By: STEPHANIE DAVIS SMITH
Mercedes-Benz unveils the Maybach by Virgil Abloh, a limited edition of 150 that features a visionary take on automotive luxury worthy of its epithet.
It all started with a beloved fashion designer’s vision. “We wanted to display Virgil Abloh’s work in the manner that was originally planned with him [at the helm]: an immersive experience that celebrated the creativity of Miami during Design Week,” says Anja Steindl, manager of global brand communications at Mercedes-Maybach.
This intention culminated last December, when Mercedes-Maybach unveiled its limited-edition bespoke S-Class. Incredulously, the designer had died only a month before. It was their third collaboration, and the unique, off-roading concept car was known as Project Maybach. The car was revealed at Art Basel during a time when the city was bursting with the ultimate creativity; something Abloh felt was paramount for its debut.
The Project Maybach looked a lot like an off-roading tank meant more for a Baja sand race than cruising the streets of South Beach. Described as an “off-road coupe,” this fully electric concept car was a two-seater with an exterior roll cage and big round exterior lights. Its launch was timed with the release of a capsule collection designed by Abloh for Off-White, the late designer’s luxury fashion label. The fashion collection of sand-colored cotton T-shirts, hoodies, baseball caps, and racing gloves sold out almost immediately.
So, why did Mercedes-Maybach present the collections after Abloh’s unexpected passing? The legendary car maker revealed they were following the wishes of Abloh’s family. “The installation is an homage to a trusted partner and collaborator,” says Steindl. In April, the inspiration of the concept car was reimagined into a more commercial vehicle facilitating Abloh’s posthumous vision to come to life. Mercedes–Maybach unveiled the limited-edition cars now available globally. The bespoke automobile is a two-toned mix of sand and obsidian black on a Mercedes-Maybach S-Class S 680 designed in partnership with Mercedes-Benz Group AG Chief Design Officer Gorden Wagener.
For those who appreciate dreamy accouterments, owners receive a custom-made wooden box in tan Nappa leather with the Mercedes-Maybach and Virgil Abloh logo. Inside the box are two car keys and a replica of the limited-edition car at 1/8th scale. Another bonus: a special car cover with the Mercedes-Maybach and Virgil Abloh logo. Covering all bases is yet another reason why this collaboration is in a league of its own.
WLTP combined fuel consumption: 14.313.4 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions: 326304 g/km
A special Mercedes-Maybach and Virgil Abloh logo is inscribed on the center console, rear cushions, head restraints and door sill panel
Four-seat configuration, steering wheel, doors, lower dashboard and ceiling are lined in black- and sand-colored Nappa leather
Handcrafted 6.0L V12 biturbo engine delivers 621 hp at 5,250-5,500 rpm
Accelerates 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds