Mercedes-Benz has unveiled a special sculpture, intended to recognise the development of the design language used by the brand.
The Vision Mercedes Simplex is just for show, but incorporates styling cues taken from classic Mercedes models. Yet the materials used, and the technology contained within, are thoroughly modern in their origins.
According to Mercedes-Benz, this sculpture shows that the company “is continuing to drive forward the transformation of the car and of mobility”.
The original Mercedes
Inspiration has been taken from the Mercedes 35 PS, built in 1901 as the first car to wear the Mercedes name. Created by Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft, it marked one of the earliest car designs to feature a bespoke chassis and a powerful engine.
The 35 PS was also successful in early motorsport competition, dominating the 1901 Nice-La Turbie race week event. The race car could achieve speeds of up to 56 mph, and was also adapted for road use.
Just like the 35 PS, the new Vision Mercedes Simplex has been created as a two-seater, with styling dominated by the large uncovered wheels.
Also taken from the 1901 original is the distinctive radiator grille. A rose gold surround has been used to emulate the bronze finish from the 35 PS. However, that car did not have a 3D black panel display to digitally display the Mercedes-Benz logo or other animations.
The technology is similar to that seen on the EQS concept car, revealed this week at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show.
There is no windscreen, and the rose gold bonnet latches are another neat nod towards the 35 PS. Wraparound LED rear lights are, however, totally contemporary in their execution.
Clean and contemporary
An ultra-minimalist interior is, according to Mercedes, also said to pay homage to earlier racing models. Motorcycles and nautical elements are also said to have been incorporated into the exposed steering column and steering wheel.
It does give the Vision Mercedes Simplex a resemblance to a classic Ford Model T hot rod. Although we cannot recall seeing one of those fitted with an interactive digital instrument display, surrounded in rose gold.
Chesterfield quilting has been used for the azure blue bench seat, whilst the storage compartment openers feature yet more rose gold. A handcrafted leather bag can also be found mounted between the rear wheels.
Whilst very much a concept, the Vision Mercedes Simplex is intended to illustrate the direction the company will take in the near future.
Chief Design Officer Gorden Wagener commented that only “a brand that is as strong as Mercedes-Benz is capable of the physical symbiosis of history and future” in creating the Vision Mercedes Simplex. Wagner also noted that the sculpture “symbolises the transformation of the brand-specific luxury of Mercedes-Benz”.
One of the four Mercedes-Benz International Design Centres is located in Nice, France, actually upon the route of the Nice-La Turbie race.