The Mercedes design is known to be lavish, elegant, and luxurious. This means that Mercedes follows a high-end design language that tries to combine all aspects of usability with the highest-quality materials, exciting powertrains, lots of innovation, and a certain nod to Mercedes Benz models of old.
The Project Maybach was first revealed back in 2021 and it was intended to showcase what Mercedes Maybach can do when it comes to combining high-fashion lifestyle and cars. The Project Maybach was designed in collaboration with the late great Virgil Abloh, the man who is the face of the global Off-White high-street fashion brand.
The Project Maybach is built from scratch which means that it does not resemble any other Mercedes model out there. It is also powered by a fully electrified powertrain to keep it in line with modern-day trends in the automotive industry.
Mercedes says that Project Maybach is nothing else but a “humble contribution to Virgil Abloh’s vast legacy”. In this article, we will go in-depth about this piece of design and engineering and tell you what you need to know about it.
Project Maybach – The Idea
Pretty much all notable automakers these days regularly come out with various concept projects with which they can test how well a particular design is embraced by the general public. The Project Maybach was also partly made for the same reason as it showcases a possible design language for future Mercedes/Maybach serial production cars.
It also serves as a reminder to everyone else that Mercedes is part of the high-fashion industry as this is not the first or the last time that Mercedes collaborates with high-end luxury wardrobe designers. The Project Maybach also takes a slightly different turn from what anyone is used to seeing from Mercedes which was only possible due to Virgil’s involvement.
Mercedes and Virgil also came out with a bespoke fashion collection which included hats, shirts, gloves, and other pieces of clothing stamped with the Maybach logo. In addition to Project Maybach, Mercedes also offered a Maybach S680 that was specifically designed with this collection in mind.
Project Maybach – The Design
The Project Maybach is an extremely large electric vehicle, so much so that you can’t grasp the sheer size of it through photos. The exterior features two-tone sand and black color which accentuate the car’s sharp and geometrical lines and thus make it seem even larger than it is. The entire passenger compartment is covered by a single piece of glass and an exterior body-colored roll cage.
The headlights resemble those on the Mercedes Benz G-Class SUV while it is obvious that Virgil may have taken some inspiration from the Rolls Royce Phantom Drop-Head Coupe as well. Packed with solar panels all over the car, the idea here was to make the Maybach as independent as possible which makes it perfect for desert driving.
With added protection added to both the front and the rear bumper, the Project Maybach should be able to traverse terrain hardly any other Mercedes model can. This is obvious the moment you see how beefy its tires are and how purpose-made and utilitarian those sand-colored wheels look.
The interior follows the same philosophy as it is both old-school and new-school. Covered with fine leather, and body-colored components, the Project Maybach interior is minimalistic, yet fully functional and lavish as much as the exterior.
Project Maybach – The Legacy
The Project Maybach joins a fairly huge Mercedes concept car family from which Mercedes is likely to draw inspiration for future serial production Mercedes models. It also serves as a reminder of a great man who had a vision that shaped the entirety of the fashion industry. What Mercedes is to the world of cars, Virgil was to the world of high street fashion.
Mercedes said, “We want to respectfully celebrate the work of a truly unique design talent, who created endless possibilities for collaboration through his unbridled imagination and inspired all that knew his work.” This sentence can perfectly sum up how co-aligned Mercedes designers were with Virgil and how Mercedes continues to be a part of the world of high fashion.
All in all, the Maybach Project is a reminder that even though life is short and unpredictable, great creations are bound to beat the shackles of time and serve as tributes to their creators even after they leave this earth.
Can I buy the Project Maybach
No, you can not. The idea behind Project Maybach was not to sell it but to rather showcase it to similar minds in the automotive and high fashion industry. It was also made to compliment the fashion collection between Maybach and Off-White which certainly attracted more eyes to the brand and the product.
However, you can buy the Mercedes Maybach s680 “inspired by fashion” S-Class, but only if you are able to find one as only a few dozen of these were commissioned.
Does the Project Maybach drive?
The Project Maybach is a drivable car indeed, but there is no data about the battery, the engine, and the range. It is more than likely that only one of these exists in the world which is why it is never going to be driven anyway. As such, the Maybach Project is drivable, but you are surely not going to spot one rolling next to you at a stoplight.
What is the point of making concept cars that never came to be?
More than likely, it is all about style, brand image, and simply a way of thinking. These types of creations exist in a realm that is far above the automotive industry as a whole, especially when they are linked with one of the greatest minds of high street fashion design.
Moreover, it is not 100% true that these creations never end up in the hands of the general public as many lessons and solutions that came out of similar projects eventually found their way into everyday cars such as the Mercedes Benz A-Class.