Yesterday I saw my dream girl, the 18-and-half-foot 1966 Lincoln Continental, cruising down the street. The '66 was by no means the longest Continental (that title belongs to the '77 edition, by which time they'd added another foot), but it was still a land boat in the purest sense of the word.
For a time, the extra-long luxury sedan was emblematic of everything prosperous and American: open spaces mean bigger towns, bigger houses, bigger lawns, bigger roads. And what do you drive on those roads? Bigger cars with bigger back seats, the only vessels bigger enough to contain our bigger American dreams.
By the mid-'80s, though, the car had diminished to an almost coupe-ish 16 feet due to its atrociously bad gas mileage and the difficulty of parking one anywhere but a hayfield or drive-in movie theater. It appeared then that the era of the XL sedan had passed, giving way to smaller, more nimble, fuel-savvier cars.
Or so we thought.
Because on a private estate in Pebble Beach this past weekend, Mercedes unveiled its latest concept: the Maybach Vision 6 Cabriolet. And a vision to behold it certainly is. At nearly 20-feet long, you'd think this car was an anvil. But thanks to the power — and efficiency — of its electric drivetrain, it's anything but: the 750 ponies under the hood will get you from 0-60 in under four seconds.
Maybach (7 images)
It’s capable of a range of more than 200 miles on a single charge of the battery stored beneath the floor. That battery, thanks to a “supercharger” the manufacturer has developed, can also boost the ride’s range from
Inside, the bells and whistles include a gaggle of touch controls, an advanced navigation system and a voice-controlled concierge, and interior lights run along the dash,
Despite the firmly forward-looking technical specs, though, the car doesn't forget where it came from.
The coachwork is pure Art Deco, with a radiator inspired by a pinstriped suit, a back end fashioned to emulate the tail of a yacht, and a wood floor laid with aluminum yachting connection. The bonnet spreads from the middle like wings, the 24-inch light-alloy wheels have a center lock polished in rose gold, and the custom fabric top is interwoven with rose gold threading to match.
The rub, of course, is that this is all a concept. Not you nor I nor the nearest billionaire will be cruising Main in one anytime soon.
So here's to 2035 — if we make it that far, we'll be riding off into the sunset in a car our grandfathers would've loved.