Mercedes-Benz paid tribute to late designer Virgil Abloh, with the unveiling of the new Project Maybach, a concept that Abloh had worked on in collaboration with German automobile designer Gorden Wagener.
Abloh and Wagner interpreted Mercedes-Maybach’s luxury identity with a new design language, pushing the boundaries of function, style and collaborative creativity. A responsible vision of future design was of key importance for both Abloh and Wagener. And so, the car has been designed with a transparent front bonnet and solar cells underneath that would be used to charge the battery.
Complete creative freedom, untethered by production requirements enabled the design teams to conceptualize what the future of electric travel could look like. The result? A massive two-door two-passenger coupe, with a length of nearly twenty feet, combining huge Gran Turismo proportions, large off-road wheels and distinctive attachments.
Made for off-roading
Built from scratch, the coupe is decked out for off-roading, with giant knobby tires for navigating tough terrains, and an integrated roll bar over the cabin along with front and rear skid plates protecting vulnerable parts from stumps and boulders on rough roads. There are also tough metal skid plates at the front and rear and body cladding with exposed rivets over the wheel wells.
The front end features some striking circular headlights and chrome vertical grille trim pieces under a glowing full-width light bar. Four auxiliary lights adorn a bull bar attached to the bumper, and four more lights extend from the roof rack. Round taillights mimic the headlights, and the two-tone appearance hides solar cells, for boosting the Maybach’s range under the hood.
A creamy caramel ribbed leather coats the interior of the vehicle, with an aluminium trim highlighting the screen-filled digital interior. Abloh and Wagener imagined the interior as a kind of modular hotel room, with reclining seats that fold down transforming into a flat bed, while a jacquard houndstooth-finish headrest doubles up as a blanket, while compartments open to reveal reading lights.
Another really interesting factor about the seats is that they can easily be removed and packed suitcase-style, perfect for people wanting to set them up around a campfire or inside a fancy tent.
A remarkable creation, the Project Maybach show car was inspired by how one could explore nature keeping luxury in mind. It channels Abloh’s passion to challenge the status quo and re-write the rulebook of aspirational design.
Mercedes-Benz, who has been exhibiting the car at the Rubell Museum in Miami, has given no indication of production intent for the new machine as of now.