This isn’t the first ever fully electric Maybach production car, but it’s really, really not far off. It’s called the Mercedes-Maybach EQS, and it’s a “near-production” one-off that spears Maybach’s zero-emission future off into a big, shiny SUV.
As with all large electric Mercedes, this giant is based on the luxury- and electric-class modular architecture. The EQS sedan is the first car to be spun off this platform of course, itself a grand EV flagship. Bodes well for its SUV sister car, then.
Mercedes reckons on a range of ‘around’ 600km for its EQS SUVs (the Mercedes-branded EQS SUV will be on sale before this Maybach), and we’re promised “exceptionally smooth and quiet running and a new level of calm and relaxation in the interior”.
A fine place to start, then. Mercedes targets China, Russia, South Korea, the US and Germany as Maybach’s core territories, and points to the average customer becoming younger. Ergo: Much Digital.
The front wears a “parallel” to the Maybach S-Class, replete with that cinema-spec, marquee ‘hyperscreen’; an enormous digital panel that stretches seemingly across the Earth’s equator. It comes packed with all the tech Mercedes currently knows, including an interior camera that picks up where the driver is looking.
At the back sit a pair of large individual seats, ahead of the rear seat entertainment setup. Mercedes points to the continuous line running throughout the cockpit to the rear seats, along with a variety of ambient lighting to create an impression of space and tranquillity.
Heck, there’s even a small flower vase. Naturally, there’s space for champers and glasses and storage underneath, and the entire cabin is trimmed in white chrome, rose-gold accents and textiles inspired by fashion.
Ready to talk about that exterior? Let’s start with what Daimler chief design officer Gorden Wagener has to say. “The front, with its progressive Maybach grille, follows the principle of integration and gives the brand a completely new appearance. In conjunction with the new-style aerodynamic SUV proportions, we’re completely redefining the luxury SUV of the future.”
Yes, ‘progressive’ Maybach grille. A slim pair of LED headlights flow into that enormous, upright black panel featuring those trademark Maybach pinstripes; the design is replicated at the bottom of the front bumper too.
Certainly not what you’d call ‘shy’. The rear feels tamer in comparison, a single light strip wrapping around the boot, while it wears the other traditional Maybach trademarks: two-tone paint and ginormous chrome alloy wheels (24in).
“Many of our Mercedes-Maybach customers are digitally connected to a high degree and place the highest demands on our digital solutions,” explains Daimler’s Britta Seeger. “They also expect the brand of their choice to stand up for sustainable values and take responsibility for the environment.”
Ready for an electric Maybach SUV with pinstripes?
STORY Vijay Pattni