Maybach concept boasts 738 electric horsepower and over 18 feet of luxury

The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 concept car combines design cues from historical aero coupes while propelling itself with a powerful electric drivetrain.

Wayne Cunningham Managing Editor / Roadshow
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
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Watch this: The Vision Mercedes Maybach 6 is 18 feet of wow

The 1940s saw some automotive designers taking cues from aviation, coming up with what has generally been termed the "aero coupe," cars with long noses, prominent fenders and lengthy, sloping rear ends. Mercedes-Benz embraces the aero coupe in a modern context with the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, a concept car first shown during the Monterey Car Week and again at this year's Paris Motor Show.

Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6
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Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6

Mercedes-Maybach unveiled its Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 during the Monterey Car Week.

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Giving the concept a modern spin, Mercedes-Benz fits this 18-and-a-half-foot-long luxury coupe with an electric drivetrain, with 738 horsepower and over 200 miles of range.

Mercedes-Maybach is the revived luxury brand under Mercedes-Benz that used to be known simply as Maybach. It currently offers the Mercedes-Maybach S600, a heavily modified ultra-luxury version of the Mercedes-Benz S-class.

The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 concept shows off how a new Mercedes-Maybach vehicle could look. Gordon Wagener, head of design for Daimler, Mercedes-Maybach's parent company, said the new concept embodies a "reduced, technoid look", referring to his modern take on the aero coupe style.

The belt-line of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 concept gracefully arcs along its length, hitting an apex just forward of the cabin. The cabin itself nestles low at the rear of the body.

Mercedes-Maybach concept makes an electric splash at Pebble Beach

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As a coupe, the concept only has two doors, but Mercedes-Maybach plumbs another part of Mercedes-Benz history, using gull-wing doors that hinge at the top, and open out and up.

1946 Delahaye 135MS Coupe Pourtout
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1946 Delahaye 135MS Coupe Pourtout

This 1946 Delahaye shows off the aero coupe style.

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The wide grille, stretching between two supports across the front of the car, uses vertical struts that Mercedes-Maybach notes were inspired by a "pinstriped suit". As another historical automotive design reference, the rear makes use of a boat-tail shape, with a split rear window.

For its modern twist, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 integrates an 80-kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery packed in the car's floor. The details Mercedes-Maybach provides for the electric drivetrain show a developed system, with electricity output and motors, giving the concept all-wheel-drive and good for 738 horsepower. That means acceleration of under four seconds to 60 mph and over 200 miles of range using EPA testing cycles.

The concept even includes DC fast-charging capability, giving it 62 miles per five minutes of charging, at station supporting the J1772 Combo standard.