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Maybach is back with coupe concept

Electric grand tourer pays homage to golden era of big, bold coupes

Published: August 18, 2016, 12:40 PM
Updated: November 21, 2021, 3:25 PM

Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6

Mercedes is world renowned for its luxury offerings and around the turn of the century it attempted to resurrect the Maybach name as a standalone ultra-luxury brand to rival Rolls-Royce and Bentley, but gave up on it several years later. This concept coupe could be the flagship to re-resurrect the brand.

After cancelling Maybach the brand, Mercedes brought it back under the marque umbrella with ultra-luxury versions of the S-Class (S500 and S600), and has created a Mercedes-Maybach division (in line with Mercedes-Benz and Mercedes-AMG) with its only model the long-wheelbase S600 done up with ultra luxury goodies to compete against the Rolls-Royce Ghost and Bentley’s Flying Spur.

Now, it looks as if Mercedes-Maybach may be contemplating a new coupe model, as evidenced in the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 debuting at the Concours d’Elégance at Pebble Beach. The sleek 2-plus-2 pays homage to the age of large and bold aerodynamic grand-touring coupes.

Mercedes says the car is hot and cool, with sensual emotional design and intelligent details, respectively. It stretches nearly six metres in length and is powered by a 550-kW electric powertrain, with a shallow underfloor 80 kWh battery expected to hold enough charge to grant the car a range of over 320 km (according to the EPA, although the European agency claims over 500 km). The battery an be recharged wirelessly, and a quick charge feature reportedly adds 100 km of range in just five minutes.

On the performance front, zero to 100 reportedly takes less than four seconds, and top speed is limited to 250 km/h.

Everything about the car is sleek — the profile shows a very long hood and low-slung cabin with a fastback rear trailing right to the very edge of the trunk lid. Lights are tiny slits, as are the side mirrors (which are actually camera housings), and the flow of air around the car is smooth and efficient without the need for aerodynamic add-ons, such as spoilers.

“Our glamorous coupé, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, represents the ultimate in contemporary luxury. It is hot and cool,” states Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG. “With its intelligent appeal and reduced, technoid look, it perfectly embodies our design philosophy of sensual purity and our pursuit of aerodynamic efficiency.”

Elegant cues include a large grille Mercedes says was inspired by a finely tailored pin-stripe suit, the transparent body colour 24-inch wheels that show the aluminum spokes behind them, and the rounded boat-tail that recalls a luxury yacht. Oh, and it has the quintessential elegant design feature — gullwing doors.

The interior is naturally elegant, with authentic materials such as leather and unique colour and combinations, such as rose gold accents.

Of interest are the traditional padded upholstery buttons that here have integrated sensors that can monitor seat occupants’ vital signs, body temperature in order to automatically adjust seat heating or cooling, and even the colour of their clothing so it can set complimentary mood lighting.

The instrument panel is a continuous glass display that shows what the driver needs to drive the car (such as gauges and maps), what front seat occupants need to sit comfortably (such as height adjustments and heated cushions), and what occupants need to create a comfortable environment (such as air conditioning and streaming audio).

Things that can be adjusted use touch controls.

The windshield is also used to display information that is mostly relevant to the business of driving, with things that can be adjusted done so through gesture controls (such as a swiping gesture to change screens).

The centre console is a transparent piece that visualizes the electric drive system’s flow of energy from the front motor to the rear drive wheels, even though the car uses four motors — one at each wheel to create an all-wheel drivetrain.

And to cap it all off, there is the usual spate of bespoke features, such as a front luggage area (under a split hood) with exclusive custom-fit luggage, and the rear deck lid (below the split, slit rear windows) that unveils picnic supplies.