Mercedes-Benz introduced the Project Maybach this week, the bold off-road coupe that was conceived under the guidance of designers Gorden Wagener and Virgil Abloh. The presentation of this design project at the Rubell Museum in Miami comes at a bad time, however, following the death of Virgil Abloh on November 28. The first major black designer (also known for his work as an architect, creative director, entrepreneur and philanthropist) in the fashion world lost his battle with cancer at age 41.
Even so, the unveiling of the Maybach Project that illustrates the future of one facet of electric travel, the unique coupe that is powered by renewable energy. The least we can say is that this creation has all the makings of a discussion starter for automotive and even design enthusiasts.
Equipped with off-road tires, the coupe is also elevated to better handle the obstacles in front of it. What’s more, both ends of the coupe are equipped with skid plates that are definitely too pretty for abuse, while auxiliary lights have also been added to the front, which has absolutely no grill despite appearances. The very long hood is transparent and lets appear an array of photovoltaic cells that increase somewhat the possible autonomy. The exoskeleton is also one of the elements that jumps out at first glance.
Inside, the atmosphere is sandy beige with very supportive seats and a very utilitarian feel with a sleek dashboard and some brushed metal details here and there. There’s even a Maybach hatchet integrated into the chassis not far from the driver’s seat.
We don’t know the details surrounding the powertrain, its battery or even its range, but with a platform this long – the coupe measures nearly six meters in length – there’s plenty of room for multiple batteries.
The German automaker also had this to say following the death of one of the creators of this Maybach Project: “Mercedes-Benz is devastated by the news of Virgil Abloh’s death. Our sincere thoughts are with Virgil’s family and teams. By now opening the world of our collaboration, and Virgil’s unique vision, to the public, we want to respectfully celebrate the work of a truly unique design talent, who created endless collaborative possibilities through his unbridled imagination and inspired all who knew his work.”