Project Maybach: Ultimate EV Off-Road or Excess Nonsense?

Behold Project Maybach. The Concept Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV was created from the fertile mind of the late Virgil Abloh, along with Mercedes design head Gordon Wagener. Abloh was a gifted fashion designer for Louis Vuitton and had a knack for creating inspiring designs. He died last week at the early age of 41. 

Is there such a thing as luxury off-roading?

Mercedes Project Maybach
Mercedes Project Maybach concept coupe | MB

This two-seat Maybach was supposed to represent the ne plus ultra of off-road trekking. Is it, or is it just excess nonsense? Is such a thing as luxury off-roading a thing? Should it even exist? Mercedes and Abloh, and Louis Vuitton felt that it should. Does this begin the gentrification of SUVs and pickup trucks? Here is what we know.

Project Maybach features off-road cues to a massive two-door coupe concept. The raised suspension, fender flares, and off-road wheels and tires are all there. So is the obligatory front skid plate, light bar, and roof rack. Mercedes doesn’t make anything that even hints at this car’s styling.

The Project Maybach coupe is massive

Mercedes Project Maybach
Mercedes Project Maybach concept coupe | MB

This 19-foot long concept features proportions skewed to the extreme. The long hood, lowered roof, and cabin shoved back onto the chassis, give it a powerful look. In today’s world of crazy body sculpturing, the coupe concept has, instead, taken a clean look. But do the proportions make for a better off-roader? 

A massive car needs a massive hood, and this one doubles as a solar panel for electric motors. The dark hood also ties in conveniently with Maybach’s signature two-tone paint. We guess that the coupe is meant to bring awareness to Mercedes’ upcoming EQS SUV.  

The Project Maybach coupe is a teaser for the Mercedes EQS SUV

Mercedes Project Maybach
Mercedes Project Maybach concept coupe interior | MB

In September that concept was unveiled at the Munich Auto Show. It is meant as a teaser for what will be the beginning of an ultra-luxury SUV segment. Though Mercedes calls it a concept, it also says it is a near production-ready SUV. It will utilize the automaker’s executive-class modular EV architecture. 

Mercedes says that the production EQS SUV will have a 373-mile range. The Maybach cues included lots of chrome, including around the side windows. It will also have those signature 24-inch Maybach bowl-design wheels.

Whatever happened to the Maybach brand? 

Mercedes Project Maybach
Mercedes Project Maybach concept coupe | MB

While the revival of the Maybach brand in the early 2000s was heralded as the ultimate in extreme luxury, it really didn’t pan out. Slow sales forced Mercedes to give up on the unique tooling and wrap the brand into the Mercedes line. It now represents the top tier of S-Class luxury. 

As for the EQS concept coupe, it was inevitable that with the success of the Lamborghini Urus SUV and Mercedes’ G-Wagens that it would make an attempt to blend the two. And naturally, as electrification takes over, it will become less of a novelty and more of an expectation. And ultra-luxury off-roading? Whether the public accepts or rejects the idea remains to be seen.

RELATED: Everything You Need to Know About the Mercedes-Benz EQS