Back in 1901, Wilhelm Maybach and Paul Daimler designed a race car for Emil Jellinek that would revolutionize the history of automobiles. Dubbed the "Mercedes 35 PS", it featured a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive setup with the radiator in front of the engine. While it is a standard setup in most cars today, it was pretty radical 118 years ago. What's also interesting is, the 'Mercedes' name was actually derived from Jellinek's daughter, which would eventually become one of the most iconic names in the automotive industry.
Now, Mercedes' has revealed a new concept which pays homage to that historical racing vehicle that competed in races that ran from Nice to La Turbie.
Called the Vision Mercedes Simplex, it is hugely inspired by Mercedes 35 PS but comes loaded with modern-day technology. According to the automaker, the concept “symbolizes the transition to a new era of design and technology”. Interestingly, it isn't really a concept car made to be driven around town. Instead, it was built to commemorate the brand's new Mercedes-Benz International Design Center Europe near Nice, France.
"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.
Design-wise, it certainly looks very retro especially with the slim cabin and large wheels with a split paint white-black paint job. Upfront, there's a rose-gold colored grill inspired by the brass radiators of old cars. Ironically, it is an EV which means it doesn't really need a radiator. In its place is a unique display similar to the one shown at the EQS concept with multiple three-pointed stars. Leather straps then keep the hood down, giving it a proper retro feel.
Inside, the cabin has a minimalist feel and is lined with blue fabric all around. In front of the driver is a large steering wheel made of metal and wood. The display is then integrated into the “dashboard” together with the rest of the functions. Only relevant information is displayed in order to keep the driver fully concentrated on the road.
The Vision Mercedes Simplex will not likely go into production. Instead, it will just be a concept to celebrate the brand's new design studio as well as a toast to a strong and long heritage.