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 aims to combine the high-riding characteristics of an SUV with the silhouette of a traditional sedan to create a roomy and luxurious four-seater that features a combination of Western and Eastern design flourishes.
Admittedly, the smooth-surfaced Vision Ultimate Luxury is unlikely to reach production in its unconventional three-box form with distinctive split-window treatment. However, 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.
The Maybach is 130mm longer, 180mm wider and 86mm lower than today's second-generation Mercedes-Benz GLS which stands at 5,260mm long, 2,110mm wide and 1,764mm tall. As a size comparison, the Bentayga is 5,140mm long, 2,000mm wide and 1,740mm 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 24-inch 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 a fully variable four-wheel drive. Its combined output is 750hp and top speed is electronically limited to 250kph. 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 499km.
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 a range of 100km. Alternatively, the concept can be charged at public charging stations, from conventional mains power as well as 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 sedan, which is due to enter production in 2020 as part of a family of EQ-badged electric models.
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