We’re expecting Mercedes to roll out a facelifted S-Class soon. But before it does, the German automaker has introduced a series of relatively minor revisions for its flagship sedan – the most significant of them arguably being the arrival of all-wheel drive in the top-of-the-line Maybach version.
Starting with the 2017 model year, upscale buyers looking for the height of luxury combined with all-weather traction will be able to order up the Mercedes-Maybach S550 4Matic. What’s more is that it’s actually less expensive than the existing version. That’s because it slots in underneath the existing Mercedes-Maybach S600, with its 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12. But despite the lower output from the 4.7-liter twin-turbo V8, Mercedes quotes the same 0-60 time of 5.0 seconds – likely enabled by the reduced weight and increased traction.
So instead of having to shell out $191,300, the new 4Matic version comes it at “only” $166,200 (plus a $925 destination charge). That compares rather favorably with the Bentley Flying Spur that offers either four- or twelve-cylinder power (both with all-wheel drive) starting over $200k, or the Rolls-Royce Ghost, which starts closer to $300,000 with its twelve-cylinder, rear-drive powertrain.
The Maybach models account for just two of the seven versions of the S-Class sedan that Mercedes offers in the United States, joined by the base S550, the S550e plug-in hybrid, S600 with its V12 engine, and the S63 and S65 AMG performance models. And that’s before we even get into the coupe and convertible versions.
For 2017, all S-Class sedabs also come with the Mbrace2 Connect package as standard. Also available as a new option is the Magic Sky Control panoramic roof panel that tints at the push of a button. Of course, the main addition to the Maybach range is the arrival of the armored S600 Pullman Guard.
The bigger revisions, however, will follow when Daimler introduces the anticipated update to the S-Class to help it maintain its position as the market leader against the newer BMW 7 Series just introduced and the forthcoming new Audi A8.