On December 1, 2021, in lieu of an intimate press event, Mercedes-Benz payed tribute to Virgil Abloh by opening the doors of the Rubell Museum to showcase Project MAYBACH to the public from December 1st – December 2nd, with access offered exclusively to students from local design schools from 11:30am to 12:30pm on December 1st. A humble contribution to Virgil’s vast legacy, the Mercedes-Maybach show car exemplifies the possibilities of future design and is the result of an on-going cooperation with the polymath artist, architect, creative director, fashion designer and philanthropist; driven by a shared passion to enrich the conversation around luxury design.
“Mercedes-Benz is devastated to hear of the passing of Virgil Abloh. Our sincere thoughts are with Virgil’s family and teams. Now 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.” – Mercedes-Benz AG.
Introducing Project MAYBACH
A design unlike anything that has been developed by Mercedes-Benz, every element of Project MAYBACH has been built from scratch. Abloh, collaboratively with Gorden Wagener, has interpreted Mercedes-Maybach’s luxury identity with a new design language and pushed the boundaries of function, style, and collaborative creativity. Inspired by the great outdoors and recontextualizing a traditionally metropolitan brand within a distinctly off-road environment, the 2-seater, battery-electric off-road coupe combines huge Gran Turismo proportions, large off-road wheels and distinctive attachments.
A key focus for both Abloh and Wagener was a responsible vision of future design. Complete creative freedom – untethered by production requirements – enabled the design teams to conceptualize what the future of electric travel could look like. For example, under the transparent surface of the front hood of the show car are solar cells that increase the imagined range of the Project MAYBACH.
Never afraid to spark conversation through provocative design, Project MAYBACH channels Abloh’s passion to challenge the status quo and re-write the rulebook of aspirational design. The X-Factor nature of Project MAYBACH results not only from its breathtaking size – nearly 20 feet long – and characteristics, but above all from its unique contrasts; most notably through how naturally authentic Mercedes-Maybach design elements are harmoniously combined with a new Outdoor Adventure design motif.
The power of Abloh’s work is not only from the product design, but also the exploratory conversations that his work ignited. While the Project MAYBACH show car was inspired by how one could explore nature within a uniquely luxurious context with Maybach, the Mercedes-Benz teams thank Virgil Abloh for the inspiration to explore the power of cross-industry dialogue to imagine a better, more inclusive future.