Last year, Virgil Abloh and Mercedes-Benz collaborated for the first time on Project Geländewagen. Reimagining the iconic G-class car with the late designer’s creative codes generated an undeniable worldwide buzz, then propelling the brand to tap Abloh again for another series. This year, he recreated the brand’s iconic Maybach model.
Seen last week in Miami at The Rubell Museum, Abloh’s electric show car continued to question the status quo with a concept designed from scratch. By working collaboratively again this year with Gorden Wagener, Mercedes-Benz’s Chief Design Officer, Abloh questioned what the luxury identity of the car was and answered it with new ideas centered around futuristic design details.
The unveiling was expected to be seen through an intimate press event on December 1, although plans were changed after the unexpected passing of Abloh on November 29. Instead, Abloh’s family and the Mercedes-Benz team joined Abloh’s everlasting spirit in philanthropy by giving back to the local community and younger generations, opening up the first look to students. On December 1 and 2, from 11:30 to 12:30 p.m., the car was available to be seen by students from local design schools only, then to the public.
The interpretation features a new design language that pushes the boundaries of form and function, style and creativity. Inspired by the outdoors and the many adventures drivers can set out on, the coupe car evokes urban design for off-road environments with two seats, battery-electric innerworkings, large Gran Turismo proportions, and large wheels and distinctive attachments.
Most important for the designers was the vision of future design, executed in complete creative freedom. With a breathtakingly large body—almost six meters long—the car also shines in unique contrasts, such as the authentic Maybach design elements in juxtaposition with a new Outdoor Adventure design motif.
“Mercedes-Benz is devastated to hear of the passing of Virgil Abloh,” said Mercedes-Benz in a statement surrounding the unveiling event. “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.”