Mercedes-Benz presented at Design Essentials 2019 the “Vision Mercedes Simplex”, a sculpture embodying the heritage and future of the luxury brand.
The Vision Mercedes Simplex symbolizes the transition into a new era of design and technology. While, at the same time, creating an homage to the historical legacy and the birth of the brand.
In the spring of 1901, the history of mobility changed radically. At Race Week in Nice a car the likes of which the world had never seen appeared on the starting line: a high-performance car which Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft had developed at the suggestion of the visionary Emil Jellinek. The typical designs of the period were still closely related to motorized carriages. The Mercedes 35 PS, named after Jellinek’s daughter Mercedes, appeared with a completely new vehicle architecture and dominated the competitions in Race Week, which took place on the famous racetrack from Nice to La Turbie, right at the heart of what is now the Mercedes-Benz International Design Center Europe.
This design is acknowledged as the first modern car that heralded in a new era in vehicle design. This transformation began nearly 120 years ago, taking the first step away from high motorized carriage based designs to a flat vehicle design with a light high-performance engine installed low in the frame, featuring a honeycomb radiator integrated into the front. The Mercedes 35 PS was a pioneer of success and a role model for all the cars that were to follow. This vehicle layout presented for the first time over a century ago remains to this day the technical basis of all cars.
The sculpture “Vision Mercedes Simplex” recalls this historic event and carries the pioneering spirit and the stylistic character of those days far into the 21st century. Its message—Passion for luxury and innovation is part of the Mercedes-Benz brand DNA. This brand DNA gives Mercedes-Benz the strength to set new standards in mobility over again, yesterday, today and tomorrow. At the same time the sculpture shows that Mercedes-Benz is continuing as a pioneer to drive forward the transformation of the car and mobility.
“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”, says Chief Design Officer Gorden Wagener.
The “Vision Mercedes Simplex” reinterprets the historic Simplex as a two-seater with freestanding wheels, an alternative drive, exciting User Interface and a thrilling design. Its vehicle body with a dominant horizontal alignment sits as a monocoque amid the four large wheels, which form the outer points of the vehicle. The vertical color separation into a white front section with a black rear section follows the historic example. The transparent trims on the wheels reflect lightness and efficiency, as do the aerodynamic surface areas between the front wheels and the vehicle body. The entire sculpture lives from the interplay between clearly and powerfully drawn surfaces and precise technical details.