In case you haven’t noticed, the number of twelve-cylinder cars on sale is worryingly low. Before today, your options were a Ferrari, a Lamborghini, Bentleys (with their unusual W-12 engine design), a few Rollers, and a BMW. Now, Mercedes has very kindly thrown another V-12 into the mix, bolting its big twelve into the Mercedes-Maybach S680 limousine. It’ll be the only way to get a V-12 in your W223-generation Mercedes S-Class.
The twin-turbo 6.0-liter V-12 is the big news here, as everything else about this new Maybach is similar to eight-cylinder S580 model that broke cover late last year. Despite years of doom and gloom predictions about the Mercedes V-12’s future (AMG, for example, stopped incorporating the V-12 in its sporty wares), the engine isn’t gone yet—and, in fact, Mercedes even figured out how to package the V-12 with two front driveshafts, finally combining its smooth powerhouse with all-wheel drive. Previous V-12 S-Class models were rear-wheel-drive-only due to packaging restrictions.
Power is up to 621 hp and torque is rated at a monstrous 738 lb-ft. Even though Maybachs aren’t exactly performance machines, that makes it the most powerful S-Class Mercedes has ever made—on par with the previous generation’s S65 AMG Final Edition. Power is routed through a nine-speed automatic transmission and the torque split of the AWD system is 31-percent front, 69-percent rear.
Everything else you’ve come to expect from a Maybach is still here, too. The extra lengthy wheelbase, chrome exterior accents, and an entire pasture’s worth of leather interior trimmings all help make this much more than just a tarted-up S-Class. Other goodies such as active sound cancellation from a Burmeister 4D surround sound system helps cancel out nasty road noises, and rear axle steering makes this near 18-foot-long barge more maneuverable. Oh, and there are “V12” badges on the front fenders of this Maybach just to subtly let everyone know you spent the extra cash for four more cylinders.
The S680 will go on sale in the first half of 2022, and even though Mercedes isn’t talking dollars and cents yet, we’re pretty sure this Maybach will have a starting sum of well over $200,000.
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