Detroit 2010: Mercedes-Benz Design Concept Defines the Term Abstract

Detroit 2010: Mercedes-Benz Design Concept Defines the Term Abstract

Taking the idea of a concept car to a whole new level, Mercedes-Benz has just unveiled the new Mercedes-Benz Design Concept at the Detroit Auto Show. Called “abstract” by Mercedes CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche, we couldn’t agree more. In fact, it’s almost like they took a DTM C-Class with it’s imposing front grille that hugs the ground and gave it to Jabba the Hut for a little Han Solo-style cryogenic freezing.

Regardless, it’s meant to give a glimpse at the future of Mercedes-Benz designs, and is described by the company as a sculpture. “It represents a vehicle rising gently from a level plane – as if formed from liquid silver, or like a shimmering cloth draped gently over a new form,” reads the Mercedes press release. “Clear, contoured surfaces are framed by crisp arcs, lending the sculpture an organic appearance that is both retrospective and forward-looking.”

Mock it we may, but the aggressive grille and massively flared fenders foreshadow an impressive new look for the already imposingly luxurious Benz lineup.

GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz Design Concept


Official release after the jump:

Mercedes-Benz Design

Automobile design as an art form – sculpture

* A gem of automotive artistry * Artistic imagination and the forces of nature

Alongside the E-Class Cabriolet and the SLS AMG, Mercedes-Benz is also treating visitors to the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit to a stunning automobile sculpture. It represents a vehicle rising gently from a level plane – as if formed from liquid silver, or like a shimmering cloth draped gently over a new form. Clear, contoured surfaces are framed by crisp arcs, lending the sculpture an organic appearance that is both retrospective and forward-looking.

The sculpture is highly sensuous – an exciting eye-catcher. But it also reinterprets the notion of the car as an art form. “For us, car design is a process of artistic, aesthetically sensuous creation”, says Head of Design Prof. Gorden Wagener. “Mercedes-Benz designers translate their artistic inspiration into the modern Mercedes-Benz design language, which combines excitement with harmony, style with passion. Mercedes-Benz design is clear, calm and coherent, but still emotional and highly sensuous. Mercedes-Benz is the brand best able to present automobile design as an art form in an authentic way.”

As an extraordinary piece of automotive art, the sculpture also uses its flowing, silk-like shroud and the resulting pattern of folds to symbolize the positive and negative curved surfaces of the modern Mercedes-Benz design language. This is characterized by dramatic surfaces with beautifully defined proportions defined by fine lines that begin gently, evolving into crisp contours.

Viewing the sculpture can conjure up many associations. Perhaps a sand dune or a snowdrift; a viscous substance like hot lava or mercury solidifying into an automobile. The sculpture reflects the creative power of nature – flowing elements evolve as the form of a new automobile emerges upwards, making its outline visible with contour and dimension. It shows how natural forms and lines come together to form a sensuous structure on which curving, sinuous lines create emotional contours. This is an aesthetic transformation, shaped by nature and the artistic imagination of the designer.

Inspired by the forces of nature and artistically interpreted, the natural origin of this sculpture also symbolizes the key values of the Mercedes-Benz brand – intelligent technology and quality, sensuous beauty, style, dynamic character and innovative strength for well over a century; coupled with respect for mankind and nature. Mercedes-Benz is one of the few automobile companies able to communicate this credibly as a work of art.

This is also reflected in the shining Alubeam silver paint finish, which interacts with the contours of the sculpture to create a multi-faceted interplay of light and shade. Moreover, this Mercedes color is a reference to the glorious heritage of the Mercedes-Benz brand, while also conjuring visions of the day after tomorrow and the promise of future innovations.

This evocative sculpture was created by Mercedes-Benz Design to show the culture and creativeness of its designers in its five international design studios in Germany, Italy, the U.S., Japan and China – to further their artistic ideals and develop a design for Mercedes-Benz. “Many of our designers come from artistic families, carry artistic ambitions in their genes, so to speak, and found their way into automobile design via their artistic talent,” is how Prof. Gorden Wagener explains the potential.

With this sculpture, Mercedes-Benz provides an insight into the thinking and perceptions of its team of designers and model makers. Although a design idea initially takes shape on paper, it is subsequently modeled in clay. This is sculptural work in its purest form, and highly suited to finding new shapes and creating sensuality. This is how automotive art is created, with enormous attention to detail that also includes interior design and materials.

Designing and modeling at Mercedes-Benz Design has a great deal to do with creativity and artistic work – though art for art’s sake is certainly not the intention of this sculpture! The form of the automobile, presented here in such an artistically exaggerated and cryptic way, is only vaguely perceptible. Nonetheless, the basic proportions challenge the onlooker to decode which future, real-life automobile may ultimately emerge from this creative process. Feel free to speculate, but also to admire.

  • David Halpin

    Fabulous design



« Back
SWEEPSTAKES – OFFICIAL RULES, TERMS AND CONDITIONS’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. * is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.


2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of, 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked