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Exterior design of the new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class

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Exterior design of the new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class

The new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class: Exterior design

Well-balanced proportions and many exclusive details

The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class expresses the superlative luxury that is the hallmark of the brand. It is a well-conceived combination of sublime beauty and trailblazing technology. It has an 18 centimetre longer wheelbase than the long Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Plus a number of exclusive features.

The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is a classic three-box saloon with perfect proportions. These are determined by a short front overhang, the longest wheelbase in this model family, a well-balanced rear overhang and large wheels.

Distinguishing features at the front include the distinctive bonnet with a chromed fin and the Mercedes-Maybach radiator grille. This is highly recognisable by its vertical, three-dimensional trim strips. The word mark MAYBACH is elegantly integrated into the chrome surround of the grille. The equally distinctive bumper further emphasises the vehicle’s width with the shape of its air inlets, whose black mesh is also optionally available in chrome.

The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class also differs from its brother models when viewed from the side: The rear doors and flowing, more upright C-pillars underline the model’s superlative status. The fixed quarterlight in the C-pillar is framed by a high-quality surround that seamlessly blends into the side trim. Exclusivity is emphasised by the Maybach brand logo on the C-pillar. In some countries the brand logo is illuminated. The side view is characterised by flush-fitted door handles and 19, 20 or 21-inch wheels specially designed and reserved for this model. The optional ambient illumination projects the brand logo next to the opened front doors in LED technology.

The luxury saloon has the progressively designed, two-section rear lights of the new S-Class generation. Additional lights in the precisely laid-out interior, as well as partly animated functions, also make the Mercedes-Maybach unmistakable at night. The model-specific rear bumper and exhaust tailpipes also lend uniqueness to the rear view.

As well as non-metallic, metallic and designo paint finishes, the range of paintwork for the Mercedes-Maybach additionally includes two-tone finishes with a fine, hand-painted dividing line known as the pin-stripe (see “Under the microscope”). This particularly reinforces the extraordinary hand-built impression.

The new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class: Under the microscope: Two-tone paintwork

One week for the second colour

On request, the exclusive appearance of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class can be enhanced by a two-tone paint finish with dividing line. This is applied by hand according to the highest quality criteria. It can take up to one week before the vehicle is returned to the regular production process from the custom paintshop.

Even a two-tone Maybach begins its painting process in regular production. In the paintshop, the bodyshell is automatically and electrostatically given a full coat of paint in the colour that will eventually embellish the lower half of the body – plus a layer of clearcoat. In the electrostatic painting process, statically charged paint particles are atomised and deposited on the (earthed) bodyshell.

The bodyshell is then sent to the custom paintshop. Once there, the entire bodyshell is ground to a matt finish by hand. Thorough cleaning is followed by the first, particularly demanding work stage: masking off. As the designers did not position the dividing line between the upper and lower paint finishes in a recess or below a trim strip, this requires extremely precise hand-painting. A special adhesive tape with a corresponding gap is used to apply the only four‑millimetre wide dividing line between the two colours.

As an interesting detail, the doors are weighted with weights before masking the dividing line. This is to simulate the effect of subsequent interior finishing with windows, power window fittings, loudspeakers, panelling and other technical equipment. This allowance ensures that the dividing line along the side and doors will later be at exactly the same height.

All the surfaces that will later bear the lower colour are masked off. These also include the transitions to the interior, e.g. at the doors or wheel arches – even where trim or a lining will later be installed. This too is part of the dedication to quality.

The exposed parts of the body are now completely painted by hand. Pneumatically atomised by compressed air, the paint is applied so that it presents the same picture as after electrostatic painting – this is important because removable parts installed later on, e.g. the bumpers, must precisely match the paint finish. Before the new base coat has fully dried, the masking tape is carefully removed without damaging the edges. The complete bodyshell is then given a new coat of clear varnish.

This has to happen within a very short time window, so that the edges between the paint coats blend into each other and cannot be felt afterwards – unlike competitors, where the dividing line is painted on. If the experts in the custom paintshop are not satisfied, the complete bodyshell is reground, the topcoat is re-finished and the whole bodyshell is given a clearcoat. All in all, the process including the necessary drying times can take up to one week.

The following colour combinations from the Mercedes-Maybach paint chart are available, the choice being dictated by whether the upper colour can fully cover the lower colour:

Lower colour Upper colour
designo diamond white bright obsidian black
high-tech silver selenite grey
obsidian black selenite grey
nautical blue high-tech silver
rubellite red designo kalahari gold
onyx black designo kalahari gold
obsidian black high-tech silver
obsidian black rubellite red
emerald green Mojave silver
Mojave silver onyx black