Is this the ultimate luxury bus?

By Staff reporter Time of article published Apr 24, 2012

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This boardroom on wheels is just one of the blinged-up show cars to be seen on the Mercedes-Benz stand at the Auto China Expo, now on in Beijing - and it's not a one-off either.

Mercedes-Benz will happily build you a Viano van with any combination of the special features found on the Vision Diamond special, including the separate driver's compartment, if required.

The show car has a black grille, chromed grille louvres, and a two-tone - gloss black over pearl white - paint job, with a hand-painted gold line separating the two body colours.

A painted diamond logo adorns the B pillar and the two-tone effect is repeated in the rims of the five-spoke wheels, while the brake callipers feature the words 'Mercedes-Benz' in gold.


Inside, there's a special multimedia unit that allows passengers to choose between a business setting or a comfortable ambience for relaxing.

The windows of the passenger compartment, as well as the rear window and the glass partition between the chauffeur and the passenger compartment, have a Magic Sky system, which has a liquid in the glass that reacts to differences in electric current - allowing passengers to change the tint of the glass at the push of a button

The chauffeur's area is entirely trimmed in black, with seats and door panels in fine nappa leather, as well as the instrument panel, the steering wheel, the gearshift, and the A and B pillars.

The passenger compartment, by contrast, is all white, including the carpet, the seats, the safety belts and the ceiling, with eight diamonds embedded in the interior trim - eight is the Chinese lucky number.


The passenger cabin has two reclining armchairs (to call them seats simply wouldn't do them justice) with heating, cooling and massage features as well as calf benches and footrests.

Between the seats are special holders for the Viano's silver Champagne flutes, which appear at the push of a button - and there are chilled holders for five more bottles of bubbly in the side panels.

The specially commissioned Bang & Olufsen “BeoLiving Viano” sound system is remotely operated from any one of two iPad2 tablets or iPhone4 smartphones, which you'll find in a docking station in the centre console, using a special app developed for the purpose.


These also regulate the interior lighting and control the sound system for the 102cm screen, which can be used for everything from watching television to surfing the internet and participating in video conferences, via a built-in wireless LAN system.

The screen forms the partition between the passenger cabin and the flight deck, and can be lowered at the press of a button - although an intercom is fitted for communication between pilot and passengers when it's closed.

Sadly, the Viano Vision is built only in left hand-drive, so will not be available in South Africa. Sorry, Kenny.

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