Yikes! The Mercedes-Maybach SUV concept is here | Top Gear
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BBC TopGear

Yikes! The Mercedes-Maybach SUV concept is here

"The Ultimate Luxury has tremendous presence." You're not joking, Maybach

Published: 24 Apr 2018

This is Maybach’s first SUV. It’s quite a thing, isn’t it? It’s just a concept for now, but it suggests the final product won’t just be the blinged-up Mercedes GLS we were half-expecting; it’ll be something altogether more extraordinary.

Called the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury, it comes with a lot of styling as standard. And a lot of design language to try and justify it. There’s much talk of ‘sensual purity’, ‘athletic looks’ and ‘balanced proportions’. We’ll allow you to judge whether it achieves any of those things.

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“The Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury is a totally new archetype of a kind never seen before,” says Gorden Wagener, Daimler’s design boss. “Our concept combines the DNA of an SUV with that of a saloon to produce an ultra-modern SUV of three-box design.”

If you’re pondering about the logic behind trying to meld two clashing genres of car, it’s all down to China. That’s the market this car is aimed at, and it’s a market that’s embracing SUVs while still coveting the classic saloon car shape. Squint and, if you’re like us, you might see a Merc CLA on stilts...

Beyond the shape, there are the details. The wheels are 24s (!), the door handles sit flush and extend electronically (like a Range Rover Velar’s), while its grille is borrowed from the quite lovely Mercedes-Maybach 6 concept. Shame the rest of its design isn’t.

Size wise, it’s a whopper: longer than an extended-wheelbase Range Rover and wider than just about anything you can buy, houses (only just) excluded. All the more helpful for creating space inside, which is what the Ultimate Luxury is really about.

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It’s designed for chauffeur-driven use, so the back seats are priority. They’re just like the seats you’ll find in the back of a Maybach S-Class, only with even more adjustability, while the Ultimate Luxury is ready to hone itself to suit your mood. As well as Merc’s usual suite of massage, fragrance, lighting and sound programmes, this car comes with “various flavours of tea” to help chill you out. That aura of calm will likely shatter if you spill your brew over the really-quite-white leather, though.

Then there’s the almost trivial matter of how it’s propelled. It’s fully electric, with four motors combining to produce 740bhp, which is shuffled variably between all four wheels. While most cars use clever torque vectoring to achieve ungodly cornering speeds, expect unruffled comfort to be top of the agenda here.

Top speed is 155mph, while you can expect over 200 miles between charges in real world driving. Whatever the heck constitutes the real world when you’re being chauffeured around while drinking herbal tea in the middle of a buttock massage…

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