Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Concept Stuns at Pebble Beach
Retrofuturism with a three-pointed star
Maybach has been on quite the roller coaster in the last 20 years. But under the auspices of Mercedes-Benz, the brand has been rejuvenated to the tune of four new models, all of them based in some way on the S-Class luxury sedan. Onlookers at Monterey Car Week, however, got the first glimpse at what the future of ultra-elite luxury, technology, and performance will look like in the minds of Stuttgart's best and brightest. The all-electric Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 leads that charge, and thanks to its jaw-dropping 2+2 coupe design and impressive scale, the world is paying close attention.
What you can't help but notice about the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 is its size. As its name indicates, it's almost six meters in length (18.7 feet) and 82.7 inches (6.9 feet) wide, which makes it fair to say the hulking coupe is large and in charge. Yet at the same time, unlike any modern Maybach, the Vision 6 has elegance and tautness that belies its huge footprint.
You'll recognize the overall shape and silhouette of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 from previous concept cars like the Mercedes-Benz Concept IAA. The styling, however, is largely unique, blending a retro-futuristic interpretation of the Maybach aero coupes of the past with the forward-thinking styling cues of the Mercedes-Benz Vision Gran Turismo concept.
The Vision 6's long hood stretches out far ahead of its set-back greenhouse and long, fast roofline out back. Up front the classic vertical slats of the Maybach grille sit between slim headlights and above a prominent front spoiler. The front fascia leads into a gorgeous view in profile of a truly stunning luxury 2+2 coupe, with flashy show-car ornamentation courtesy of wild 24-inch wheels with aerodynamic rims painted red to match the car's molten metallic bodywork. Gullwing doors are a clear callout to the heritage of Mercedes-Benz from the 300SL on to the SLS AMG, while the rounded boat-tail rear with its split window is meant to evoke a luxury yacht, according to Mercedes. Tiny side mirrors designed as cameras serve as a reminder that despite the classic shape and design elements, this is a thoroughly forward-looking concept.
What's only a mild nudge of technology on the outside amounts to a tidal wave on the inside of the Vision 6. A harmonious digital display-in-the-round stretches all around the interior, enveloping the passengers in illuminated bands of continuous glass trim. Mounds of driving data are projected onto the large windshield, all navigable with gesture controls, in both traditional formats as well as augmented reality situations in which the data on the screen responds and interacts with the outside environment. The wave-like seats are done up in high-end leather with a Chesterfield finish, with built-in sensors that can scan occupants' vital functions to adjust massage or climate controls, while light sensors can read your clothing color or ambient temperature to trigger appropriate interior lighting effects. We're imagining driving at ten-tenths as the Vision 6 turns up the heat, flashes burning red lights, and wordlessly turns on Metallica at full blast.
In fact, the all-electric Vison Mercedes-Maybach 6 concept is quick considering its mass, quad electric motors for all-wheel drive, and 80-kWh battery in the underfloor. Mercedes says the bug coupe will launch from 0 to 62 mph in 4.0 seconds courtesy of its 738 hp, but can also sustain more than 200 miles of range when necessary. Of course, the vehicle can also be operated autonomously as well.
Charging is possible using public charging plugs, home charging plugs, or 350-kW DC quick-chargers that can restore about 62 miles of range in just five minutes. Just enough time for an espresso and a blueberry scone. On top of that, Mercedes also says the Vision 6 can be charged wirelessly using an electromagnetic field.
While much of what the Vison Mercedes-Maybach 6 is concept-car fluff, its successful both as a far look into the future and as a tempting prospect of a soon-to-come Maybach coupe. And as long as we have the choice whether to snooze with Chopin in the air and a massage on our backs, or lay into 738 hp of meaty electric muscle with our own right foot, we're ready for the future in the here and now.