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Mercedes Project Maybach Concept Memorializes Late Designer Virgil Abloh

Road & Track logo Road & Track 2021-12-01 Caleb Miller
The radical off-road coupe concept was a collaboration between Mercedes-Benz and fashion designer Virgil Abloh, who died last week. © Mercedes-Benz The radical off-road coupe concept was a collaboration between Mercedes-Benz and fashion designer Virgil Abloh, who died last week.

Mercedes-Benz teamed up with influential fashion designer Virgil Abloh last year to create the chunky, race-car-inspired Project Geländewagen, a jaw-dropping design piece based on the iconic G-class. Now Mercedes-Benz is paying tribute to Abloh, who died Sunday at age 41 of cancer, by unveiling the Project Maybach concept. The stunning show car was designed under the guidance of Abloh—who founded the design company Off-White and headed Louis Vuitton's menswear division—and Mercedes's chief design officer, Gorden Wagener.

Mercedes-Benz Project Maybach © Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-Benz Project Maybach

While the concept's long-hood proportions evoke the Mercedes-Maybach 6 concept from 2016, Mercedes says that every piece of the Project Maybach, which stretches nearly 20 feet in length, was built from scratch. The electric coupe is decked out for off-roading, with thick, knobby all-terrain tires and an exterior roll cage sprouting up and over the cabin. There are also tough metal skid plates at the front and rear and body cladding with exposed rivets over the wheel wells.

Mercedes-Benz Project Maybach © Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-Benz Project Maybach

The Project Maybach's front end features striking circular headlights and chrome vertical grille trim pieces under a glowing full-width light bar. Four auxiliary lights adorn a bull bar attached to the bumper, and four more lights extend from the roof rack. Round taillights mimic the headlights, and the two-tone appearance hides solar cells, for boosting the Maybach's range, under the hood. It's unclear if the Project Maybach previews a potential production vehicle, but Mercedes did say that the concept "exemplifies the possibilities of future design." The Project Maybach is on display at the Rubell Museum in Miami December 1–2 in memory of Abloh, "to respectfully celebrate the work of a truly unique design talent."

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