Safari-ized Maybach is the fashion designer’s latest collaboration with Benz

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The 2021 edition of Art Basel in Miami Beach provided the perfect platform for the reveal of the Maybach project, from Mercedes-Benz. The concept of luxury shiny black and gold, an all-electric two-seater, was designed in partnership with the late Virgil Abloh. The 41-year-old fashion design czar died last week following a private battle with cancer.

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He may have been the artistic director of Louis Vuitton, but Project Maybach is proof that he was not afraid to step out of his comfort zone. Interestingly, this is Virgil Abloh’s second collaboration with the German automaker. The first, a G-Class SUV, redesigned as a racing car, was presented last year.

The extraordinary Maybach concept is a zero emission vehicle inspired by the great safari plains. It’s massive, spanning nearly twenty feet from end to end. The nose takes up a significant proportion of this length and has been designed to provide sufficient area to accommodate the integrated solar cells that help extend the range of the electric vehicle.

A range of six safari-style lights alongside the signature Maybach grille up front sets the tone for the rest of the vehicle’s styling. The rather square frame of the car includes an external roll cage, roof rack and skid plates at both ends. A set of large tires completes the off-road layout of the Maybach Concept. The striking design theme, typical of Virgil’s bold approach, continues in the beige interior, with what looks like a foldable cinematic infotainment screen; and seats apparently carved out of luggage sets.

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Mercedes-Benz described the show car as “a humble contribution to the vast legacy of Virgil”. The Maybach project “illustrates the possibilities of future design and is the result of an ongoing cooperation with the polymath artist, architect, creative director, fashion designer and philanthropist”.

Initially, the plan was to unveil the concept at an intimate press meeting, but following the wishes of Virgil’s family, Mercedes-Benz decided to make the Maybach project available to the public at the Art Basel event. The collaborative electric show car, with its provocative design, is meant to inspire the next generation and is a fitting tribute to the black visionary who has consistently challenged the status quo.


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