Previews the upcoming Mercedes-Maybach GLS

Revived in 1997 after more than 50 years of absence, the Maybach brand didn’t make much of an impact on the luxury market, with its S-Class-based models failing to impress against the Rolls-Royces and the Bentleys. As a result, Mercedes-Benz discontinued the name in 2012. The brand returned as Mercedes-Maybach in 2015, and although it still delivers revised S-Class sedans with longer wheelbases and more luxury features, it aims to offer other Mercedes vehicles too. Unlike its predecessor, Mercedes-Maybach also produced concept cars, with a pair of Vision 6 two-door models showcasing spectacular designs. Come 2018 and Maybach unveiled its third concept car, this time around design to preview an upcoming SUV.

Called the Vision Ultimate Luxury, this new concept vehicle is said to preview the Maybach version of the Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class. However, the concept itself isn’t exactly an SUV, but a hybrid design that combines the features of a utility vehicle with the rear end of a notchback sedan. Inside the cabin, the Ultimate Luxury is actually more production friendly than the Vision 6 coupe, while its all-electric drivetrain is identical with the other two Maybach concept cars. It definitely won’t make it into production in this form, but it previews a few interesting design cues and technologies. Let’s find out more in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury

  • 2018 Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury
  • Year:
    2018
  • Make:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    737
  • 0-60 time:
    4 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:

Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury Exterior

- * Vision 6 design features
- * Notchback rear end
- * SUV stance
- * Unbalanced overall design
- * Sporty bumpers

2018 Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury Exterior
- image 778326
The Ultimate Luxury concept combines the looks of SUVs and notchback sedans

As the name suggests, the Maybach Ultimate Luxury is based on the Vision 6 concept from 2017. But although it borrows certain features, like the big grille and the three-piece headlamps, it boasts a rather weird body style. While it has the look of a luxury sedan up front, the deck lid is unexpectedly short for such a rig, while the ride height is of the SUV variety. Maybach explains that the Ultimate Luxury concept combines the looks of SUVs and notchback sedans, which are the most successful body styles on the Chinese market. While this may be true, the combination is not exactly fortunate.

Now don’t get me wrong. The vehicle is quite athletic and the fact that it lacks beads and sharp edges gives it the kind of elegance you’d expect from a Maybach. But it’s far from boasting the "balanced proportions and tremendous presence" that Maybach is talking about. Sure, the front fascia looks imposing and could give the Rolls-Royce Phantom a run for its money in the stance department, but the short deck lid and the SUV-style ride height don’t make a great pair. A slightly longer wheelbase and a longer rear section would have made this concept car look incredibly elegant. Unfortunately, it’s not the case.

2018 Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury Exterior
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The front bumper adds sportiness by means of big side vents and slim lower intakes

Still, the details are nice, starting with chrome-plated radiator grille borrowed from the Vision 6 concept and the slim headlamps with three distinct clusters and hockey stick LED daytime running lights. The front bumper adds sportiness by means of big side vents and slim lower intakes.

Onto the side, the concept turns into an SUV thanks to its large, 24-inch wheels, which have a mesmerizing turbine-style design, black cladding around the wheel arches, and utilitarian side skirts. The upright C-pillar also adds to the utilitarian look, but at the same time it contributes to the car’s weird appearance in combination with the short deck lid.

2018 Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury Exterior
- image 778323
The Ultimate Luxury isn’t a bad design exercise, but only as long as you ignore the rear end

The rear section reminds me a bit of the GLE-Class Coupe thanks to the deck lid, the chrome strip above the taillights, and the clean trunk lid, and the sculpted bumper. But needless to say, it has plenty of unique features, including the three-piece lights, the big outlets, and the diffuser-like element. Finally, the Ultimate Luxury also borrows the split front hood from the Vision 6. The split trim continues on the glass roof and moves on to split the rear window too.

Overall, the Ultimate Luxury isn’t a bad design exercise, but only as long as you ignore the rear end. I don’t say this often, but I’m actually glad that this concept won’t make it into production with these features.

Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury Interior

- * Two-tier dashboard
- * 12.3-inch displays
- * Massive ebody trim
- * Nappa leather
- * Luxury seats
- * Teapot set
- * New user experience system

2018 Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury Interior
- image 778329
The seats have an SUV-like position, sitting higher than in a sedan

While the exterior will make you question Maybach’s sanity, the interior is exactly what a luxury land yacht needs. The design is fairly simple up front, with a simple dashboard that only holds a pair of A/C vents and the 12.3-inch displays we’ve already seen in production Mercedes-Benz models. However, the lower section extends closer to the seats, giving the dash a two-tier layout. What’s more, the center console seems sunken in thanks to the two arms that extend from the center stack to the tunnel.

The steering combines sportiness with elegance, featuring a flat bottom, white leather rim, and a blue center section. But by far my most favorite feature in here is the ebony on the upper dash and the door panels. Nothing says elegance better than a big slab of wood and Maybach picked out a fine piece of ebony, a traditional wood in Chinese furniture design. It also provides a great contrast with the center console and seats covered in Crystal White leather.

Speaking gof which, the seats have an SUV-like position, sitting higher than in a sedan. They’re also wrapped in fine Nappa leather with a diamond quilt design. The look of the front section is rounded off by Rose Gold trim, Pearl Grey detailing, and brushed aluminum elements.

2018 Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury Interior
- image 778331
The center console extends through to the rear and includes a heated tray with teapot and cups

The rear section is even more interesting. For starters, it’s very spacious, with a lots of legroom in front of the two seats. The seats themselves look really comfortable and have plenty of lateral support and even leather-wrapped pillows. The wide center console extends through to the rear and includes an integral, heated tray with teapot and cups. The tea service is integrated into a sculpted wooden tray made of ebony and it can be electrically retracted into the console under a sliding cover at the push of a button. Fancy!

The concept is fitted with a new user experience system that combines touchscreen, the touchpad on the center console, and Touch Control buttons in the steering wheel. It provides a more intuitive control experience and reduces driver distraction for enhanced safety.

Needless to say, if this interior would go into production, Maybach would finally have a competitor for Rolls-Royce vehicles.

Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury Performance

- * Same drivetrain as Vision 6
- * Four electric motors
- * AWD system
- * 80-kWh battery
- * 737 horsepower
- * More than 200 miles of range

2018 Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury Exterior
- image 778318
The Ultimate Luxury uses four electric motors, a flat battery in the floor, and an all-wheel-drive system

Not surprisingly, the Ultimate Luxury concept is an all-electric vehicle. And I say "not surprisingly" because Maybach’s previous two concepts, the Vision 6 coupe and convertible, were also pure EVs. Actually, the Ultimate Luxury uses the exact same drivetrain with four electric motors, a flat battery in the floor, and an all-wheel drive system.

Output is rated at the same 750 PS as in the Vision 6, which converts to 737 horsepower. There’s no word as to how quick this SUV gets to 60 mph, but it should be as quick as the Vision 6, which achieves the benchmark in "less than four seconds." Top speed is also identical, being limited to 155 mph, which isn’t bad at all for an electric vehicle.

2018 Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury Exterior
- image 778319
The Ultimate Luxury concept could return at least 200 miles under EPA standards

As far as range goes, the 80-kWh battery is able to provide a range of over 500 km on the European NEDC cycle. Mercedes-Benz estimates that the Ultimate Luxury concept would return at least 200 miles under EPA standards.

The quick charging function from the Vision 6 is also used here. Specifically, Using DC charging based on the CCS standard, the system allows an impressive charging capacity of up to 350 kW. In just five minutes, enough power can be charged to achieve an additional range of around 62 miles. The battery can either be charged via a cable connection at a public charging station or a conventional domestic outlet. Also, it can be charged wirelessly via an electromagnetic field.

Given that Mercedes has already showcased this drivetrain in three different concept cars, there’s a big chance that we will see it in a production model in a couple of years.

Conclusion

2018 Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury Exterior
- image 778317

While some concept cars are drop-dead gorgeous, others are of the "love it or hate it" variety. This thing, well, it’s in a league of its own, as in it’s the ugliest luxury concept ever made. Okay, I’m a bit harsh here, but I really can’t understand what Mercedes was thinking with that notchback rear end and the SUV stance. This concept would have been better off as a proper SUV with a long roof and a tailgate. And given that it previous the Maybach version of the Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class, it would have made more sense too. Designers, huh?

  • Leave it
    • Ugly rear end
    • Awkward design combination

References

2016 Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6 High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
- image 685666

Read our full review on the 2017 Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6 Concept.

2017 Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6 Cabriolet Exterior High Resolution Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2017 Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6 Cabrioelt.

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 654044

Read our full review on the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS.

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Read more Mercedes-Benz news.

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Read more 2018 Beijing Auto Show news.

Press release

At "Auto China 2018" in Beijing, Mercedes-Benz is presenting the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury. The design of the crossover, based on an exclusive high-end saloon and an SUV, follows the philosophy of Sensual Purity. The show car combines the comfort and typical strengths of both body styles. These include the raised seating position and the athletic looks. The Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury is conceived as an electric vehicle with four compact permanent-magnet synchronous motors and fully variable all-wheel drive.

"The Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury is a totally new archetype of a kind never seen before," says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer at Daimler AG. "Our concept combines the DNA of an SUV with that of a saloon to produce an ultra-modern SUV of three-box design," says Wagener. "With sensuality and pure sophistication, we have created a timeless vehicle that underscores the position of Mercedes-Maybach as the ultimate luxury brand."

Continuing the Mercedes-Maybach success story

The concept vehicle not only embodies the Mercedes-Maybach design language, it also reflects the traditional brand values while continuing the successful Mercedes-Maybach story. True to the principle of creating "the very best from the very best", Mercedes-Maybach stands for the ultimate in luxury while uniting the perfection of Mercedes-Benz with the exclusivity of Maybach.

The show car also merges influences from the Western and Far Eastern hemispheres to deliver an appealing automotive cultural dialogue. For instance, use is made of "Magic Wood", ebony, which is traditional in Chinese furniture design. The same motif is also underlined by the combination of SUV and notchback saloon, which are the most successful body styles not only internationally, but especially on the Chinese market.

In the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury, spaciousness and comfort, in combination with the raised seating position, elegant design and finest materials, particularly in the rear, give rise to a luxury experience at the highest level. The vehicle stands in exemplary manner for the typical Mercedes-Maybach values: traditional craftsmanship, uniqueness and individualisation.

Exterior design: harmony of sensuality and purity

Smooth, extravagant surfaces with no beads or sharp edges create an image of sporty elegance: the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury has a majestic look. With its balanced proportions, the vehicle has tremendous presence.

The front end is accentuated by the distinctive chrome-plated radiator grille with its fine vertical bars in the style of a pinstripe suit. The new grille design celebrated its world premiere in the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, the exclusive coupé concept car that delighted aficionados and fans of the brand in 2016. It also inspired the latest reinterpretation for the Mercedes-Maybach S‑Class.

In combination with the low-profile front headlamps with three lamp units, the grille dominates the front view of the vehicle while emphasising its brand affiliation. The large air inlets along with the horizontal air inlet with integral chrome blades underline the sportiness of the SUV saloon while lending it a dynamic look. The air inlets are crossed by the brand’s typical honeycomb pattern. A continuous trim strip extends from the split bonnet across the roof through to the rear end.

Unlike a conventional saloon, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury offers a significantly higher, SUV-typical seating position and therefore a sublime driving experience. This addresses the desire of many customers for a feeling of protection and security – a challenge for the designers. Ultimately, the task was to harmoniously transfer the familiar three-box design – bonnet, passenger compartment and boot – to an SUV-like architecture. This produces an interesting tension between the poles of sportiness and Mercedes-Maybach luxury.

The upright C-pillar, long, gently forward-sloping bonnet and compact notchback dominate the sportily elegant side view. The muscular volume of the flank is accentuated by a long wheelbase and short rear overhangs. The overall appearance is rounded off by 24‑i nch turbine-look wheels.

Truncated running boards in machined aluminium are integrated in the lower door area. They are illuminated in white and bear the Maybach logo. The overall vehicle is accentuated by subtle chrome trim above the running boards as well as in the lower area of the front and rear ends. The electrically extending door handles are flush with the sides.

At the rear end, the three-part lamps are reminiscent of the design of the front headlamps. Situated above them is the visually vertically split rear window. Another striking feature is the modelled underride guard with diffuser look. It, too, is permeated by the Maybach pattern from the front end.

Sublimeness meets lightness: interior design

The interior of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury features an exciting contrast between high-level sportiness and luxurious spaciousness. This show car is the ultimate embodiment of a luxury dream automobile. The goal of the interior designers was to provide echoes of the series-produced vehicles while, however, transporting them into an unprecedented world of luxury. They created a symbiosis of sportiness, modernity and elegance, giving an idea of coming generations of Mercedes-Maybach models.

Exclusive materials with high-grade highlights exude exquisite quality in the interior, thereby underlining the vehicle’s superlative luxury. The generous feeling of spaciousness, together with the high-contrast colour compositions, make for a hitherto unattained luxury experience. The colours employed are typical of the brand, such as rosé gold, crystal white and pearl grey. Flowing forms, delicate fabrics and aluminium parts create an exciting contrast between the sportily elegant details of an SUV and the lightness of a saloon.

As the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury is intended primarily for chauffeur-driven use, its design is strongly focused on the rear passengers and their well-being. It is in the rear that the feeling of cosy spaciousness is at its most intense.

The driver’s area and cockpit are reduced to the essentials. Air vents, which reflect the design of the radiator grille, surround the free-standing Widescreen Cockpit with double 12.3‑inch displays. The feeling of spaciousness is further enhanced by a light, contrasting bottom part of the instrument panel as well as by the reduced height of the dashboard. Overall, the interior creates an atmosphere of luxurious cosiness that allows the occupants to relax pleasantly. To emphasise the visual lightness, the rosé gold frame of the front seats is open, exposing the white leather to view. The colour/material scheme celebrates the superlative luxury of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach with exquisite materials and breathtaking surfaces.

The luxurious lightness of the interior is emphasised by the colours crystal white, finest nappa leather and a sensual shade of brown that features a light metallic finish on the instrument panel. Gleaming surfaces in polished aluminium generate exciting reflections while mirroring the highlight: the rosé gold-coated seats. The claim to the ultimate in luxury goes hand-in-hand with extreme technical challenges. For instance, the intense Mercedes-Maybach signature red metallic finish is applied by expert hand in several coats. Tradition and modernity are reflected in the form of appealing contrasts. The entire interior is surrounded by a large-area trim level. Dark ebony forms an exciting contrast with the surrounding areas of white leather. Wave-like, flowing lines of light are integrated flush into the wood surfaces, impressively uniting the analogue and digital worlds. The tailored seat upholstery layouts take up the lines of the trim while giving a reinterpretation to the typical diamond shape. The fine perforations are in rosé gold. Thought through down to the smallest detail, crafted with love and affection.

Modelled on the S-Class

As in the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, the especially comfortable seats impress with their adjustment kinematics. Unlike in a conventional saloon, the backrest is adjusted separately while the footwell and seat reference point remain unchanged. The cushion can be adjusted separately, while the seat angle and height adjustment are combined. Extra-soft knee cushions afford protection and comfort. The reclining seats feature a calf support, which is freely adjustable for length and angle. The crystal white nappa leather seats are enhanced by diamond stitching in rosé gold.

The wide centre console extends through to the rear. It is equipped with an integral, heated tray with teapot and cups, allowing exquisite tea-drinking enjoyment while on the road. The philosophy of tea plays a key role in bringing body and mind into balance while discovering the path to inner calm and vitality.

The tea service is integrated into a sculpted wooden tray made of ebony, known as "Magic Wood". At the press of a button, the handmade service of finest china can be electrically retracted into the console under a sliding cover finished in high-gloss black.

Enhanced user experience at the highest level

The Mercedes-Benz user experience, too, represents the definitive embodiment of a luxury dream car. The design language is warmer and brighter, creating a luxurious atmosphere. The car was created entirely in a 3D real-time graphic environment. Like a butler, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury acts with anticipation, instead of offering long menus and lists. The vehicle plays music to match the current mood, knows the appointment calendar and plans the routes accordingly. In the rear, various flavours of tea and relaxation programmes are on offer, depending on who the rear passenger is.

The familiar ENERGIZING comfort control has been carried over from the S‑Class. Systems such as massage, fragrancing, light and music are combined, helping to regenerate and improve concentration. This holistic comfort and infotainment system can be individually programmed and adapted for every world market.

The highlight of the Mercedes-Benz user experience in the Vision Mercedes‑Maybach Ultimate Luxury is the comprehensive touch control concept – a combination of touchscreen, touchpad on the centre console and Touch Control buttons in the steering wheel. Alongside the intuitive control experience, reduced driver distraction is a further advantage.

The control concept of the free-standing Widescreen Cockpit comprises three levels with rising information density: home screen, base screen and a submenu. The voice control adjusts to the user’s voice and adapts new vogue words or changed use of language. In addition, the system does not employ stereotypical responses, but uses interactive variation.

On the aesthetic front, it is based on the traditional Chinese ink painting style with its simplicity, white surfaces and balanced proportions.

State-of-the-art powertrain and suspension technology

The Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury is conceived as an electric car. Thanks to its four compact permanent-magnet synchronous motors, it offers fully variable all-wheel drive. The output from the powertrain is 550 kW (750 hp). The flat underfloor battery has a usable capacity of around 80 kWh, producing an NEDC range of over 500 kilometres (according to EPA: over 200 miles). The top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h.

The fast-charging function is also convenient: thanks to DC charging based on the CCS standard, the system allows a charging capacity of up to 350 kW. In just five minutes, enough power can be charged to achieve an additional range of around 100 kilometres.

The battery can be charged by cable at public charging stations, conventional domestic socket outlets or, even more conveniently, by induction. The charging current is contactlessly transmitted by an electromagnetic field below the car.

An eye on the future: visionary show cars

With its generous dimensions, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury (length/width/height: 5260 x 2110 x 1764 millimetres) represents a continuation of the series of visionary design show cars from Mercedes-Benz. The series so far includes the Vision EnerG‑Force (Los Angeles, November 2012), AMG Vision Gran Turismo (Sunnyvale, 2013), Vision Tokyo (Tokyo, 2015), Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Coupé (Pebble Beach, 2016) and Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet (Pebble Beach, 2017). Thanks to the global footprint of Mercedes-Benz Design, these concept vehicles take their cue from local trends in design, culture and mobility while making them the focal point of the respective mobility concept.

Mercedes-Maybach: perfection blended with exclusivity

Mercedes-Maybach stands for the ultimate in exclusivity and individuality. The target group includes customers who place value on exquisite luxury, perfect craftsmanship and exceptional appointments. The current vehicles include, launched in 2017, the Mercedes-Maybach S 560 4MATIC (combined fuel consumption: 9.3 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 209 g/km). The absolute top-of-the range model from the luxury brand is the Pullman (combined fuel consumption: 14.6 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 330 g/km) with vis-à-vis seating layout behind the partition. With a length of 6.50 metres, it is the longest model of the S‑Class family.

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