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Mercedes’ next vehicle is a 20-foot luxury electric Maybach that you’ll “want to drive yourself”

Mercedes-Benz
A vision of the future of conspicuous consumption.
  • Mike Murphy
By Mike Murphy

Technology editor

This article is more than 2 years old.

The future of luxury cars isn’t all about flashy vehicles that drive themselves, at least that’s what Mercedes and Maybach want the super-rich to believe.

The Daimler-owned company unveiled a new electric car concept, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, on Aug. 19. The “6” actually represents how many meters long this car is, just shy of 20 feet—which is a pretty standard size for speedboats, if not sports cars. Mercedes showed off the concept in a bright shade of red, but if it repainted the Vision in black, it probably would not look out of place in a mid-1990s Batman feature.

Mercedes-Benz
It has gull-wing doors like a Tesla, but a very different ethos on the future of luxury vehicles.

The Vision 6 has a massive 750-horsepower engine which has a range of about 200 miles on a single charge, and can hit 60 mph in under 4 seconds, according to Bloomberg. It can also charge up to a range of about 60 miles in five minutes—much more efficient than the average quick-charging cellphone—so you’ll never have to worry about range anxiety as you drive from Davos to Monaco, or wherever the one percent need to get to these days.

Mercedes-Benz
The interior kind of looks like a futuristic boat, too.

While this concept car won’t be available for recent Maybach customers like Jay-Z to buy, it’s supposed to reflect what a high-end Mercedes will look like in the next decade or so, Bloomberg said. (Past Maybach models, which Mercedes relaunched as a brand in 2012, have cost between $100,000 and $1 million.) Mercedes executives likened the concept to a prized family heirloom, suggesting that it’s more than just a piece of technology that you’ll passively enjoy for a few years, and then move on to the next shiny new thing.

Mercedes-Benz

“This is a car you want to drive yourself,” Gorden Wagener, Daimler’s head of design, told Bloomberg. “This is something you pass to your children, like a Leica camera or a chronograph watch. Driving has been a pleasure since 130 years and will stay that way another 130 years.”

Mercedes-Benz

Although Mercedes itself is working on some (equally luxurious) self-driving cars, it seems that the company, sees the long-term future of cars at least in some part controlled by humans. Then again, Ford’s CEO Mark Fields previously told Quartz that he doesn’t see  producing a self-driving Mustang anytime soon. Perhaps some slice of humanity will always just want to go really, really fast, in really, really expensive cars.

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