This Concept Mercedes-Maybach EQS pairs EV drive with German excess

Mercedes-Maybach may not be quite ready to announce a series fully-electric model, but that doesn't mean they can't tease it: hence today's big reveal of the Concept Mercedes-Maybach EQS. A preview of what the luxury automaker says will be the first full EV in the rarified sub-brand, it may run on electrons rather than gasoline but there's no sacrifice of the interior experience.

Indeed, there's absolutely no way anybody is going to confuse the Concept Mercedes-Maybach EQS for a hair-shirt Prius. On the outside, it's an upright SUV, finished in the automaker's favored two-tone paint. Lashings of chrome are par for the course, too.

However the electric underpinnings do lead to some big evolutions. The shape is a smoother one than that of current Maybach models, helping with aerodynamics and thus maximizing range. The wheels are pushed out to the corners, with high-gloss black cladding, maximizing interior space.

"With the Concept Mercedes-Maybach EQS, we're transforming the brand into an electric future after 100 years," Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Daimler Group explains. "The futuristic design consists of an emotional integration of surfaces and shapes. The front, with its progressive Maybach grille, follows the principle of integration and gives the brand a completely new appearance. In conjunction with the new style aerodynamic SUV proportions, we're completely redefining the luxury SUV of the future."

As always, it's the detailing where things get most interesting. The black panel front, for example, has finely-finished LED lights, with the same Maybach emblem mesh pattern. There's a fine chrome pinstripe between the Obsidian Black Metallic and Zircon Red Metallic paint surfaces; custom inlays with the Maybach emblem give the aero-optimized side running boards an on-brand twist.

As for the wheels, they're a whopping 24-inches in size. At the back, there's a helix light strip running the width of the vehicle. Mercedes has also used proximity sensors to automatically deploy the door handles, and the rear doors can be power-opened remotely too.

Inside, meanwhile, the front seats are nods to the current Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. However the rear gets a lounge-like space, with twin recliners and a high-end entertainment system. There's a floating center rear console, folding tables, a refrigerator compartment, and matching floating-panel door trim. For the color scheme, the Maybach team picked white, dark blue, white chrome, and a rose gold highlight.

As for what's underneath, Mercedes-Maybach plans to use Mercedes' modular architecture for luxury- and executive-class electric vehicles. We'll get more details on that in 2022, when the first vehicle – the EQS SUV – goes into production based on the platform, though the promise is 600 kilometers (372 miles) on the WLTP test cycle. The Maybach version will come sometime after that.