned until recently the oldest gas station in California. There was not much traffic at that time. A gas pump only. Today, a Vinery is housed in the former ticket booth of the gas station. Amongst other things. And a shop for tourist niches. Incidentally, the wine in the tasting comes from a growing area just over the Neverland Ranch or Reagan's Farm. Southern California wine. With a heavy grade. In the taste a little Spanish Rioja, even a Gran Reserva, a little strawberry. Definitely a lot of red grape. A mark on the sidewalk marks the embargo border, up to there, not further. So with the alcohol. The Californians are strict. Alcohol on the street: No Way! And in the porn nation number one. Goes. A glass of wine, casually leaning against the new Stuttgart flagship, they want to ban.
Technical data are, while the wine rises in the nose, enchanted the palate and in the back of the head enjoy the nefarious violation of law, completely unimportant. Mercedes-Benz has tasted the first adventure Maybach once a lot of money and a little good reputation. This time you are smarter. Great name, gern.Kostspieliges adventure with uncertain outcome? Rather not.
That's why it beats too no 16 Cylinder Heart under the S-Class Hood. The well-known twelve-cylinder from the S600 has to regulate it. It is at work with more than enough power for everyday use. Six liters of cubic capacity are quite a number after all. Two turbos push the power level into the pain regions of the transmission manufacturers. No matter how loud the technician's heart shouts for “extravagance”, no one will have to feel neglected when it comes to technology and what power is available. Others would probably not have simply knitted the Maybach into a luxury limousine, no, a zeppelin would have been the alternative.
Squeeze lightly for the second time. A little smoky, the wine. Strong, heavy finish. Can you not reproach the Maybach. Even at just under fifteen meters (sry. that's an exaggeration, but as I said, no facts in this article) the original S-Class design by Gordon Wagener still looks fluid, harmonious, elegant. A chocolate side from every angle. The Mercedes-Maybach is ennobled by small emblems. MM, the Maybach-Motorenwerke. And the Mercedes-Benz lettering on the steering wheel will also be replaced. Mercedes-Maybach is the new “sub-brand”. In addition to Mercedes-AMG, the sports equipment for the excursion to the gym, there is now “MM” for Mercedes-Maybach, for new luxury. For meaningful luxury. Like a good red wine, like a glass for $ 20 ...
Before we took the break, the rear of the Maybach had put me in a cocoon-like nest. Slept soundly. As good as never before in a car. Like a fast train, only much quieter; like in business class on a plane, only much more private. Mercedes-Benz should urgently consider establishing its own shuttle service with these Maybach models. The path to the next wine glass has never been more peaceful, luxurious, fine. The deep lambskin hardly lets go of the feet. Luxury is when you have too much of everything. For example, more insulation film, more sealing rubber, more nappa leather. In the end there is the quietest interior that you can currently buy in series for money. Distant noise, eliminated in advance obedience at the root.
Steve drove me that evening. The Maybach was the first car in which I voluntarily left the steering wheel to someone else. Steve wore white gloves and wanted to demonstrate to me how nice it can be to “be driven”. Unfortunately I missed it. I snored and from the kilometers of the chauffeur drive I barely noticed the doors closing. By the way, Steve didn't take off his white gloves when I invited him over for coffee. This is probably what Maybach drivers do.
Red wine, also from California, on an empty stomach. The steering wheel is also denied on the return journey. But it's ok like that. The right place in the Mercedes-Maybach is anyway on the back seat. Preferably on the right. The front passenger seat can also be pushed away by remote control. Use the last few centimeters of the 20 centimeter growth orgy.
The Maybach is actually just an S-Class. One with a lot of space. Real luxury. But no more experiments. You may find that stupid. In the end, however, it is success that decides. And while the first attempt at reviving the Maybach brand turned out to be a costly misstep, the second attempt is now based on the “best sedan” in the world.
What can go wrong there? Sometimes it is better to forego experiments. That's why I enjoyed my return journey as much as I did the outward journey: slumbering gently.
More information, more data. More facts. Soon. In this blog.