Mercedes-Benz Design Has Gone All Retro Futuristic With Its Strange-Looking Vision Mercedes Simplex Sculpture
Auto manufacturers are always keen to incorporate styling cues into their latest vehicles which link them to their predecessors, evolutionary grille designs, subtle C-pillar kinks and even switchgear can all be designed to evoke memories of historic vehicles.
Mercedes-Benz, in particular, has a wealth of iconic design from which to draw on, and at the Design Essentials 2019 event it is presenting an automotive sculpture called the Vision Mercedes Simplex, which has apparently been designed to capture both the brand’s birth and historical legacy as well as its high-tech future. It’s a pretty weird combination but at least it will attract attention…
The Vision Mercedes Simplex is said to draw its inspiration from the 1901 Mercedes 35 PS, a high-performance motor car developed by Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft at the suggestion of wealthy automobile entrepreneur Emil Jellinek. Bearing Jellinek’s daughter’s name, the Mercedes 35 PS debuted at the 1901 Race Week in Nice, France. Its ultra-modern design was a far cry from the primitive motorized-carriages which it competed against and its influence on the fledgling motor industry extended way beyond merely decimating the competition. It also represented the first modern automobile and that basic layout has been the basis of every car since. This influential vehicle’s design has been artistically fused with modern materials and emotive design cues, hence the Chesterfield quilting of the bench seat.
Chief design officer Gorden Wagener explains, “Only a brand that is as strong as Mercedes-Benz is capable of the physical symbiosis of history and future. The “Vision Mercedes Simplex” symbolizes the transformation of the brand-specific luxury of Mercedes-Benz.”
Being a design concept which needn’t comply with the restrictive rules that apply to production-bound designs has clearly allowed the designers’ imagination to run free. There’s no way the Vision Mercedes Simplex will ever make it past the sculpture stage but its unfettered lines and ideas are just the sort of thing that could inspire future automotive designers.
Images courtesy of Mercedes-Benz