Part Ridgeline, part 'Slade, part Tartan 3700, many parts Viagra and sharing the name of a rebadged Isuzu, it's the EDAG LUV. The LUV, which stands for Luxury Utility Vehicle, will debut in Geneva. It's a showcase for the substantial talents of EDAG, and the vehicle is quite the engineer's masterpiece, if a vulgar display of bourgeoisie. Nouveau Riche swagger is the American Way, and even though EDAG is based in Germany, they're tuned into the swagger.
The concept is definitely brilliant, as you can't tell what the hell it's based on, but EDAG cleverly maximized the use of off-the-shelf componentry. Looking through the gallery pictures, the LUV will give you a flavor of a variety of vehicles, but we were unable to discern the vehicle that donated its hardpoints. We see a Ridgeline-esque "trunk" in the bed, but some of the other deep-skin details seem to contradict Honda origins. The real news here is that EDAG has developed techniques to create niche vehicles while carrying over production vehicle components, which keeps the cost to build down. Fewer one-off parts requires fewer hours of engineering, and EDAG will be shopping their development chops and quick turnaround from design to metal to manufacturers.
We definitely get the impression that uber-connected business people are the target market, as we have never seen another manufacturer tout the ability to run your office software and host conference calls and netmeetings as a way to enjoy the ostentation surrounding you. Whatever. CEOs will love the rolling-office features while Jeeves hammers down for the yacht.
Sybaritic pleasures abound in the interior, and Brabus has had their hands all over the LUV. Underhood is a 6.1-liter mill that uses all four wheels to yank this thing to 62 mph in about 6 seconds. Wretched excess even extends to the brake calipers – up front are 12-piston fixed calipers that likely cost as much as a lifetime of brake service on proletariat rides. Out back, the brakes are a little more subdued, sporting only a half-dozen pistons per side. Modulation and pedal feel should be marvelous.
The nautical theme is well carried off by the LUV. There's oiled teak all over the exterior, which will keep the serfs busy. We thought the Rolls Phantom Drop Head Coupe was a little over the top with its teakwood applique, but the LUV far surpasses the Roller. It offers a beautiful organic contrast to the white paint and seems to soften the mechanical nature that is inherent in an automobile. The houseboy will drip more teak oil while keeping this luxo-truck maintained than you'll use all year on your DHC. The LUV seems like it'll perfectly complement that most British of convertibles, and if EDAG is successful at selling their abilities, we may soon see more bespoke ultra luxury rides.