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Virgil Abloh’s Mercedes-Maybach Collab Unveiled @ Art Basel

A fitting, genre-busting send-off to a groundbreaking fashion designer

By Martin Grossinger
December 02 2021
Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz 

Announced earlier this year and given extra significance after the passing of figurehead fashion designer Virgil Abloh this past weekend, the Project MAYBACH concept car was unveiled to the public on Wednesday in Miami. 

Designed in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz's Chief of Design Gordon Wagener, Project MAYBACH is the swan song of former Louis Vuitton menswear head and founder of label Off-White Virgil Abloh, who passed away from cancer this weekend at age 41. 

The car, built from the ground up and not based on a current Mercedes-Maybach model, takes the traditionally high-luxury Maybach brand and subverts it by turning a 20-foot-long Grand Touring coupe into an off-road explorer. It features big, knobby tires, an exterior roll cage, rugged interior, and a roof rack suitable for transporting everything you’d need for a luxury camping trip. Think tent, sleeping bag, bottles of champagne and tins of caviar. 

Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The beauty here is in the details – the lighting design that starts with headlights and spotlights up front is echoed through to the car’s rear. The delicate shift from the gently sloping roofline to the boxy, solid bottom half of the body. The axe stored in the door sills, ready for duty getting a campfire started. The way the car blends the rugged with the luxurious. 

Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz 

Most notably, the concept is all-electric. Keeping in mind that its adventures would take it far from conventional charging infrastructure, the car’s hood is covered in solar panels to help keep everything powered up. 

To us, it fits right in with the rest of Abloh’s work. Unexpected, unusual, yet well thought out and refined. As a last work in the automotive space, it’s a great way to remember Virgil Abloh’s talent. 

Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz


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