It was only a few weeks ago that Mercedes-Benz debuted its latest motoring masterpiece in Pebble Beach during Monterey Car Week: the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6. The sweeping greens and rugged seaside cliffs stretching into the seemingly endless Pacific blue turned out to be the perfect backdrop for such a magnificent model of luxury-class coupé.
The 2+2-seater is an eye-dazzling “homage to the glorious age of the aero coupés and consciously carries this tradition forward into the future,” according to the brand. Needless to say, attendees of the premier car show — who do not impress easily — were electrified. Bloomberg called it “the 6-meter long car of your dreams,” while Joel Stocksdale of Autoblog hailed it “pure electric excess.” Neither description is hyperbole.
The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 “reinterprets classic, emotional design principles in an extreme way,” and yet it is designed as an electric car that can achieve 750 horsepower, hitting 60 mph in less than four seconds. Another technological feat: it can charge to a range of 62 miles in five minutes. Aesthetically, the car offers a link between the past and future of luxury motoring — classic show car proportions that “recall the aero coupés of days gone by” says the brand, while being completely aerodynamic with technoid elements. Inside, the design gives your senses a jolt as well. Authentic materials and colors such as rose gold, high-quality leather and wood trim, seats that look more like a classic Chesterfield than car.
Previews® Inside Out recently had the opportunity to speak with Steffen Koehl, director of advanced exterior design for Mercedes-Benz, and asked him to give us a deeper look at this visionary vehicle.
Previews Inside Out For you, what design elements define this concept car as a Mercedes “classic”?
Steffen Koehl The classic aesthetic proportions of the show car Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 – the extremely long bonnet, the low roof line and the rearward positioning of the greenhouse – the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 represents the ultimate in luxury in every detail and design aspect.
Previews Inside Out What is the most unique aspect about the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6?
Steffen Koehl Although it is a show car that demonstrates the power and the fascinating possibilities of the Mercedes-Maybach brand, we received many requests from all over the world from collectors, enthusiasts and customers to buy this unique car. This shows the great potential of the Maybach brand and the strong impact of our design approach.
Previews Inside Out Why was it important to the design team to pay homage to aero coupés?
Steffen Koehl Aero coupés always made great impact at the Pebble Beach. And so did the legendary Mercedes aero coupés. We wanted to transfer this extraordinary style concept into the presence to show that we have the right brand and exciting ideas to revive that design concept. But our car has no retro design – this is a reinterpretation of classic, aesthetic principles.
Previews Inside Out Why did you decide to make it an electric car?
Steffen Koehl We decided to choose an electric drive train to bridge from aero coupés design and concept from the past into the coming electric future where electric drive trains are best choice.
Previews Inside Out It seems to represent both the past — and the future.
Steffen Koehl The Vision Maybach-Mercedes 6 is more than a link in design between past and future. It is the best proof point in linking car enthusiasm from the legendary 20s and 30s of the last century into the presence. Good design is timeless and an inspiration for every car guy. And my team is full of burning car guys and girls, of course.
Previews Inside Out What was the reaction during Monterey Car Week, after you unveiled it?
Steffen Koehl Our show car was the absolute highlight during the Monterey Car Week. We had many requests for photo shoots and media productions from all over the world.
Previews Inside Out What are your future plans for the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6?
Steffen Koehl Well, in the near future, we’ll show this car at Paris Motorshow at the end of September and after that – let’s wait and see.
Previews Inside Out Are there any plans to take elements from this concept car and add them into a next generation passenger car for Mercedes-Maybach?
Steffen Koehl Let yourself be surprised.