At this year's gathering of the most magnificent classic cars at Pebble Beach in California, Mercedes-Benz is once again set to present a highlight: the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet is a car which, with its sensual, emotionally appealing design and innovative technical concept solutions, defines the ultimate in luxury of the future. At the same time the two-seater model pays homage to the glorious "automotive haute couture" of hand-finished, exclusive cabriolets.
The glamorous cabriolet reinterprets classic, emotional design principles in an extravagant way and combines intelligent beauty with classic, aesthetic proportions and a reduced, technoid appearance – a perfect embodiment of the design philosophy of Sensual Purity.
The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet is designed as an electric car. The drive system has an output of 750 hp (550 kW). The shallow underfloor battery allows a range of over 200 miles (500 kilometers according to the NEDC).
Exterior: powerful structural elements with a sharp feature line
Measuring almost 20 feet (6 meters) in length, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet incorporates the classic proportions of art deco design with its extremely long hood and puristic, flowing lines, and at the same time completely reinterprets these aesthetic principles. The curved body boasts a sporty, stretched design which is characterized by powerful structural elements in conjunction with the sharp feature line. This side feature line defines the upper vehicle body, from the radiator grille across the entire length of the vehicle through to the rear.
The strong contrast between the dark blue paintwork in "nautical blue metallic" and the chrome highlights increases the fascinating relationship between the clearly defined areas with organically shaped fenders and the chrome trim elements, which sit at the top on the edge of the fender as well as in the middle of the trunk lid, where they also incorporate the vertical tail lamps. This benefits the interpretation of the Mercedes-Maybach radiator grille, which with its fine, vertical struts accentuates the front end. The grille was inspired by a pinstriped suit. The radiator grille rests on two aerodynamically shaped supports on the outer right and left of the bumper.
The newly designed 24-inch light-alloy wheels feature a center lock. This is painted in rose gold and as such reflects the color shade used on all electric vehicle studies from Mercedes-Benz.
The extended, round "boat tail" format of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet's rear recalls a luxury yacht, and narrow tail lamps which emphasize the width of the vehicle are integrated in its outer edges. Further distinctive features at the rear include the diffuser with aluminum frame and the air outlets behind the wheel arches.
The transition between the vehicle rear, the area of the trunk lid and the interior boasts a flowing design. Crystal white high-quality nappa leather creates an exciting contrast to the dark paint finish. The custom-made fabric top with interwoven rose gold threads has been perfectly coordinated with the look of the vehicle.
Interior: 360° open-air luxury lounge
With the luxurious interior of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet, Mercedes-Benz demonstrates a new synthesis of intelligence and emotion. At the same time, the designers have combined the unique tradition of the brand with a previously unknown high-tech experience.
The generous, flowing design idiom brings exterior and interior together in a holistic design. The formal flow of the areas from the rear into the interior gives rise to a typical yacht feeling. A light wing flows in a curve across the door trim and the center tunnel into the seat landscape, creating a 360° open-air luxury lounge.
The new "inside out" spatial design adds a particularly special feature. The sitting surface forms a horizontal plane, transitions into the vertical plane of the doors and finally becomes the underside of the dashboard wing.
In addition to the flowing contours, the material composition produces a luxury experience of the highest order. Here, too, the interplay of the contrasts is both hot and cool. The brand's hallmark authentic materials and colors are used, such as rose gold on the trim elements, or the surfaces which come into contact with the skin, featuring a lavish, quilted crystal white nappa leather finish. In this luxury technique, familiar among other things from Chesterfield furniture, the leather is put into folds in a diamond pattern and secured to the frame with buttons. In the case of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet, this traditional seat upholstery boasts a futuristic interpretation: each individual button of the quilting depicts a delicate Mercedes star, backlit in blue. The open-pore wood floor with inlaid aluminum underscores the lounge sensation and the connection to yachting.
Above the 360° luxury lounge, the display strip links doors, dashboard and the rear area. All display elements are integrated into the continuous glass trim part. By way of contrast, classic round dials, such as the instrument cluster, are positioned prominently. The combination of digital displays with real needles is also totally on trend. By using "hyperanalogue" elements, the designers are responding to the need of people to experience analogue luxury in what is an increasingly digital world. As a classic borrowing from aviation, three air vents are positioned beneath the wing which appear to float like engines.
Another highlight comes courtesy of the floating, transparent center tunnel, which visualizes the drive system's electrical energy flow for the passengers by means of blue fiber optics.
The main driving functions as well as information relevant to the location (e.g. restaurant recommendations or information on points of interest) are shown on the windscreen via two head-up displays.
User experience: intuitive communication
The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet is designed to anticipate the needs of its passengers and to provide the required information and solutions in real time. The user experience also combines ultimate luxury with intelligence. In addition to the touch-only control and intelligent navigation linked to the appointment calendar, another example is the Concierge function. It is possible to talk to the concierge like talking to a friend, i.e. freely, without using predefined voice commands. This enables full concentration of the tasks of driving.
The latest generation of biometric sensors record the state of mind and health status of the passengers.
Emission-free driving: electric drive system generating 750 hp (550 kW)
The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 is designed as an electric car. Thanks to its four compact permanent magnet synchronous electric motors, it features all- wheel drive. The flat battery sits in the underbody. The drive system has an output of 750 hp (550 kW). This not only allows performance characteristics typical of a sports car (acceleration from 0-60 mph in under four seconds, top speed electronically governed at 155 mph) but also a range of over 200 miles (500 kilometers according to the NEDC).
The quick-charge function is also visionary: as a result of DC charging based on the CCS standard, the system allows a charging capacity of up to 350 kW. In just five minutes enough power can be charged to achieve an additional range of over 60 miles (100 kilometers).
The wow effect: visionary show cars with long-term prospects
With its generous dimensions, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet (length/width/height: 18.7/6.9/4.4 ft) continues the series of visionary design show cars from Mercedes-Benz. So far these include the Vision EnerG-Force (Los Angeles, November 2012), AMG Vision Gran Turismo (Sunnyvale, 2013), Vision Tokyo (Tokyo 2015) and Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Coupé (Pebble Beach 2016). Thanks to the global nature of the Mercedes-Benz Design function, these concept vehicles take cues from local trends in design, culture and mobility and make these the focal point of the respective mobility concept. At the same time, these show cars are looking far into the future.