By on April 20, 2018

Mercedes-Maybach gently teased its new “Ultimate Luxury” concept before its official debut at the Beijing Motor Show, but one outlet’s itchy trigger finger resulted in every official image of it being sprayed all over the internet prematurely. The vehicle, dubbed the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury, is incredibly difficult to summarize.

While it’s considered a sport utility vehicle by the manufacturer, the bodywork is so unabashedly sedan-like that it almost seems like a parody of modern crossovers. The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 was similarly ridiculous, but that concept coupe was intentionally fantastical. It was a “look what our styling department can do” kind of car, whereas the Ultimate Luxury is something else entirely.

We think it’s the automotive equivalent of when a successful businessman decides to remove his shoes and socks on an airplane — upscale, but disgusting. 

Were it simply a sedan, it’d be a passable design. There’s a lot of face, mostly taken up by the signature Maybach grille, but that’s the only aspect that even hints at this creature being intended for an elevated ride height. Otherwise, it looks like someone took a generic concept sedan and chucked on a lift kit.

Details, initially leaked by Car News China, claims that a production version of the vehicle will become available around 2020 and possess a twin-turbo V8 with roughly 500 horsepower. We’ve heard nothing of the sort. In fact, the concept model doesn’t even use a gas engine. Instead, Daimler has outfitted the Maybach-branded crossover with a quartet of electric motors offering a combined output of 738 horsepower. Power is stored inside an 80-kWh battery pack wedged beneath the floor. Range is expected to be 310 miles using the New European Driving Cycle, which is notoriously generous.

Some speculate that the Vision Ultimate Luxury is a way for Mercedes to premiere the Maybach variant of the upcoming GLS. If you’re overwhelmingly worried that this is what it’s going to morph into, do not fret. The camouflaged test vehicles show the new GLS to have a much more boxy and traditional SUV design. That could change for the Maybachs, but we doubt it.

Vision concepts don’t typically reach production, either. Normally, that’s a shame because they’re often incredible designs — we’re looking at you, Mercedes-AMG Vision Gran Turismo.

We think what we have here is a crossover concept, borrowing a bit of styling from the A-Class concept, that Daimler is using to test consumer acceptance of an ultra-rounded SUV. While three-box designs have worked for decades, it’s flat-out weird to see them on an SUV. Ease up Mercedes, we’re not even accustomed to the styling of the BMW X4 yet.

[Images: Daimler]

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54 Comments on “Mercedes-Maybach Premieres Ultimate Luxury SUV With Perplexing Three-box Design...”

  • avatar

    Pedigreed parents sometimes produce a girl with a good personality. Ultimate luxury is a euphemism for a German donk.

  • avatar

    Lol, a tea set.

  • avatar

    I’ve been expecting for a while that we’d start to see three-box designs at SUV heights. I even expected it’d come from a luxury brand (I actually thought it’d be a smart direction for Cadillac to go). Looks like somebody is actually testing that theory now.

  • avatar

    And, thus, the truism that having money and taste are two completely different things is proven.

  • avatar

    This is what Cadillac should be – in your face display power and wealth, but not necessarily good taste. A modern take on the 1959 peak fin and chrome.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “…it almost seems like a parody of modern crossovers”

    So true.

    Oddly, the shape is similar to the Volvo 40.2 concept. But I find the Volvo concept beautiful, and this one hideous.

  • avatar

    AHAHAHAHA WTF is this?

  • avatar

    Reminds me of the ugly Lincoln MKT limousines Accubuilt made with a tiny little trunk grafted on, to give it a 3-box look.

  • avatar

    Would buy. B-E-A-U-T-Y.

    A modern take on command seating, without having to share your cabin with the cargo.

    Now that is a car!

  • avatar

    Wow. Just wow. Looks really uhhh….pudgy. All the weight and size of a bloated SUV with none of the usefulness. I get that there’s only so much you can do with the two-box SUV silhouette, but this just looks like a Benz sedan that gorged itself on blintzes daily for a year or so. Yecch.

  • avatar

    How to say this….. do I care?

  • avatar

    What is seen cannot be unseen. This is literally what happens when your automobile crosses over into the Warner Bros animation universe. This is literally one of the worst things I have ever seen, all the horrible styling of the past few years is actually almost acceptable in comparison. This is akin to mating a cat and dog to create a monster with the worst qualities of each.

    • 0 avatar

      Have you ever seen a Rolls-royce in person?

      Those things are huge. This seems more like Mercedes following the current trend in uber-luxury styling more than anything else.

      Just nice that they gave up on oretending this shit is a sedan and just call a CUV.

  • avatar

    I’ve been waiting for years for AMC to update the Eagle.

  • avatar

    Much less ugly than, say, the Bentayga or the X6. Impractical, of course, but just about as inoffensively styled as a high-end luxury SUV can be.

  • avatar

    For a Mercedes, it looks like a Buick.

  • avatar

    That back shot looks like the GLE/C coupes but with a traditional trunk instead of a liftgate. There’s a strong possibility this gets made as Maybach coupe suv or GLS Coupe.

  • avatar

    Always wondered what the echo would look like with larger wheels:

  • avatar

    Daimler’s version of the Hyundai Kona?

  • avatar

    Naming something Maybach is a kiss of death. Can start death watch right now.

  • avatar

    Looks like a parody to Rolls-Royce. Or Bentley. Mercedes was too late to the party (like Germany in 20th century – all colonies were already taken). German take on British aristocracy.

  • avatar

    It actually makes perfect sense.

    It has the things that are wanted some of the time; ride height and all weather capability, and does away with what is almost certainly never needed; a big, noisy cargo hold. When you’re rich enough to buy one of these, you’d never shop at Home Depot, you’d rather die than go camping, and your friends would vote you out of the yacht club if you made them squeeze into a 3rd row seat. The smell of decaying pheasant and the rattle of TaylorMade is safely separated from the scent of Nappa leather and the sound of Bose.

    It calls the bluff on those big Me-Too-Vees from RR, Bentley etc. as being trend followers, not trend setters.

    But it’s as ugly as Hell.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    This absolutely looks like it was designed to appeal, first and foremost, to upper-crust Chinese buyers.

  • avatar

    The back reminds me of some ugly Lincoln MKT-based limousines that a small trunk grafted on…

  • avatar

    That split rear window is a strange, dated touch.

    • 0 avatar

      It makes sense when you consider rear window shades. Imagine as the back seat passenger, you can put your shades to catch some sleeep, while the other guy leaves his up.

  • avatar

    Peak horrible and intrusive console design.

    May they all start receding from this point on.

  • avatar

    Kind of looks like what you’d get if the secret service jacked up the Beast and gave it a set of rimz.

  • avatar

    Gaah!! My eyes! When will those people in the Maybach division understand that rich people buy expensive cars to own something cool first and foremost, and designing your luxury cars to look like rejected Hyundai or Lincoln designs is not conductive towards the goal of looking cool.

  • avatar

    Really not surprising, manufacturers are going to keep pushing the crossover envelope until people stop buying them. Every conceivable body style will be crossoverized, and it makes perfect sense to have crossovers with isolated cargo holds.

    Still, how many S60 Cross Country sales have there been? I’d be amazed if they’ve gone beyond double digits, despite the fact I think it looks awesome. Low riding cars jacked up (Eagle, Golf Country, Outback SUS (and Outback Wagon until the 4th gen), Allroad, Cross Country, Crosstrek) are awesome. Vehicles designed from the ground up to be high riding are not. Just that tiny thing of sales prove the opposite except in the Crosstrek’s case.

    A Crosstrek is near the top of my list for my next car because I love how it looks, it’s an idea no brand other than Subaru would ever attempt, it’s a throwback to the 80’s and 90’s. Plus t actually has useful ground clearance for light “off roading”. As in forest and logging roads in the middle of nowhere, not rock crawling.

  • avatar

    Hello Un. Meet Gainly

  • avatar

    Step up to luxury, way up! What you drive after Canyonaro, Sedanyaro!

  • avatar

    I like it, I’ve been waiting for someone to do a 3-box SUV.

  • avatar

    I agree the execution of this thing is a bit ungainly, but I also agree with the handful of posters who say this makes perfect sense. I mean, it’s not like people are buying these luxury SUVs because of the utility of having a combined passenger and cargo area. But then again, I do think people buy SUVs mostly because it’s what everyone else buys (whether they realize it or not), and from that perspective, I guess this doesn’t make sense.

  • avatar

    Maybe it’s true to say that a trend has reached its peak when the manifestations of the fashion become absurd. Sort of like a share-market frenzy just before the crash. But seriously, would anybody really want to be seen in that look-at-me Tonka Toy monstrosity?

  • avatar

    I think this “big car” is the leading edge of a coming trend back to full size sedans (hopefully w/ hatchback). Everyone I know that drives a modern SUV or crossover complains about lousy rear and side visibility. This moves the C pillar to a less obtrusive location, but keeps the high seating position so many drivers desire. These will sell and other manufacturers will copy them and they will be the next big thing in car trends.

  • avatar

    The Rosie O’Donnell of sedans.
    Actually the more I look at it the more functional it appears.

  • avatar
    Gregg Mulry

    Anything out of the ordinary tends to gather a lot of hate, or at least be polarizing. Because it has a trunk, rather than a hatchback, it is uglier than things like the Bentayga or the BNW X6? Like it or not, it has presence and integration of form that many other luxury vehicles do not. It combines the stateliness of a sedan with the almost-required-today SUV stance. It could do very well for Maybach in some parts of the world.

  • avatar

    To my eyes this looks like an uglier and tackier Rover 75.

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