I’m not 100% sure how I feel about this car but it sure made me look, three times! I never realized how wide, low and brutish the design was until I saw one today. More Mustang than Mercedes, I would say. The new design just oozes power, so much different from the original classic 300 SL that communicated power in a more refined manner.
The 300 SL Gullwing introduced in 1954 is among, if not the, most famous cars from the marque. It was a road-going version of the very successful gullwing racers, and it was most impressive. The iconic doors lifted like wings to accommodate load-bearing members in its space-frame chassis. The racers were particularly potent, with straight eight-cylinder engines that featured fuel injection and desmodromic valves. It was enough to win at places like Le Mans, the Targa Florio and, of course, its most famous victory at the hands of a young Stirling Moss and Dennis Jenkinson during the 1955 Mille Miglia.
I also find that the softer tail design fights with the harder silhouette lines that start from the iconic grill. But I can see how the lines are intended to loop around the back to the other headlight or grill. Regardless, I am pretty impressed with the SLS AMG and a number of other releases in the recent years. It is looking like the Mercedes marque is returning to prominence on the back of a number of provocative designs. Now I just need to drive one!
Brian Ling (Design Sojourn)
Brian is a multidisciplinary Design Leader with more than 18 years of experience leading strategic design programs that drives successful Brands and Fortune 500 businesses such as GE, Philips, Nakamichi, Flextronics, Ericsson, Hannspree, and HP. His passion is in helping organisations leverage on Design Driven Innovation to make people’s lives better.