New Mercedes Maybachs Are About to Be Unrecognizable (Some Drivers Are Confused)

The curtain goes up on the Mercedes Maybach electric SUV, which the automaker says ‘unites our ambition to lead in digital and electric.’

Karl Maybach once said that “what is good must also be beautiful,” and he ought to know.

Maybach goes way back, all the way to 1909, when he and his father, Wilhelm, founded the company that originally built engines for zeppelins.

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But the company came down to Earth and became a part of the Mercedes  (DDAIF)  family of luxury cars. And on April 17 the Mercedes-Maybach EQS electric SUV made its debut. 

“The all-new Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV: made for exclusive travelling at the highest level,” the automaker tweeted.

The electric SUV boasts a dual-motor powertrain, 649 horsepower, 700 pound-feet of torque and an estimated range of 373 miles. The vehicle goes from zero to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds.

High-Tech Ride With All the Trimmings

Rear passengers will have their own 11.6-inch displays on the front-seat backrests. There is also an MBUX — Mercedes-Benz User Experience — rear tablet that can be used outside the vehicle.

The EQS SUV comes standard with wireless Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto, a Burmester audio system, and wireless charging for devices. The Maybach also comes with two rows of seating and a bulkhead behind the second row.

The company said 21-inch wheels would be standard when the Maybach EQS goes on sale later this year, while 22-inch wheels, as well as a sixth two-tone paint option, will come online later.

“The Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV unites our ambition to lead in digital and electric with our focus on the luxury segment,” Ola Källenius, chairman of the management board at Mercedes-Benz Group, said in a statement. 

“The very first all-electric vehicle from Mercedes-Maybach complements the best technologies from Mercedes-Benz with the extra comfort and individual details that are only available from Mercedes-Maybach,” he added.

The company has not specified a price for the Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV yet, but it ain’t gonna be cheap. 

But some fans and potential drivers are confused about Mercedes’ redesign. 

“I can’t get over the huge faux grill,” TechCrunch senior editor Matt Burns commented.

“The 21-inch, seven-spoke forged rollers make a heck of an impression, but if you need even more, 22-inchers will also be available,” Jalopnik writer Tim Stevens said.

“All that’s wrapped in one of five two-tone paint schemes: silver/black, silver/blue, black/gray, black/gold, and brown/black. That last combo is what you see pictured here, a stately pairing that wouldn’t be my first choice. Or my second, if I’m honest.”

Others were less kind in their reviews. 

“This new Maybach EQS SUV is perhaps the ugliest thing to ever come out of stuttgart,” one Twitter user noted.

“Eqs Maybach looks like a minivan,” another noted.

Luxury EV Market to Heat Up

By way of background, the German sports-car manufacturer released its EQS electric model in Germany in 2021, then later in the U.S. 

With a starting price at $105,450, it was ranked eighth for luxury electric vehicles by Car and Driver, behind Lucid’s  (LCID) – Get Free Report Air, several Porsches  (POAHY) , the Tesla  (TSLA) – Get Free Report Model S and the BMW i7.  (BMWYY)

The luxury EV market is projected to heat up.

A report by McKinsey in December said that “across automotive segments, the luxury segment is expected to grow the fastest until 2030 whilst achieving the highest profit margins.”

The study found that 44% of luxury internal combustion engine vehicle owners are ready to switch to pure EVs.

“At the same time, electrification is picking up, with electric vehicles expected to account for at least 50% to 60% of the luxury segment by 2030,” the study said.

Producers be advised: McKinsey said almost all luxury-vehicle customers would be open to switching brands for their next purchase.

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