Mercedes Makes a New Speedform

Gary S. Vasilash

If we go back to the Mercedes A-Class of 2008, we find this:

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That vehicle looks more utilitarian than Mercedesian. So when they redid the car for 2012, the designers came up with this:

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The design of that A-Class was defined by edges and creases by indentations and recesses.

This approach was then replicated, in size and vehicle-type appropriate ways, on subsequent Mercedes models.

The time for that design is passing, according to Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer of Daimler, with what they’re calling “Aesthetics A” sculpture.

It looks like this:

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Obviously, that is a speedform, not an actual vehicle.

Wagener said, “Form and body are what remain when creases and lines are reduced to the extreme.”

So the focus now is on surfaces rather than the intersections of surfaces.

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Wagener said, Design is also the art of omission: the days of creases are over.”

What’s interesting to note is that what will morph into the next A-Class is a three-box design.

As we advance toward more automated vehicles, when we are availing ourselves of car sharing (i.e., need a pickup truck on the weekends, book one; simply driving to work with nothing more than a briefcase, then do you really need a vehicle with a trunk?), won’t the days of three-box design be if not exactly over, then at least greatly diminished?