Welcome back, Maybach.
The ultra-luxe German brand's come to reclaim its place as top dog in the Mercedes arsenal with the Mercedes-Maybach S600. The level of engineering and craftsmanship that went into building this car is phenomenal, and that's an understatement.
The wood—yes, that's piano lacquer on the dash—is as precise and beautiful as you'd expect from the most luxurious car built in Germany, but it's the additional touches that set it apart. The A/C ionizes the air and emits a custom scent developed specifically for this car.
If you're wondering, it's described as "smoky" and "wooden."
Leather options? You've got 'em. First pick the kind of leather you want then choose the type of quilting you want it to have...even on the dashboard and headliner.
The back is where the niceties get taken up a notch. The seats power recline and there's enough leg and headroom for the average NBA center to take a nap. The sunroof is photoelectric and dims itself at the touch of a button. The obligatory silver-plated champagne flutes? Handmade by the nearly 130 year-old German silversmith company that's the standard supplier to most mega yachts and Michelin-starred restaurants.
Let's talk about the audio system. Those sleek metal covers over the speakers have their own ambient lighting that syncs with whatever music you've got playing. The 3D sound system is built by Burmester, which is a great start, but it's got 24 speakers, and every single one of them has its own amplifier to ensure sound clarity.
Also, they move. They sit on tiny motors and spiral out in the direction of the passenger up to a full centimeter, to ensure the sound hits you optimally, no matter where you've moved your seat.
It says an awful lot about the car when we don't even mention the 523 hp twin-turbo V12 engine until the last paragraph. The thing is, the S600 can still out-accelerate most cars on the road in a drag race, but it really doesn't have to. If you're in this, you've already won.
Aaron Miller is the Rides editor for Supercompressor, and can be found on Twitter. The last time he saw a Maybach in person, Bernie Ecclestone climbed into it, and it was funny watching such a small man disappear into such a large car.