Mercedes-Benz's design department strives to create "Iconic Luxury," which Chief Design Officer Gorden Wagener defines as "equally sensual but minimalist design language." The latest manifestation of this is the company's all-electric Vision One-Eleven concept:
The designers refer to the form as the "One-Bow design," with just a single sweeping gesture describing the profile. Their goal was to keep the body visually simple, tight and clean, but to get visually busy with the design of the rims, which are meant to evoke electric motor windings. "This contrast," the company writes, "is typical of the X-factors the brand applies to its design thinking and a distinctive feature of the Vision One-Eleven."
The vehicle's design, and its gullwing doors, were loosely inspired by the Mercedes C 111, a series of prototypes from the '60s and '70s. These were never for sale; the company built multiple versions as testbeds for polymer body panels and experimental engine types.
The exterior sports one unusual feature that, if it appeared on a production version, would surely be abused in America:
"The [nose] panel is a flexible external display with a 3D pixelated look. It interprets the C 111's characteristic round lights in digitised form and can also convey messages to other road users."
The interior is Kubrickian in aesthetic and spartan in features, by design, with the goal of providing "a minimalist driving machine."
"Like the exterior, the task here too was to keep the number of add-on features to a bare minimum. The seats are good examples as they don't follow the classic format. Instead, the seat cushions are integrated flush-fit into the floor. This creates the initial impression of the bucket seat in a Formula 1 race car. The orange four-point harness and its high-gloss polished buckle further reinforce the sporting character."
"The only highly complex feature in the interior is the leather-clad steering wheel, which is fitted with various functional controls and state-of-the-art touch elements. This is complemented by a compact touchscreen with high-resolution display mounted to the side of the steering wheel and angled towards the driver. It shows all relevant vehicle information as required."
"Our goal at Mercedes-Benz is not to do styling – our goal is to create icons," says CDO Wagener. "To me, that makes the difference between mainstream design and luxury."
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