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MERCEDES-MAYBACH 6

Car manufacturers like to demonstrate how committed to a brave new world they are. They do this by showing ‘concept cars’ that are, essentially, the very same vehicle they’ll offer for sale next year, but with enormous wheels, rubber bands for tyres and the wing mirrors left off. It’s reverse logic. Instead of creating something amazing on a blank canvas, they reverse engineer something from a car they know will come to exist, just so that at launch they can say how incredibly close to concept x the new offering is. There are, though, exceptions that prove every rule, and here’s one. The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 (so-called on account of being fully six metres in length) is a simply sensational 2+2 coupe. It has a state-of-the-art, all-electric powerplant delivering 750bhp and is said to have a range of 200 miles. So far, so on-message. And then you actually see it: an extraordinary riot of Thunderbirds-style fantasy that would have Lady Penelope a-flutter. It’s utterly glorious, and save for this sole example there are no plans to build another. Just when you’d actually want them to.

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