The world of luxury SUVs has been something of intense attention over the past few years in the automotive industry – Mercedes-Maybach have officially unveiled their latest concept in the form of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Vernissage. The concept car is a cross between a high-end saloon and SUV designed to blend comfort with the typical strengths of both body styles. This means the design concept benefits from having the raised seating position of an SUV and sensual aesthetics of a sweeping saloon.
Being an interpretation of the future, details on the powertrain are not always relevant, but Mercedes-Maybach state that the Vernissage Ultimate Luxury is an electric vehicle powered by compact permanent-magnet synchronous motors that offer fully variable all-wheel drive. The output from the powertrain is an astonishing 750 horsepower. The flat underfloor battery has a usable capacity of around 80 kWh, producing a range of over 500 kilometres. The top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h. This is a clear statement of intent for the future of electric premium vehicles from Mercedes-Maybach which are yet to utilise any electric or hybrid powertrains.
Most striking than the figures are the looks of the Mercedes-Maybach Vernissage. With the imposing chrome-plated radiator grille with its fine vertical bars and sleek front headlights, we are reminded of the stunning Mercedes-Maybach 6 Concepts we have seen over the past couple of years. From the lights back, it’s all new but the design is instantaneously relatable to the Mercedes-Maybach family styling. The SUV and saloon combination means the car’s roofline rises very quickly. This of course presents designers with a difficult task and one that we feel the Maybach team handled well. There are no sharp edges or awkward lines, there is a smooth flow that gives the car a majestic presence. Following onto the rear, the salon rear end means the silhouette flows back down in a dramatic fashion. The wheel arches are swollen to accommodate for the huge 24-inch wheels.
The interior is where the Vernissage really sets itself apart from anything we have seen before. Comfort for the passengers is the predominant focus. The raised roofline and seating position gives the driver a command over the surroundings. The interior itself is beautiful with a well balanced contrast between sportiness and spaciousness.
The car has been designed to be driven by a chauffeur so things are even more plush in the rear with two sculpted seats that are almost sofas. Opulent rose gold highlights add to the special feel.
It is clear that Mercedes-Maybach are keen to make the future a reality. Concepts such as the Maybach 6 cars and now the Vernissage show that their designers are constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible. All that remains is to make the concepts production cars.