For solar powered super-comfort on your next safari, Mercedes-Benz have the ideal solution. This one-off concept was designed in collaboration with Virgil Abloh, the Louis Vuitton head of menswear who died recently. Project Maybach x Virgil Abloh is a clean sheet design and its jaw-dropping audacity stands now as a tribute to the design genius of Abloh, whose visionary work spanned fashion, architecture and, as you can see here, conceptual car design.
Project Maybach isn't based on any existing Mercedes platform, allowing Virgil Abloh and the Mercedes designers he worked with to follow their wildest imaginings. That led them, says Mercedes, to combine the idea of an outdoor adventure with high end premium luxury, as represented by the company’s Maybach brand. Not just that, but the avant-garde look is so striking and this two-door SUV is so big - the concept is 20 feet long - that if you saw one in the desert you'd perhaps think it was a mirage.
Occupants sit under a fully glazed dome for maximum visibility of any passing camels, giraffe or wildebeest. For maximum protection, there's a full external roll cage surrounding the dome, incorporating a roof rack for all of your safari essentials. The two enormous doors open to a super-deluxe interior, with just the two seats that appear to fold backwards to form handy beds, which would look up at the stars through that glass roof should you be taking to the great outdoors at night.
Power is electric and solar panels, hidden under the long bonnet, top up Project Maybach's batteries. Huge chunky tyres, more than sufficient ground clearance and an array of eight extra driving lights up front speak of proper off-road intent. As a safari vehicle, there really is nothing like it.
Mercedes-Benz, who have been exhibiting the car at the Rubell Museum in Miami, paid tribute to Virgil Abloh, who had also worked with the company on a G-Wagen project. "Now by opening the world of our collaboration, and Virgil's unique vision, to the public, we want to respectfully celebrate the work of a truly unique design talent, who created endless possibilities for collaboration through his unbridled imagination and inspired all that knew his work." Project Maybach shows that, and then some.