This is the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 and Mercedes says it's a throwback to the "glorious age of the aero coupes." The 18.5-foot long 2+2 concept makes its debut this weekend at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
Last year, I drove a fire-engine red Rolls-Royce Wraith around Los Angeles for three days and imagined what it would be like to own the $375,000 coupe. The Wraith is an astonishing car, with unequalled luxury and the most comfortable seats I've ever found in a car. Its 624 horsepower, 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12 provided endless power. It might be the best car I've ever driven. However, if Mercedes decides to build this new concept car, it might just surpass the Wraith.
The enormous hood, low roof line, and rear-positioned passenger compartment are meant to be a "reinterpretation of classic, aesthetic principles" while still exhibiting an aerodynamic design. That's important because the car is said to have a 738-horsepower electric engine with a range of more than 200 miles. Slippery aerodynamic design would be crucial to achieving that goal.
The gullwing doors are a Mercedes hallmark going back to the iconic 1954 Mercedes 300 SL and, more recently, the Mercedes SLS AMG.
"With its intelligent appeal and reduced, technoid look, it perfectly embodies our design philosophy of sensual purity and our pursuit of aerodynamic efficiency," said Gorden Wagener, head of design for Daimler AG in a press release.
The interior is stocked with modern technology and old-school comfort including a Chesterfield look to the leather seats, Elm wood trim (to create a "refined yachting look"), and enormous screens including a digital overlay on the windshield that can show driving-related and geographical information across the entire lower glass.
Much of it is fantasy at the moment of course, typical of futuristic concept cars. But, if this is where Mercedes is going with its flagship Maybach line, it's going to give Rolls-Royce a run for its money — and we'll all be better off for it.
One other thing of note from the press release is the lack of any mention of autonomous driving. This is a car, it seems, that is meant to be driven. Now we just have to convince Mercedes to build it.