The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 - An Electric Luxury Car that Trumps the Tesla

If it's possible to make the Tesla look like a Volkswagen Bug, then that feat has just been accomplished.

The car capable of reducing one of the planet's coolest rides to an ordinary vehicle for the masses? The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6.

With styling that's simultaneously futuristic and a throwback to the golden age of aero coupes, the Vision is certainly an appropriate name for the recently unveiled concept car.

Imagine a Hollywood director snatching a vehicle from the movie Tron or Batman and then adding design cues gleaned from the 1930s. The result is a vehicle that's simultaneously Jay-Z and Marlene Dietrich.

It's high-tech, high-glam and appears sprung straight from Hollywood's narrative of what the future may hold (at least for the privileged few).


And it's electric too, so it's good for the planet.

"It's everything you want in a car in today's world," says Kelly Blue Book Senior Analyst Karl Brauer, one of the automotive journalists present when the car was unveiled (to a round of oohs and aahs) in August at Monterey Car Week. "You want performance, style and luxury and you want it all without hurting the planet one little bit. And that's what this car would do in theory."

According to Brauer and other auto industry veterans, the Mercedes-Maybach 6 is a notable offering for multiple reasons.

In the current automotive landscape, it stands alone as a vehicle that manages to combine excessive luxury, over the top design and electric power.
 
"There's nothing out there that's comparable production wise," Brauer continues. "The closest would be Tesla, but even the Tesla doesn't look this good or have this kind of styling or luxury."

Examples of the Mercedes-Maybach 6 luxury that Brauer is referring to include such things as a floor area that incorporates elm (in order to create a refined yachting look) and technology that makes the dashboard look like the inside of a fighter jet. The head-up display across the windshield of the Mercedes-Maybach 6 provides seat information, maps and more.

"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," states the press release about the vehicle, reinforcing the futuristic Tron parallel even more.

The car's dashboard wing meanwhile, curves across the door trim into the seat landscape, creating a 360-degree effect. And the seat's surfaces have a Chesterfield look.

All of which results in an interior cabin that looks more like a sleek lounge at an exclusive Vegas club, then a mere car.


Speaking of no ordinary car, even the vehicle's upholstery is something other than standard.

Upholstered surfaces include miniature body sensor displays that scan the passengers and monitor their vital functions, using the data to set comfort features such as seat climate or the massage function.

The sensors embedded in the upholstery also record the incidence of light, the color of the occupant's clothing and the ambient temperature.


This information can be used to trigger emotional lighting effects in the interior. (And really, what diva doesn't want their car's interior lighting to match their clothing?)

All of this, says at least one luxury car industry expert, is an attempt to reach the next generation of luxury car buyers.

"Everyone is trying to figure out what the millennials are going to like down the road," says Craig Jackson, CEO of Barrett-Jackson, a collector car auction house. "By taking the car high tech and green, they're going after that affluent millennial crowd."

As one of the world's most respected car collectors and an advisor to many notable collectors and celebrities, Jackson has certainly seen, driven and possessed a fair share of luxury vehicles. His current personal collection includes 45 vehicles. And the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 is a car that even he found impressive.

"The thing that strikes me most is the use of technology, how much they cleaned up the dash," Jackson says. "It's very techie. The whole windshield is like an iPad. My Escalade's heads-up display tells me the speed I'm going, and the speed limit wherever I am. But it's a five by five-inch area above the dash. In the Mercedes-Maybach 6, it's a whole section across the dash."

Sooo, the car's got plenty of cool technology. And your four-year-old will know how to use it, since most kids these days know how to swipe before they know how to read.


Some of the car's other vital statistics include the fact that it spans more than 18-feet, and is powered by four electric motors (one per wheel).

The 80-kWh battery pack is located under the car's floor. Mercedes says the EV powertrain is still in series development, but produces 738 horsepower.  The company expects the car to be able to go from zero-to-62-mph in less than four seconds and says it will have a top speed of 155 mph.

The battery meanwhile, be charged via a cable connection at a public charging station, at a conventional domestic outlet or wirelessly, via an electromagnetic field.

Oh, and just in case you didn't have appropriately cool luggage before paying what is likely to be in excess of $100,000 for whichever version of this car makes it into production, the front luggage area of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 will include a set of two suitcases, exclusively created for the vehicle.

There are also plans for further additions such as picnic accessories. But somehow picnicking when driving this car doesn't seem like a glamorous enough activity, what with the crumbs, the ants...

Maybe picnicking in Cannes. On a yacht. A mega-yacht.

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