Mercedes has a new vision for over-the-top indulgence. The Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury concept, unveiled at Auto China 2018 in Beijing, is a dream machine for those fortunate few who might find current Mercedes-Maybach S560 and S650 sedans — or even the more than 21-foot Pullman land yacht — to be too ... common. Still, it does deign to adopt an oversize version of the new Maybach family grille with vertical bars "in the style of a pinstripe suit."
The Vision is mostly not about how you get from A to B but more about the style in which you get there. There is little about it that anyone needs, but a lot you might want. Here are six ways this auto fantasy takes opulence to the nth degree:
1. SUV Envy
Even the global elite have been bitten by the SUV bug, so the Vision sedan rides high like an SUV, with 24-inch, turbine-look mega wheels and jacked-up ground clearance. Its high seating position will ensure no one can look down on you. Also, its aggressive front bumper and air inlets would look at home on an SUV, and there are vestigial suggestions of running boards and a rear underride guard. It's a tricky and slightly schizophrenic design dance.
"Our concept combines the DNA of an SUV with that of a sedan to produce an ultra-modern SUV of three-box design," Gorden Wagener, Daimler chief design officer, said in a statement.
2. Eco Sensitivity
It appears that conspicuous consumption is not a problem for an ultimate luxury concept — but endangering the planet is. So the Vision is an electric vehicle using an electric motor for each wheel for eco-friendly all-wheel drive. Mercedes estimates about 200 miles of range from an 80-kilowatt-hour battery under the floor. Charging is state of the art, with capacity to handle 350-kilowatt fast charging — 60 miles of range in 5 minutes, if you can find a charging station that powerful (try Walmart?) — as well as equipment for wireless inductive charging.
3. Multicultural Flavor
The show car merges European flavor with Chinese influences, such as "Magic Wood" ebony, which is traditional in Chinese furniture design. And the graphic design for the displays is based on the Chinese ink painting elements of simplicity, white surfaces and balanced proportions.
4. Spa on Wheels
It might look SUV sporty and rugged outside, but the interior, which is roomier than many New York City apartments, is light and airy like a spa. There are flowing lines in the wood trim and the white leather seats, which have exposed Rose Gold frames and rose gold stitching. Dark Ebony trim provides a contrast to the Rose Gold, White and Pearl Gray color scheme.
5. Tea for Two
Befitting a car designed as much for being driven as driving, the rear seat gets special attention. The Vision's massive center console not only extends into the rear, and it has an integrated heated tray for a tea set that extends the spalike experience. The sculpted wood tray and china teapot and cups retract into the console under a sliding cover.
6. Knows What You Want ...
... before you do. The system powering the freestanding twin 12.3-inch displays tries, says Mercedes, to anticipate your needs and wants "like a butler." Having your car do that probably seems less creepy for people who actually have butlers. But it consults your calendar and plans routes accordingly. It plays music to match your current mood. In the rear, it offers flavors of tea and relaxation programs based on who the rear passenger is. It also has the Mercedes Energizing Comfort wellness system's themed music, scents and seat massage packages. And a sophisticated voice control system adapts to your voice, learns your slang and new words, and responds with interaction variations rather than fixed phrases.
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