BEIJING – Mercedes-Benz’s super-luxury sub-brand Maybach makes public its plans to add a new SUV model to its lineup with the unveiling of the Vision Ultimate Luxury concept on the eve of the 2018 Beijing auto show.
The new concept, which Mercedes-Benz chief design officer Gorden Wagener says has been conceived to underscore Maybach’s position as an ultimate luxury brand, combines the high-riding characteristics of a modern-day SUV with the 3-box silhouette of a traditional sedan to create a roomy, luxurious 4-seater combining Western and Eastern design flourishes.
While the smooth-surfaced Vision Ultimate Luxury is unlikely to see production in the form shown in Beijing, various elements of its exterior design, including its bold chromed grille, are expected to be seen on a new Mercedes-Maybach production model based on the third-generation GLS as a rival to the Bentley Bentayga and upcoming Rolls-Royce Cullinan.
Mercedes-Benz officials indicate to WardsAuto that certain cues, including the heavily chromed side-window graphic and C-pillar design, also could influence the design of the next-generation S-Class.
At 207.1 ins. (5,260 mm) in length, 83.1 ins. (2,111 mm) in width and 69.5 ins. (1,765 mm) in height, the latest in a trio of Maybach concepts is 5.1 ins. (130 mm) longer, 7.1 ins. (180 mm) wider and 3.4 ins. (86 mm) lower than the extant second-generation Mercedes-Benz GLS.
By comparison, the Bentayga measures 202.4 ins. (5,141 mm) in length, 78.7 ins. (1,999 mm) in width and 68.5 in. (1,740) in height.
As with certain elements within its exterior, the dimensions of the new concept are said to mirror those of the upcoming production version of the Mercedes-Maybach GLS planned for launch in 2019.
Inside, Mercedes-Maybach has left no stone unturned in its bid to provide the Vision Ultimate Luxury with sumptuous features to take on the Bentayga in a lavish cabin boasting an ornate combination of fine leather, wood and rose gold.
The new Mercedes-Maybach concept, which rides on 24-in. wheels, has been conceived to run an all-electric powertrain. In a setup similar to Mercedes-Benz’s earlier SLS Electric Drive, it uses four electric motors – one acting on each wheel – to provide fully variable all-wheel drive. The electric motors’ combined output is put at 740 hp.
Energy powering the motors is stored in a battery housed entirely within the new SUV’s flat floor structure. With a capacity around 800 kWh, it is foreseen to provide the plush new Maybach with a range of over 310 miles (500 km) and an electronically limited 155 mph (250 km/h) top speed.
Charging is via a DC system that allows a charging capacity of up to 350 kW. Mercedes-Maybach claims five minutes of charging provides sufficient power for 62 miles (100 km) of range. The Ultimate Luxury concept also can refuel at public charging stations on conventional power or inductively through a contactless charging plate.
Although Mercedes-Benz officials don’t offer details of the plans for the new powertrain, suggestions are it could form the basis of a new, all-electric EQ S saloon model confirmed for production by the German automaker’s chairman, Dieter Zetsche, as part of an extended family of zero-emission EQ models at the recent launch of the new fourth-generation A-Class in Croatia.
Mercedes-Maybach currently offers one model in the form of the S560 4Matic.