Automotive

Towering Chinese smart RV features elevator to second-floor sunroom

Towering Chinese smart RV feat...
Enjoy more space and better views with the high-rising SAIC Maxus V90 Life Home Villa Edition
Enjoy more space and better views with the high-rising SAIC Maxus V90 Life Home Villa Edition
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SAIC Maxus creates a large, comfortable living area by expanding the space with driver- and passenger-side slide-outs
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SAIC Maxus creates a large, comfortable living area by expanding the space with driver- and passenger-side slide-outs
The upstairs uses its glass design to offer a bright, scenic place to relax ... the hanging kettle shown here is a nice touch
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The upstairs uses its glass design to offer a bright, scenic place to relax ... the hanging kettle shown here is a nice touch
On the wall behind the kitchen, you can see the solo elevator to the left of the bathroom
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On the wall behind the kitchen, you can see the solo elevator to the left of the bathroom
The SAIC Maxus V90 Life Home Villa Edition offers "villa"-like space thanks to its multiple expansions
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The SAIC Maxus V90 Life Home Villa Edition offers "villa"-like space thanks to its multiple expansions
SAIC Maxus shows what it can do with RV customization
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SAIC Maxus shows what it can do with RV customization
Enjoy more space and better views with the high-rising SAIC Maxus V90 Life Home Villa Edition
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Enjoy more space and better views with the high-rising SAIC Maxus V90 Life Home Villa Edition
That's one large forehead
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That's one large forehead
SAIC Maxus gives the Villa Edition a large rear LED lighting array
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SAIC Maxus gives the Villa Edition a large rear LED lighting array
The SAIC Maxus V90 Life Home Villa Edition in compact form
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The SAIC Maxus V90 Life Home Villa Edition in compact form
If the sunroom gets a little too stuffy, you can step out onto the front deck
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If the sunroom gets a little too stuffy, you can step out onto the front deck
The Villa Edition has sharp lighting and illuminated badges to match its colorful exterior
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The Villa Edition has sharp lighting and illuminated badges to match its colorful exterior
View gallery - 11 images

A very different style of Asian RV to the tiny Japanese and Korean mini-campers that inspire endless wanderlust, the SAIC Maxus Life Home V90 Villa Edition lives considerably larger. That's thanks to a pair of slide-outs widening the first floor and a pop-up, full-height glass-encased second story served by its own elevator. Smart tech and clean, sharp aesthetics, inside and out, team to put the finishing touches on a stylish mobile domicile that lives as comfortably as a townhome ... with a price to match.

Not long after we looked at the much humbler Maxus RG20 pop-up camper van, SAIC Maxus went nuclear with one of the more astounding RV designs we've seen in recent years. It revealed the Life Home V90 Villa Edition at a premiere event last October to show the possibilities of its customization program. The large, cutting-edge Class C motorhome serves as something of an aspirational flagship of its RV family.

The Villa Edition initially caught our eye with its large pop-up glasshouse, not to mention the small attached balcony over the driver cab. We're not sure we'd want to spend long days motoring all the Villa Edition's weight up and down mountains, and certainly not through snow or mud, but it does make for a gorgeous living space once it plants temporary roots at camp.

The Villa Edition has sharp lighting and illuminated badges to match its colorful exterior
The Villa Edition has sharp lighting and illuminated badges to match its colorful exterior

In contrast to larger two-story on-road and off-road Class A motorhomes, SAIC Maxus integrates its standing-height pop-up second floor rather neatly into a Class C alcove configuration, using split window walls that fold in half below the oversized roof. Maxus has semi-successfully styled around the roof's huge size with a smoothed-over, aeronautical-inspired construction, but that bulging forehead is still pretty hard to overlook.

Occupants should quickly forgive the roof's hulking size when they arrive at their destination, though. It rises high to open the upstairs into a roomy lounge with near-floor-to-ceiling glass walls providing a high indoor vantage point from which to connect with nature. The glass itself can adjust between clear and opaque, allowing owners to adjust between greater privacy and crystal-clear views.

The upstairs uses its glass design to offer a bright, scenic place to relax ... the hanging kettle shown here is a nice touch
The upstairs uses its glass design to offer a bright, scenic place to relax ... the hanging kettle shown here is a nice touch

The multipurpose upstairs space puts the focus on health and well-being. Even non-yogis might be inspired to face the window with the best sunlight-drenched view and strike a pose, and the room is also equipped to work as a dining area, tea room and study ... essentially a place to fully escape and enjoy the natural scenery, without abandoning the warmth and comfort of the indoors. The small, illuminated deck out front provides a nearby option for a breath of fresh air.

The upstairs measures 12.4 sq m (133 sq ft), but the downstairs houses a larger 20-sq m (215-sq ft) floor space thanks to the dual sidewall expansions. This area is largely dedicated to a roomy lounge and kitchen separated by a bar counter, offering the look and feel of a condo or apartment. The kitchen comes equipped with a cooktop, oven and sink, and the fridge is just across the hall in a closet next to the entryway.

SAIC Maxus creates a large, comfortable living area by expanding the space with driver- and passenger-side slide-outs
SAIC Maxus creates a large, comfortable living area by expanding the space with driver- and passenger-side slide-outs

The living room, meanwhile, offers a generous amount of legroom around an L-shaped corner sofa set next to a long side window. On the wall opposite the window, the large transparent TV anchors an entertainment system that also includes full audio and a ceiling-mounted multi-unit projection system.

Maxus' X-Connect RV smart system controls the fully connected electronics and amenities around the living area and vehicle cockpit. Occupants can access the system using a wall-mounted touchscreen, mobile device or compatible wearables. App, voice and gesture control round off an advanced smart home environment optimized for road travel.

The wall behind the kitchen is occupied by the bathroom and another Villa Edition highlight: the compact single-person elevator that provides a more modern way of getting up to the second floor, eliminating reliance on the usual ladder or mini-staircase.

On the wall behind the kitchen, you can see the solo elevator to the left of the bathroom
On the wall behind the kitchen, you can see the solo elevator to the left of the bathroom

When night falls, the main bed can be found in the alcove above the driver cab. We don't see any mention or visuals of other sleeping berths, but both the downstairs sofa and upstairs benches could easily provide room for the rest of the family, assuming they convert into beds.

Back outside, the Villa Edition's vibrant graphics package befits a flagship motorhome. Bright gold trim outlines the various shades of blue on the broad sides, while sharp LED lighting and illuminated "Maxus" badges throughout brighten things up. The design motif even extends upward onto the pop-up windows, adding a little extra flair when the motorhome is parked with its top up.

If the sunroom gets a little too stuffy, you can step out onto the front deck
If the sunroom gets a little too stuffy, you can step out onto the front deck

The Life Home V90 Villa Edition serves as a showcase of high-end customization possibilities, now and in the future, but SAIC Maxus did slap a CN¥2.68-million price on it during the debut last year. That converts over to around US$413,000 using current exchange rates, so it's a pretty penny for a Class C motorhome no matter which side of the ocean you find yourself RVing on.

Our pictures are limited to renderings, but SAIC Maxus did in fact prepare a full vehicle, complete with working roof, elevator and components, which you can view a quick tour of starting around 1:10 of this video (with English subtitles). There are some other interesting RVs in the video, as well.

Source: SAIC Maxus (Chinese)

View gallery - 11 images
4 comments
4 comments
paul314
Just short of 350 sq ft, so about the size of a large studio or small one-bedroom apartment. Find a longterm parking space for one of these in a hot urban area and it would be cheaper too.

I think the elevator is not nearly as ridiculous as it might initially sound. Takes up no more space than a ladder, and way easier to negotiate for most of the demographic who might be into this kind of travel and have the cash to afford it.
guzmanchinky
This has more living space (and better living space upstairs) than an RV twice as long. And those cost about 300-400k...
Aross
That is an awful lot of 5 star hotel nights for a drive yourself hotel room.
BlueOak
Anybody can do fake renderings. Implementing a reliably and functionally in the real world is an entirely different thing.