Mercedes-Benz’s Maybach EV concept helps the wealthy feel even better about themselves

Mercedes-Benz has shown off the electric Maybach EQS, a stunning concept car that the company says is a preview of what the future of high-end electric cars could look like. The company revealed the EV SUV at the IAA Mobility Show, where it also announced the G-Class SUV concept and a more attainable electric sedan.

When compared to the existing Maybach GLS, the EQS concept doesn’t seem particularly strange. Mercedes says this one-off vehicle is based on its modular electric architecture – the same one that powers its upcoming EQS sedan. The company says the concept is meant to showcase its vision for a “locally emissions-free future”, without giving up on the exclusivity and luxury that the Maybach name implies – Mercedes says the interior will remind you of a yacht. Must, and SUVs have something called “driver package”.

The Maybach EQS doesn’t scream “concept” or even “EV”.
Image: Mercedes-Benz

As Maybex exists for the ultra-luxury segment, it wouldn’t hurt to go for the more ecologically friendly alternatives that exist in the world. According to Edmunds, the gas-powered Maybach GLS has a thirsty 4L V8, which gets 15 MPG in the city and 19 on the highway. Rolls-Royce’s Cullinan SUV is even worse, a 6.75L V12 (twelve!!), reportedly getting 12 (twelve!!!) MPG in the city (but 20 on the highway). While EVs clearly aren’t going to make a huge dent in the outdoor carbon emissions of the wealthy, they probably won’t hurt.

Of course, going green may not come at the cost of feeling better than everyone around you. The Mercedes page for the concept car includes some incredible prose describing the Maybach EQS: Its silhouette is “dynamic”, its design is “seamless.” Thankfully, the carpet is “faux fur” rather than the real deal, to go along with the EV eco-friendliness theme. However, it’s all kind of a thing – Maybach is a Capital-L luxury brand, so there should be an aura of prestige surrounding any concept.

The rose gold really builds it up.

The concept still included the presence of a grille, despite not needing one.
Image: Mercedes

Oh, and the headlights are emblazoned with the Maybach logo, as concept cars are not for the sake of subtlety.

OK, this looks really cool.
Image: Mercedes-Benz

Of course, there are already luxury electric cars that you can actually buy. The Porsche Taycan and Mercedes EQS come to mind, but in those types of cars… culturally speaking, call it a different role. Those are the types of cars you’ll drive, while Maybachs are the types of cars you’ll be driving (and not by an automated system, like the future Tesla is promising). If you’re cross-shopping a Maybach, your other options may be more a Rolls-Royce than a Tesla, whose build quality can sometimes Miss the “Luxury” Sign by a Mile.

Again, though, the Maybach EQS is only a concept, so there may be plenty of time before you (yes, you, the people who bought a $50,000 TV on Black Friday) can get your hands on one. While it’s an odd vehicle from the point of view of everyday drivers, it’s not the kind of concept you’ll see and think “yeah, maybe in a million years,” like last year’s Mercedes Avatar car. Mercedes calls the concept “a clear preview of the first fully electric series-production model” in the Maybach line, and the company already has an EV platform it could put to use. It’s not a subtle car, so I’m sure it won’t be hard to miss when something like this finally hits the road.

Oh, and I almost forgot: As with many concept cars, there’s a totally unnerving “movie” to go with it. Honestly, butterflies are a nice touch.

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