avatarby Nick HallAugust 20, 20160 comments

Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6

Mercedes Benz has taken the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Concept to the legendary Monterey Car Week in America and, yes, it’s electric.

It’s also six meters long, so just short of 20 feet, and comes with a total power output of 550kW. Yes, that’s 738bhp and that’s good enough to propel this concept car to 60mph in less than four seconds and a top speed of 155mph. Crucially, the 80kWh battery pack should keep this long nose GT in action for more than 310 miles between charges.

An electric motor for each wheel

The Maybach uses four electric motors, one for each wheel, which is a growing trend. Rimac has employed this method for its all-conquering Concept One and, while the Croatian company has gone all out for performance, this technique offers a number of benefits when it comes to packaging and traction.

Even concepts can hold clues to the company philosophy and Mercedes could well have decided on separate motors for its upcoming EQ line.

Mercedes killed Maybach off in 2012 after two decades of poor sales. The German manufacturer failed to live with the likes of Bentley and Rolls-Royce, both of which it could have bought at one point. It predicted annual sales of 2000, but in 2010 the marque sold just 157 cars.

It blamed the economic crisis, but the simple truth was that the cars didn’t match up to the likes of the Rolls-Royce Phantom and Bentley Flying Spur. The Maybach was outclassed, so it was something of a surprise when the German manufacturer brought the brand back in 2014. It was even more of a shock to see how they used it.

Current Maybach is just a pimped Mercedes

The Mercedes-Maybach S600 is really just a pimped up S Class and Maybach is a brand in search of an identity. An all-electric line of luxury sportscars could be the answer.

Because the point most commenters seem to have missed is that the electric powerplant is just one major departure. This concept is a two-door sportscar, of a fashion, even though it’s as big as a yacht. That suggests that Maybach might be ready to abandon the dolled-up S Classes and strike out in a bold new direction.

This car could easily have worn a Mercedes badge, it’s a concept that will never go into production after all and the three-pointed star is about to launch a massive assault on the EV sector. Mercedes recently revealed the FO15 self-driving concept, too, so it isn’t afraid of letting it all hang out with its concept cars.

The fact that this car comes with a Maybach badge means something.

A nostalgic look at the future

Apparently that stretched out nose, gullwing doors and ‘boat tail’ rear form a fitting tribute to Mercedes coupes from before the second World War and it is a satisfying blend of old and new.

You just have to see the interior to believe it. The driver and passenger are cocooned in their own private bucket seat and you’re both surrounded by Tron-style TFT screens that look like the contain touchscreen controls.

Of course the designers could let their imagination run wild, it’s a concept after all. There’s a world of difference between creating a show-stopping concept and actually making it a production reality.

If this is the future of Maybach, though, we’re sure that the German marque can make a better fist of it this time around.

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