Half-car, half-SUV Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury premiers in Beijing
Mercedes-Benz has unveiled a new Maybach edition of the S-Class as a half-car, half-sport utility crossover. The vehicle is exclusively high end and aims to combine the strengths of both body styles. Mercedes (wrongfully) claims this is a first-of-its-kind vehicle.
"The Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury is a totally new archetype of a kind never seen before," says Gordon Wagener, Chief Design Officer at Daimler AG, who is apparently totally unaware of German neighbor BMW's "Sport Activity Vehicle" line of crossovers. "Our concept combines the DNA of an SUV with that of a sedan to produce an ultra-modern SUV of three-box design."
Although the designer of the Maybach-branded crossover may be incorrect in assuming it's a first, he is correct in claiming it's a very compelling, beautiful luxury design. The Ultimate Luxury has the wide cascading grille found on many Mercedes-Benz sport utilities, but foregoes the usual giant MB emblem at center and uses the smaller Maybach plate at its top. The flowing hood is much like the larger crossovers in the Mercedes-Benz line, but with more well-defined lines and a slightly rounded edge at front.
To the sides, the front fenders are less pronounced than an SUV's would be and more in line with a sedan, though wide and tall wheel arches still give the clearance and implied capability of a crossover. The bodywork and greenhouse are very sedan-esque with a midline greenhouse edge, close-cut beltline, and fast curvature to the roof. The rear fender is pronounced, but not bulbous, while the roofline and deck above retain the sedan form.
The look for the Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury is good on the outside, but inside the true Maybach touch of luxuriousness is seen. Flowing lines, a continuous edge from dash to door, and a somewhat odd, but still architecturally compelling open center console defines the front portion of the Ultimate Luxury's interior. Large screens take up the dash along the top, front edge – one as the instrument cluster and the other as the infotainment screen.
In the rear, captain's chairs not unlike those up front are positioned outside of the continuing center tunnel. Mercedes took the chance to not forget Asian luxury buyers with a built-in tea seat, flowers, and a lot of flowing ebony woodwork around the cabin.
The Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury is based on the S-Class. It is powered by a 750 horsepower (550 kW) all-electric powertrain with an 80kWh battery pack located under the crossover's floor. Mercedes estimates the range of this luxury electric to be about 200 miles (500 km) per charge and the vehicle's top speed is 155 mph (250 km/h). Charging capacity of up to 350 kW is available for the Ultimate Luxury, using the Combined Charging System (CCS/Combo2) standard, with a 60-mile (97-km) range being available in only five minutes using that standard.
The Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury is part of the Vision series of conceptual show cars from Mercedes-Benz, which recently has also included the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Coupe and Cabriolet.