About 118 years ago, Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft would introduce a car that no one else had seen before. Dubbed the Mercedes 35 PS and pioneered by Emil Jellinek, it would go on to change how people saw cars back then, doing away with the traditional designs that were similar to motorized carriages. Revealed in Nice during Race Week, the Mercedes 35 PS would go on to dominate every race it joined, featuring a flat vehicle design, a light high-performance engine that was placed low in the frame, and a radiator integrated to the front. This very layout pioneered the era of the modern car. Now, Mercedes' latest concept recalls that historic event.
Gallery: Vision Mercedes Simplex
Called the "Vision Mercedes Simplex", the concept wants to convey the message that Mercedes-Benz has always been about luxury and innovation. "Only a brand that is as strong as Mercedes-Benz is capable of the physical symbiosis of history and future. The "Vision Mercedes Simplex" symbolises the transformation of the brand-specific luxury of Mercedes-Benz", says Chief Design Officer Gorden Wagener. Atop the monocoque frame sits a seat for two, with four large freestanding wheels, and a completely modern driving display. The front of the concept is white, while the back half is in black, inheriting the original design. There a lot of aerodynamic surfaces on the vehicle and the wheels are transparent, conveying lightness.
A rose gold radiator with a digital 3D display in front show off a digitally superimposed "Mercedes" lettering, complete with vehicle status animations. There's even a leather bag that sits at the tail end of the vehicle body. In the cabin, the design was all about seamlessness and fluidity, featuring a steering column, switches, and instrument panel inspired by motorcycles and nautical design. There are even touches of handcraftsmanship in the azure blue upholstery and openers for luggage. The driving display is meant to only display the information needed at a certain point in time or specific driving situation, allowing the driver to take in relevant information and yet still concentrate fully on the road at all times.
This sculpture on wheels will be shown off for the first time at Design Essentials 2019 in Nice, France.