Mercedes-Benz has presented a whole new category of car design with its Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury concept at Auto China in Beijing. It purports to be a true crossover in that it combines facets of an SUV with the traditional profile of a high-end sedan. But the Ultimate Luxury concept is clearly a conversation starter. It has drawn sharp criticism from social media while showcasing a new idea.
“The Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury is a totally new archetype of a kind never seen before,” says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer at Daimler AG. “Our concept combines the DNA of an SUV with that of a saloon to produce an ultra-modern SUV of three-box design,” says Wagener. “With sensuality and pure sophistication, we have created a timeless vehicle that underscores the position of Mercedes-Maybach as the ultimate luxury brand.”
In some ways the concept embodies some of the tall sided car designs of the pre and post second world war era, with ample space built in to its dimensions. The cars exterior takes the traditional three-box concept further. Visually too the presence of the large Maybach grille adds to the feeling of a nostalgic past.
The interiors are a blend of high tech dashboard with luxurious cabin design, using wood and rich leather with white tones throughout the cabin. The steering wheel is dominated by a monstrous three-pointed star on the boss, ahead of the twin 12.3″ displays. Other than that there is a minimum of instrumentation. The Maybach insignia can be found strewn throughout the cabin – on the centre console, on the pedals and even on the glove box. Seating is in a 4-seater format like you would expect on a luxury limousine.
The Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury is powered by an electric drivetrain driven by an 80 kWh battery underfloor. Power output is 550 kW (750 hp) and the range is reported to be over 500 km. Charging capacity can be as high as 350 kW on the DC CCS system.
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While the concept is open to instant pushback – we feel the company will actually bring the car to production in the next couple of years. It departs from the traditional form factors we are used to in the luxury segment and immediately creates an entirely new segment. However, the combination of new form and electric drive will most likely see the rejuvenation of Maybach as a standalone brand and this car could be the Phantom competitor that Mercedes-Benz were looking for so long.