Project Maybach Promises to Celebrate 100 Years of German Brand With New Concept

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Maybach used to be more than Mercedes-Benz’s ultra-luxury division. Until 1960, it made opulent cars and engines. After Daimler acquired it, it went into oblivion until 2002, when Daimler tried to challenge Rolls-Royce and Bentley until Maybach’s demise in 2012. To celebrate 100 years, Maybach will present a concept on December 1.

The new vehicle was developed under the codename Project Maybach. Gorden Wagener, Mercedes-Benz Chief Design Officer, teamed up with Virgil Abloh to conceive the car. This is not the first collaboration Mercedes-Benz has with the American designer, who also helped reimagine the G-Glass.

Very little has been said about Project Maybach. However, Wagener said that the idea is to transform “the brand into a luxury electric future.” With Maybach, the electric shift may be easier than for Rolls-Royce: the German brand may start with a clean sheet of paper without any commitment or compromise with anything it produced in the past.

As interesting as that may seem, it also seems unlikely that Maybach will do something independently. Lately, Maybachs are just more luxurious versions of Mercedes-Benz models. That is one of the reasons why we think Project Maybach may turn out to be a fancy derivative of the Vision EQXX concept, which is yet to be presented.

Daimler promises it will be “unlike anything previously seen from Mercedes-Benz” and that the concept “exemplifies the possibility of design that is untethered by existing blueprints, or production specifications.” In that sense, it may be something completely unusual, but we wonder what would be the point. A more luxurious derivative of the EQXX makes more sense.

The German brand will only reveal the Project Maybach weeks from now. The presentation will coincide with the Art Basel in Miami Beach, which opens on December 2. The art show assembles more than 250 of the world’s leading art galleries. How does that relate to an ultra-luxury electric car? We have no clue. The car could be presented as a work of art. It could also mean that it is just a fantasy. We’ll have to wait to understand what Project Maybach is all about.