Mercedes Reportedly Axes That Weird SUV Sedan Mashup

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Unveiled in 2018, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury is no more. German business newspaper Handelsblatt reports the luxury automaker has pulled the plug on what would’ve been part sedan, part SUV. The idea was to combine the two most popular body styles in China and create a new segment dubbed Sport Utility Sedan (SUS). As the cool kids say nowadays, the concept did look a bit sus…

Three insiders cited by Handelsblatt say the project has been either abandoned or put on hold indefinitely. The decision was taken a few months ago, meaning the production version won’t see the light of day, despite the previous plan being to have the car on sale in China around 2025. It was supposed to be built exclusively in Beijing on the EVA2 platform used by the EQE / EQE SUV and EQS / EQS SUV.

Mercedes admitted in a statement made to the German paper development of the SUS is on a hiatus because the car is too complex and expensive to build. The three-pointed star claims it already has plenty of electric cars on sale in China to cover all the important segments: “In order to reduce complexity, we have therefore decided not to continue the project of a China-specific additional vehicle based on the EVA2 architecture for the time being.”

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If you don’t remember the (takes deep breath) Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury, it was an electric concept with 24-inch turbine-styled wheels and a front trunk that had a split opening. It had all-wheel drive with 738 horsepower from four motors that got their juice from an underfloor battery pack with a usable capacity of about 80 kWh.

Mercedes claimed over 200 miles of range per EPA procedure or more than 500 kilometers according to the overly optimistic NEDC test cycle. The battery supported 350-kW charging, in which case five minutes were enough to replenish the battery for 62 miles. At full tilt, the SUV-sedan contraption could hit an electronically capped 155 mph (250 km/h).

The unconventionally shaped China-centric concept was “modelled on the S-Class” to serve as “a totally new archetype of a kind never seen before,” according to Mercedes chief designer Gorden Wagener. When the car debuted five years ago, the man in charge of its appearance said:

“Our concept combines the DNA of an SUV with that of a saloon to produce an ultra-modern SUV of three-box design. With sensuality and pure sophistication, we have created a timeless vehicle that underscores the position of Mercedes-Maybach as the ultimate luxury brand.”

The concept was imposingly large, at 5260 mm (207 in) long, 2110 mm (83 in) wide, and 1764 mm (69 in) tall. It’s not the only Maybach-branded showcar that won’t be made since the 2016 Mercedes-Maybach 6 and the 2017 Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet remained strictly concept cars as well.

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That’s not to say Mercedes is refraining from expanding its sub-brand. The company with the double M logo is preparing a Maybach SL to sit alongside the posh S-Class Sedan, GLS, and EQS SUV. Not only that, the new Mythos series of limited-run, ultra-luxury cars positioned above Maybach will debut in 2025 with an SL-based speedster.