Mercedes Benz Project Maybach

Mercedes Benz x Virgil Abloh Project Maybach | Source: Whichcar

Lasting Legacy: Virgil Abloh’s Final Collaboration Unveiled by Mercedes-Benz

Fashion is one of the greatest vehicles to merge music, art, architecture, design, typography — it’s a wide enough canvas, or a big enough sandbox, to touch all the different things that I’m into.

Virgil Abloh made a career around a diverse design portfolio that included unique collaborations. His last, with none other than Mercedes-Benz, cements a lasting legacy of pushing boundaries, thinking into the future and opening doors.

Titled ‘Project Maybach,’ the electric car designed by the Off-White founder alongside Mercedes’ Chief Design Officer Gorden Wagener, was unveiled by the luxury German car company in Miami a few days after Abloh’s final Louis Vuitton show. 

Virgil Abloh (left) and Gorden Wagener
Virgil Abloh and Gorden Wagener | Source: FT

While originally meant to be revealed privately to the press, Abloh’s family requested the concept car be exhibited to the public – on display at the Rubell Museum in Miami on 1 and 2 December.

And true to Abloh’s penchant for promoting emerging talent, local design school students have private access to the show for an hour in the mornings from 11:30am local time.

Coinciding with 100 years since Karl Maybach debuted the first Maybach W 3, the zero-emission show car is a battery-powered, two-seater loosely based on the Mercedes Maybach but designed for off-road. It presents the second collaboration between the pair following last years G-Class-based Project Geländewagen.

Commenting in October about the collaboration, one of the late designers many defining traits, his forward-thinking vision was as always evident.

The Maybach legacy celebrates exploration, pushing creativity to new places, living outside of the status quo. In this next phase, we’re embracing these ideals and bringing the Mercedes Maybach heritage into the future, inviting the next generation to join in revering this icon. Together we’re entering a new age of discovery.

As with all his projects, Virgil’s avant-garde influence on the design is obvious. Inspired by the great outdoors, off-road details combine with Gran Turismo elements, functional touches mingle with luxury motifs. The unique clay-coloured vehicle is both rugged and sleek, an expression of conform-challenging characteristics that’s the result of complete creative freedom.

Project Maybach
Project Maybach interior
Project Maybach | Source: Whichcar

Gorden Wagener, Mercedes-Benz AG’s Chief Design Officer who worked with Abloh on the project, says the car represents a new sustainable future for the brand.

With Project MAYBACH we define the next level of luxury. After 100 years, we transform the brand into a luxury electric future. Together with Virgil, we are writing a new rule book for Mercedes-Maybach.

Today, Mercedes-Maybach is one of the most unique and exclusive automotive brands, and aided by Virgil Abloh’s creative guidance, is defining an innovative design direction for luxury electric vehicles of the future. True to his lasting legacy, Abloh is continuing to inspire the next generation.

To read more on the iconic designer’s collaboration have a look at Nigo and Abloh’s Louis Vuitton 2.

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