In the absence of all-new concepts or production models to show – most were eco variants of existing models – the most interesting talking point on the Mercedes stand at Paris was the fifth in the brand’s thoughtful sculpture series.
Called “Aesthetics S” the sculpture is more of a wall fresco – only 140mm deep – with a few carefully raised feature lines hinting at the profile of the new S-Class. Onto this surface, a slick video is projected to show how the brand’s heritage in large limousines – from the 1950s Adenauer right up to the current W221 – relates to the new shape through clever morphing from blueprint-style digital lines one moment to fire and water storms flowing over the silhouette the next.
Head of advanced design Steffen Kohl told Car Design News: “it’s fibre glass underneath with a white carbon and marble effect almost like ivory. We didn’t want something that would appear shiny.” Kohl also revealed that Mercedes has a plan to make an exhibition of all these sculptures at some point in the future, when a critical mass of them has been created.
Tucked away in a viewing booth on the Paris stand it has less chance to have an impact than the large and physical three-dimensionality of the Aesthetics 2 sculpture say, but Kohl said the new sculpture’s video aspect made it perfect to be aired on You Tube for impact beyond just showgoers.
Again, it’s a unusual way to create interest in future product without taking the predictable production teaser concept approach and is becoming a unique and sophisticated brand identifier for Mercedes. More please.
By Guy Bird