Mercedes has taken the covers off what could be the most lavish SUV ever created.
Called the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury, it’s an opulent offroader that suggests the German giant could soon go head-to-head with the forthcoming Rolls-Royce Cullinan.
First shown at the Beijing Motor Show on Tuesday, the jacked-up limo surrounds rear-seat passengers with soothing waves of blue lights, refreshes them with a bespoke tea set and promises to transport them in ‘an unprecedented world of luxury’.
It is just the latest round to be fired in a battle between the world’s high-end car makers to showcase the most luxurious SUVs, which has seen Bentley and Lamborghini launch 4x4s, with Rolls-Royce and Ferrari to follow.
Opulent offroader: Mercedes has revealed this Vision Maybach Ultimate Luxury SUV at the Beijing Motor Show
The design closely resembles other Mercedes-Maybach concepts showcased in recent months, including the superyacht-inspired 6 Cabriolet.
However, this time the German luxury-car builder wanted to combine limousine-like comfort with the commanding ride height of a 4×4.
Under the svelte bodywork is a 740bhp all-electric powertrain that’s capable of propelling this swanky SUV to a top speed of 155mph and offers a range – when driven more conservatively – of 311 miles between charges.
And you don’t have to worry too much about running out of juice; fast-charging functionality means you can get an extra 100 miles of range by having the car plugged into a power supply for just five minutes, Mercedes claims.
The new SUV is an unsurprising development under the Maybach name – Mercedes’ long-standing limo-producing sub-brand that was killed off in 2012 but relaunched by the car manufacturer just three years later – not least because images of the enormous off-roader were leaked a week ago.
It follows the recent trend of boutique car brands shifting attention to the growing SUV market, tracing the footsteps of the Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus, Maserati Levante and eagerly-anticipated Rolls-Royce Cullinan.
With these rivals in mind, expect the price tag of a production-ready version to be a cool six figures.
The concept car is a clear indication that Mercedes is very much considering entering the luxury SUV sector
The design of the new SUV concept closely resembles the superyacht-inspired Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet showcased last year
Like the competition, Mercedes has targeted the blossoming Chinese market as the key region for sales, if it were to build such an elegant vehicle.
What strikes the senses first is the sheer size of the extravagant beast.
Measuring in at 5.3 metres long, 2.1 metres wide and 1.8 metres high it would almost eclipse a Ford Transit van.
It is much prettier – and predictably be significantly more expensive – than the white van man’s favourite, though.
The front-end uses a huge railing-like grille with slim LED headlights that make the mouth of the SUV look primed to gobble up any traffic in its way.
Splitting the vehicle is a line running from the three-star Mercedes badge at the front to the one on the boot lid, which separates the roof-engulfing panoramic window overhead.
The rest of the design is heavily chrome laden, with lashings of shiny metal around the skirts and wheel arches as well as the colossal 24-inch alloy wheels that look more like turbines from a passenger-jet engine.
If Mercedes wants to enter the fray of luxurious SUVs, it has some stiff competition. That includes the forthcoming Rolls-Royce Cullinan (left) and the popular Bentley Bentayga (right)
Other boutique car brands have also released 4x4s, namely Lamborghini’s Urus (left) and Maserati’s Levante (right)
Measuring in at 5.3 metres long, 2.1 metres wide and 1.8 metres high, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury would almost eclipse a Ford Transit van
Splitting the vehicle is a line running from the three-star Mercedes badge at the front to the one on the boot lid. This strip separates the roof-engulfing panoramic window overhead
Inside, the cabin is classy and clutter free.
Clean lines, beautiful wood panels and snug business class seats backed in metallic rose gold are complemented by a pair of 12.3 inch displays – one of which acts as the car’s instrument cluster and the other to control the wealth of tech packed inside.
Both are touchscreens, though the driver can interact with either using a touchpad on the steering wheel, meaning your chauffeur never has to take their hands off the main controls.
But a car like this is primarily designed with the comfort of the back-seat passengers in mind – and the Ultimate Luxury SUV is no different.
The cabin features a pair of 12.3-inch screens that can be operated using a touchpad on the steering wheel, meaning your chauffeur never has to take their hands off the controls
The private-jet-style chairs are covered in luxurious leather and backed in a rose-gold metal for ultimate bling. Flowers between the rear seats should make journeys feel more serene
The two rear-seat occupants can sit back in the fully-reclining chairs and enjoy a cup of tea with a custom-made set
When you’re not thirsty, the tea set can be retracted into a hidden compartment so it’s out of sight
Reclining private jet-style chairs flank the centre console that runs down the middle of the car.
Built into this unit is a bespoke tea. Once you’ve boiled the kettle, the tea pot and cups are kept warm in a heated tray that can be retracted into a hidden compartment when out of use.
Folding tray tables can be raised from the door panels if you want to open your laptop to catch-up on emails, and the wood panels that run along the flanks of the interior have a wave of soothing blue lights.
Are you likely to see one on the road any time soon? Probably not. But it does showcase Mercedes’ intention to enter the hotly-contested luxury-SUV sector in the not too distant future.
For now, Mercedes’ most expensive SUV is the AMG G63 Edition 1, costing £161,710. Expect a Maybach 4×4 to dwarf that figure.
The Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury is only a concept for now but if produced would easily surpass the £162,000 figure for Mercedes’ most expensive SUV at the moment – the AMG G63 Edition 1
Those massive wheels are 24 inch alloys that look like the turbines from a passenger jet engine