Virgil Abloh cast a long shadow over design, fashion, marketing and culture. Now, the late creative director and collaboration specialist’s latest posthumous collaboration shows how his influence resonated in another arena: luxury automobiles.
Mercedes Benz announced on Tuesday that it will produce a limited-edition, Abloh-badged version of it’s highest-end sedan, the Mercedes-Maybach S-680. The vehicle is the second and final iteration of Mercedes Benz’ collaboration with Abloh’s Off-White brand, which previously produced another vehicle for an show car in 2020.
There’s no word on pricing but it’s a guarantee that if you want this car, you should probably be rich and well-connected. Mercedes plans to build only 150 of the Abloh Maybach’s worldwide, and the starting price figures to be significantly north of the $184,900 sticker on the company’s lower-end S-580 sedan, which, by the way, is produced in higher quantities.
So what’s so special about an Abloh-themed Benz that people will likely spend more than $200k for it?
The Maybach by Virgil Abloh is a specially curated version of the Mercedes-Maybach S680 sedan complete with the potent 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 engine that produces 621 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. The sedan is treated to a unique two-tone color combination borrowed directly from Project Maybach mating a glossy Obsidian Black upper portion with sand-colored paint below. Even the window frames are painted black for a more uniform appearance.
Inside, there’s an identical two-tone color scheme with black and sand Nappa leather as far as the eye can see, with matching high-pile floor mats, embroidery and trim. Special “Mercedes-Maybach and Virgil Abloh” logos are found around the cabin, from a plaque on the piano black center console to the rear cushions, headrests and door sills.
The attention to detail even extends to the MBUX infotainment suite which features visual elements unique to the limited-edition model. The home button has a custom-colored border and the Virgil Abloh brand logo. Meanwhile, the Mercedes Me user profile pictures are decorated with luxurious fashion accessories. Each example comes with a special car cover featuring the Mercedes-Maybach and Virgil Abloh logo and a custom-made wood box covered in sand colored Nappa leather — matching the vehicle’s interior — containing a 1/18 scale replica of the car, two car keys and a carabiner hook
Abloh died of cancer last November. He was 41. In life he was the creative force behind his own Off White brand, as well as serving as creative director for Louis Vuitton menswear and helming collaborations with brands including Nike and Ikea.
Since his passing, his creative output and his influence have continued. A website he launched before his death gives creatives and entrepreneurs a step-by-step guide for creating a brand. His final clothing collection debuted in Paris in January, while a limited edition collection of Abloh-designed Nike sneakers were auctioned in January and February.