Project Maybach is more than just a slick-looking all-electric concept. The coupe’s design comes from famed fashion designer Virgil Abloh, who unexpectedly passed away earlier this week. Abloh collaborated on the Maybach alongside Daimler design chief Gorden Wagener, though the two had complete creative freedom in their work. The final result is a stunning Safari-like off-road model with chunky tyres, a roof rack, and other outdoorsy accessories.

The Maybach has a massively long bonnet, but it’s more than just sheet metal real estate. It’s transparent, with solar cells underneath to extend the concept’s theoretical range. However, there are other interesting styling bits, like the hatchet embedded into the door jam or the box embedded at the end of the dashboard, which looks like you could take with you on a hike. The seats also fold completely flat, which should make sleeping out in the wilderness a breeze.

Gallery: Project Maybach

The Maybach, which was built from scratch, looks dramatic, though its design is fairly simple, with straight lines and sharp edges. But simple doesn’t mean boring or uninteresting. The two-tone black-and-tan paint scheme helps to add some contrast, while the tan-coloured cage protects the low-slung greenhouse and gives the grand tourer a sizeable roof rack. At the front, a silver skid plate and brush guard, with auxiliary lights, protects the upright front fascia, which has a stunning vertical grille. The rear has a skid plate, a brush guard, and a flat fascia with round taillights.

Abloh died on November 28 from an aggressive and rare form of cancer called cardiac angiosarcoma. He was diagnosed in 2019, but he kept it private. “Mercedes-Benz is devastated to hear of the passing of Virgil Abloh,” the automaker said in a statement. “Our sincere thoughts are with Virgil’s family and teams.”

In honour of Abloh, Mercedes is opening the doors of the Rubell Museum to the public today and tomorrow to showcase the new car. Students from local design schools were also given an exclusive opportunity to tour the museum.