Mercedes’ Maybach luxury sub-brand has shown its intention to add a new SUV to its range with the unveiling of the Vision Ultimate Luxury at the 2018 Beijing motor show.
The new concept car, which Mercedes' chief design officer Gorden Wagener says has been conceived to underscore the position of Maybach as an "ultimate luxury brand", combines the high-riding characteristics of an SUV with the silhouette of a traditional saloon to create a roomy and luxurious four-seater that features a combination of Western and Eastern design flourishes.
While the smooth-surfaced Vision Ultimate Luxury is unlikely to reach production in its unconventional three-box form with distinctive split-window treatment, various elements of its exterior design, including its bold chromed grille, are expected to be used on a new Mercedes-Maybach production car based on the forthcoming third-generation GLS. This model will be a rival to the Bentley Bentayga and Rolls-Royce Cullinan.
At 5260mm long, 2110mm wide and 1764mm tall, the latest in a trio of Maybach concepts is 130mm longer, 180mm wider and 86mm lower than today's second-generation Mercedes-Benz GLS. For comparison, the Bentayga is 5140mm long, 2000mm wide and 1740mm tall.
These dimensions are claimed to mirror those of the production Mercedes-Maybach GLS, which is due in 2019.
Inside, the Vision Ultimate Luxury is furnished with fine leather, wood and rose gold.
The concept, which rides on towering 24in wheels, runs an electric powertrain. In a set-up similar to that of the Mercedes-Benz SLS Electric Drive of 2013, it uses a quartet of motors, with one acting on each wheel to provide fully variable four-wheel drive. Combined output is 740bhp and top speed is electronically limited to 155mph (249 kmph).
Energy is stored in a battery housed within the concept's flat floor structure. With a capacity around 80kWh, it's claimed to provide a range of more than 310 miles (498.89 km).
The Vision Ultimate Luxury is charged with a DC system that allows a capacity of up to 350kW. Mercedes-Maybach claims five minutes of charging provides sufficient power for 62 miles (99.7 km) of range. Alternatively, the concept can be charged at public charging stations, from conventional mains power and inductively, through a contactless plate.
Although Mercedes officials refused to be drawn on the plans for the new powertrain, it's suggested that it could form the basis of the EQ S saloon, which is due to enter production in 2020 as part of a family of EQ-badged electric models.