As sports car manufacturers wrack their brains and search their souls for how best to electrify future product, the luxury car makers are rubbing their hands with glee. All those years and all that investment in hushing internal combustion, and now the world is more than ready to accept silent battery power in their executive expresses - nothing could be better for total refinement. Rolls-Royce has already revealed its EV future, Bentley won’t be far behind, and now Maybach has this, its first plug-in hybrid model.
It's based on the S580e S-Class, which means a 367hp 3.0-litre turbo straight six with a 150hp electric motor. Total system output is rated at 510hp and 553lb ft; if required, this enormous Mercedes can reach 62mph in 5.1 seconds and 155mph. The electric top speed is 87mph, though likely of greater significance is the 62 miles of WLTP EV range, which will probably be around 40 in the real world. More than enough for a silent trip into town for the opera, or whatever it is Maybach owners do with their spare time. The S580e can also be charged, albeit optionally, at up to 60kW, so an empty battery can be full again in half an hour. While it seems unlikely that owners will sully uber S-Class ownership with public chargers, it’s nice to know the capability is there. An 11kW charger is standard.
Elevating this above the rest of the S-Class range are the familiar brand cues - badges, wheels, grille - as well as electric specific bits ‘discreetly integrated with typical Maybach expertise’; it points to the concealed charging socket on the left, the blue-accented headlights, or even the ‘battery charging state in the instrument panel’. Plainly this isn’t a drastic Maybach overhaul.
But don’t think Maybach plans on being left behind in the EV luxury race. This S580e is described as a “pivotal step in the transformation of our heritage brand into an electric future” by Daniel Lescow, boss of Maybach at Mercedes; once it’s on sale imminently in China, then Thailand, then Europe, we’re told to expect a full Maybach EV later this year. Presumably that will be based on one of the existing Mercedes electric saloons, an EQE or EQS, but it’s hard to predict too much with any confidence in the electric age. Don't be the farm against the first electric Maybach being an SUV…
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