20 Aug The New Mercedes-Maybach Convertible
Just read this at bloomberg.com: Tonight, at a private estate on Pebble Beach Golf Course in Carmel, Calif., Mercedes-Benz unveiled its latest concept car: the Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6 Cabriolet. Like the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 concept that the company unveiled prior to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance last year, the Maybach 6 Cabriolet is an electric car that’s nearly 20 feet long, has a drive system that gets 750 horsepower, and has a range of more than 200 miles on one charge of the battery stored under its floor. It’s the same engine as its predecessor, this time in open-air form.
But you won’t be able to buy it. The car is a one-of-one example of Mercedes’ vision for the cars it’ll make in 2035 and beyond.
In terms of performance, Mercedes says the Maybach 6 Cabriolet will be able to go from zero to 60 mph in fewer than four seconds, with a top speed of 155 miles per hour. Using a special new “super” charger Mercedes has developed, the car can achieve 60 miles of range in just five minutes’ charging.
All of that would make it the most luxurious, grandest electric car on the planet. But it’s the design that really distinguishes the Maybach 6 Cabriolet. “It’s about beauty,” said Dietmar Exler, the president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz, noting that while the car will not go into full production, it’s certainly possible that, given time, it could end up on an awards stand of its own. “It’s not difficult to imagine that 30 years from now, our car might take top honors at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.”
The concept car is the first full-sized, open-top, true Maybach—not an S-Class variant, like this one—the company has produced since the Maybach Zeppelin, which the company made from 1929 to 1939. So-named for the zeppelin engines Maybach made before World War I, it was a massive hulk of a machine, weighing more than 6,000 pounds with a V12 engine.
This latest version is meant to embody classic Art Deco proportions, with a curved body, swooping sidelines, and an astonishingly long, stretched hood. A radiator-style grille across the front is inspired by the pinstriped suit. The rear is meant to look like the boat tail of a yacht, with white nappa leather that contrasts with a dark paint finish described as “nautical blue metallic.” A wooden floor inlaid with aluminum underscores the yachting connection.
The hood opens up on either side, creasing like birds’ wings in the middle. Meanwhile, the newly designed, 24-inch, light-alloy wheels feature a center lock painted in rose gold; likewise, the custom-made fabric top has been interwoven with rose gold threads.
Inside, touch controls and intelligent navigation are to linked appointment calendars and a voice-activated concierge system. The two seats are connected with long, flowing lines from the car’s center console, via the dash, and around the back of the seats. When activated, everything is illuminated in a cool, blue light.
Response to the car from the crowd of partygoers was jubilant—and a little awestruck, as men in suits and women in cashmere sweaters tried to fit the car in selfie shots. It was so long it wouldn’t all fit into one iPhone frame.
Maybe they should get used to that problem. Gorden Wagener, the chief design officer of Daimler AG, said the Vision 6 Cabriolet is just the next of many steps forward as the Maybach brand continues to expand. “We are having Mercedes Maybach as the ultimate luxury brand, and we will expand that brand,” he said. “You can’t imagine where we will be ten years from now.”