Mercedes-Maybach makes the impossible probable

Not long ago most enthusiasts would have cringed at the thought of Porsche making an SUV. Then – horror of horrors – Bentley, Maserati, Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce and even Ferrari follow up with their take on the theme.

Now Mercedes-Maybach is at it. It’s just a concept for now, and although it’s likely based on the next generation Mercedes-Benz GLS, it will be a lot less ordinary. The Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury, as it’s called, will to some be a triumph of overstyling. The design team would like us to value its ‘balanced proportions’ and ‘sensual purity’. For now, let’s just say it has presence aplenty.

The affable Gorden Wagener, Daimler AG’s design boss in Sindelfingen, AMG’s headquarters, said recently, ‘It is a totally new archetype. This concept has the DNA of an SUV combined with a saloon to create an ultra-modern SUV of three-box design.’

I blame China for all this. Buyers there have lined up to buy more than 500 Mercedes-Maybach cars a month, and is now by far the brands’ biggest market.

Aimed squarely at billionaires, it includes a porcelain tea service embedded into an electric ebony-wood tray, while white nappa-leather lie-flat seats pamper plutocratic bottoms with aromatherapy and massage functions. Whatever you think of its looks, it does reflect Maybach’s design language, which will no doubt continue the marque’s current renaissance.

This article by Richard Webb originally appeared in Issue 40 0f Private Edition.

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