Mercedes-Benz’s newest concept car is shocking, to say the least.
This is the Vision Mercedes Simplex, a new concept car from the German manufacturer that takes the nearly 120-year-old design of the Mercedes Simplex and re-imagines it with sleek, futuristic flair. The car was shown off at Mercedes’ new design center in Nice, France, on Saturday, Cnet reported.
Mercedes-Benz chief design officer Gorden Wagener posed next to the new car, which gives us a nice sense of scale.
The two-seater takes everything we’ve come to expect with new car concepts and throws it out the window. While many other industries will often pay homage to older, classic designs or try to recreate them entirely, the car industry rarely takes a look back at its roots.
The Vision Mercedes Simplex is all about looking back with its freestanding wheels, open sofa-like seating, and steering wheel that reaches to the floor. There are a lot of design decisions here that haven’t really been seen since the early 20th century.
The name Simplex comes from the line of luxury Simplex cars that Mercedes produced from 1902 to 1909, and the design parallels are obvious when you take a look at one of those classic touring cars that helped redefine the automobile.
There are some big differences, of course, including the electronic display on the front of the Vision Mercedes Simplex where the grill used to be.
As a concept car, the Vision Mercedes Simplex can get away with a handful of exclusions, like headlights and basic safety features, which makes it look extra sleek.
Does it drive? Maybe. But you wouldn’t really want to be taking this thing on the streets.