Every August classic car fans from around the world converge on Pebble Beach in California for a very special beauty contest. This gathering of magnificent classic cars is the perfect place to premiere the exclusive Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, a sensational luxury-class coupé. The 2+2‑s eater is a homage to the glorious age of the aero coupés and consciously carries this tradition forward into the future. The coupé reinterprets classic, emotional design principles in an extreme way, following the Mercedes design philosophy of sensual purity.
The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, which measures almost six metres in length, is designed as an electric car. Thanks to its four compact permanent magnet synchronous electric motors, it features all-wheel drive. The output of the drive system is 550 kW (750 hp). The shallow underfloor battery has a usable capacity of approx. 80 kWh. This not only allows performance characteristics typical of a sports car (acceleration from 0‑1 00 km/h in under four seconds, top speed electronically governed at 250 km/h) but also a range of over 500 kilometres according to the NEDC (over 200 miles according to EPA). The quick-charge function is also visionary: as a result of DC charging based on the CCS standard, the system allows an impressive charging capacity of up to 350 kW. In just five minutes enough power can be charged to achieve an additional range of around 100 kilometres.
The classic aesthetic proportions of the show car (length/width/height: 5700/2100/1328 millimetres) – the extremely long bonnet, the low roof line and the rearward positioning of the greenhouse – recall the aero coupés of days gone by. But this is not retro design – this is a reinterpretation of classic, aesthetic principles. At the same time the design is something unexpectedly new – cool, technoid and reduced. This is exemplified by the aerodynamically intelligent basic shape. Even without aids such as spoilers, the airflow hugs the contours of the vehicle body and only breaks away very late at the tail end of the vehicle. Then there is the surprisingly technoid character of the narrow lights, the partially transparent rims and the split rear window.
Clearly defined contours and organically formed wings stand in contrast to the sharply drawn, extended feature line on each side which defines the upper vehicle body from the radiator grille across the entire length of the vehicle to the rear. Below this, the main body has a bulging, muscular look, extending across the entire flank. There is also a striking contrast between the Maybach red paintwork and the chrome strips which sit above the wheel arches and in the centre of the bonnet and boot lid.
A further highlight is provided by the gullwing doors, a hallmark Mercedes design element which has been brought up to date. They underline the sporty character of the vehicle's silhouette and feature innovatively designed aluminium trim. The exterior mirrors designed as cameras are supported on the wings.
The interior of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 is a synthesis of intelligence and emotion and combines traditional Mercedes-Benz values with a new high-tech experience. In the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 this can be seen above all in the "hyperanalogue" instruments with needles and circular, crystal-look displays. The classic circular instruments are combined with deep displays and act as a reference to the unique history of Mercedes-Benz. In contrast, other display elements are digitally integrated into a continuous glass trim part. Information about the seat, for example, can be shown on this digital strip.
The front windscreen serves as a transparent display: driving-related data and geographical information is shown across its full width, augmenting the outside world with additional information. This information can be controlled and adjusted by the occupants using gestures.
The luxury padded leather upholstery is a particular highlight. Its traditional look is combined with future technology here - the buttons which would normally be trimmed in leather have been replaced in the upholstered surfaces by miniature "body sensor displays". These scan the passengers and monitor, for example, their vital functions. As a result, comfort features such as seat climate or the massage function, for example, can be activated or the seat settings adjusted to the passenger. The sensors embedded in the upholstery also record the incidence of light, the colour of the occupant's clothing and the ambient temperature. This information can be used to trigger new, emotional lighting effects in the interior.
With its impressive dimensions, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 is the first luxury coupé in the series of visionary design show cars from Mercedes-Benz. These include the Vision EnerG‑Force (Los Angeles, November 2012), AMG Vision Gran Turismo (Sunnyvale, 2013) and Vision Tokyo (Tokyo, 2015). Thanks to the global nature of the Mercedes-Benz Design function, these concept vehicles take cues from local trends in design, culture and mobility and make these the focal point of the respective mobility concept. At the same time these show cars are looking far into the future.