The world we live in would be a poorer place if great innovators rested on their laurels. The automobile industry, for example, has created countless masterpieces‒ cars ahead of their time in design and engineering. But if any of their creators had decided to call it a day after releasing them to the public, even during periods of stagnating technology, then the industry would have stopped capturing our imaginations. Thankfully, this is not the case. And this was recently epitomised when Mercedes and Rolls-Royce unveiled bold new visions for their EQS SUV and Cullinan respectively.

Mercedes-Maybach EQS 680 SUV

Mercedes-Maybach EQS 680 SUV

Unveiled to the world from Stuttgart and Shanghai in April, the Mercedes-Maybach EQS 680 SUV features all the technology that has put the EQS SUV at the forefront of electric cars, but with additions in form and function that have heightened it to a stratosphere unto its own.

The Mercedes-Maybach elevates the already popular EQS SUV with mesmerising displays of luxury. The iconic Mercedes front black panel (this time smooth-closed) is fitted with vertical, chrome-plated trim strips in a three-dimensional depth look. The radar sensors are now fully integrated and its elements are no longer visible.

The word Maybach in stylish fonts is discreetly incorporated into a chrome plated decorative strip, which blends into the continuous light strip of the Digital Light headlights. When you enter the car, an animated projection of the Maybach pattern shines in all four doors and on the floor.

Inside the Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV, the use of exquisite materials and expert craftsmanship have created a cocooning effect ‒ a combination of world-class creature comforts and top-of-class functionality for an unrivalled passenger experience. The Executive seats are equipped with ventilation, heating and even a massage function.

On request, the centre console can include two folding tables, a cooling compartment and silver-plated champagne goblets. What we also love as audiophiles is the Burmester 4D surround-sound system. It comes with the Dolby Atmos immersive audio experience, which gives music more space, clarity and depth equal to the artist’s original studio composition.

To achieve this, the system utilises 15 speakers: two front bass speakers in the front footwell, one midrange and one tweeter in each door, two 3D speakers in the headliner, two surround speakers in the luggage compartment cover and a centre speaker in the instrument panel, as well as two exciters built into each seat.

What’s also music to our ears is the driving sound that’s unique to the Mercedes Maybach – dubbed “Aerial Grace” for its soft, steady, almost ethereal hum. The definitive thing about the Mercedes Maybach EQS SUV is, of course, the special Maybach drive programme.

It replaces the classic Comfort programme and is designed entirely for maximum driving comfort for the rear passengers; it ensures minimal body movements under the rear seats through the use of an oscillation node set to its lowest amplitude. It’s the perfect car for family men who want an incomparably comfortable and luxurious ride for their loved ones.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan – Inspired by Fashion

The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is a more imposing figure as a luxury car. It’s in the name – the Cullinan is named after the Cullinan diamond of the British Crown Jewels, the largest diamond ever to be found at 3,100 carats. This comparison to a diamond is apt because it is perhaps Rolls-Royce’s hardiest car. The Cullinan is the brand’s first-ever all-terrain SUV.

Upon its release in 2018, it singlehandedly found Rolls-Royce new niches in the market, younger buyers as well as female buyers, and broke the brand’s record for the most number of units sold in a year. It was the British luxury car’s most accessible vehicle to date.

It’s easy to see why. As we said, the Cullinan is imposing, but we don’t mean this figuratively. It turns heads with 22-inch wheels adorned with the Rolls-Royce emblem, and measures 5.34 metres in length and just over 2 metres in width, while standing at a height of over 1.8 metres. This makes it larger than a Range Rover. And it drives like a dream.

It is the first four-wheel steering and four-wheel drive system in a Rolls-Royce. They’ve also added a new double-wishbone front axle and five link rear with a redesigned self-levelling air suspension. When this factors into the powertrain, you get the smoothest, steadiest drive for an off-road vehicle.

Like the Mercedes-Maybach, it also offers lounge seating made of fine leather and with a massage function. The Rolls-Royce Cullinan also comes with a viewing suite that folds out from the luggage compartment. At the touch of a button, two exquisitely finished leather seats and a cocktail table are deployed to sit back in between stretches of driving, or for the best seat before the world’s finest vistas.

So how did Rolls-Royce elevate a car that has already gone above and beyond what other cars offer in terms of luxury? Understanding the demands of this new niche it has carved out, the brand introduced a new Cullinan – Inspired by Fashion.

These new expressions make the Cullinan the ultimate statement piece, utilising contemporary colour blocking trends usually seen in fashion to create vivid, complementary hues and textures. It’s bright and playful – adjectives that people don’t usually associate with Rolls-Royce. The play in colours seeps inside as well, with Peony Pink or Lime Green accents providing a mesmerising contrast to the Arctic White or Cashmere Grey leather trim.

This play of colour and textures can also be found on the lower part of the fascia, which introduces a glossy coloured Piano veneer in Cashmere Grey or Navy Blue. It brings yet more depth to an already   highly artisanal interior. And then there’s the Starlight Tailgate, a stunning feature which extends the magical, celestial ambience of the Starlight Headliner beyond the car interior.

This bespoke feature incorporates 192 softly illuminated stars into the perforated leather of the tailgate. Choosing between the two is a tremendously hard task. Both cars have made improvements in the quality of the drive, as well as the aesthetics of both interior and exterior. What sets them apart is perhaps purpose.

The Cullinan is crafted for adventurers, while the Mercedes Maybach caters to family men. The better takeaway from both cars is perhaps this: Always strive to improve, no matter how complete you or others believe yourself to be.

(Images: Mercedes-Benz, Rolls-Royce)

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Mercedes-Maybach EQS 680 SUV And Rolls-Royce Cullinan Bring Luxury SUVs To A Whole New Level
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