Another day, another SUV. That’s what it feels like these days as a car guy. On one hand, these bulky creatures are getting quicker and prettier and are pushing the boundaries of what a large, elevated, family car can be capable of. But this one is pure business. More specifically, business in the world’s biggest growing economy – China, where the rich folks like their cars bigger and longer. Lamborghini just gave the world its first factory spec Super SUV with the Urus and now Mercedes managed to sniff out a new niche to fill – an opulent, ginormous sedan-SUV crossover. So they went ahead and made a concept – it’s the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury.
Flamboyant and flowing styling comes as standard with much jargon in the announcement to explain this creation that was unveiled at Auto China 2018. Words like ‘sensuality’ and ‘purity’, even ‘balanced proportions’ can be found dotted on the Mercedes press release page about exterior design. But the first words that came to my mind when I laid my eyes on this vehicle were – ‘Why’, ‘Abomination’ and ‘Distinct’.
The Vision Mercedes-Maybach concepts thus far have had us drooling, but this one had me struggling to keep my lunch in my belly. The front panamericana grille design is featured on the Ultimate Luxury with its high-riding Mercedes-Maybach three-box proportions. It’s got a notchback silhouette from the side while the rear end has visually vertically split rear window, just like the sunroof.
Inside is where the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury makes some sense with the ergonomics and technology of the production series cars combined with a ridiculous level of luxury and comfort. Designed for chauffeur driven use, the back seats are the priority which are similar to that of the Maybach S-Class but with a higher level of adjustability. While it is not really relevant in this case, it’s a car and still needs a means of propulsion to get one around town and that’s another aspect in which it is focussed at the growing Chinese market. It’s all-electric with four motors for a combined output of 740bhp and a maximum range of over 500km. The 80kWh battery is chargeable via fast charging, at public charging stations and even by induction.
Even as a concept, the car is built for comfort at all times but it can get a move on if needed which is also a traditional quality of a Mercedes-Maybach. It’s worrying to think this Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury SUV Concept could garner enough interest to be put made into a production spec, but the profits could fund more ridiculous things like the AMG Project One or the E-Class All Terrain 4X4².
What do you think of this bold new design and niche? Share your thoughts in the comments below the gallery.