Unveiled at Design Essentials 2019, the Vision Mercedes Simplex concept is said to embody the heritage and future of the luxury brand.

Vision Mercedes Simplex symbolises the transition into a new era of design and technology, while at the same time paying homage to the original 1902 Simplex.

It was in the spring of 1901 that the history of mobility changed radically.

At Race Week in Nice a car the likes of which the world had never seen appeared on the starting line: a high-performance car that Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft had developed at the suggestion of visionary Emil Jellinek.

The typical designs of the period were still closely related to motorised carriages.

The Mercedes 35 PS, named after Jellinek’s daughter Mercedes, had a completely new vehicle architecture and dominated the competitions in Race Week.

This design is acknowledged as the first modern car and heralded in a new era in vehicle design.

This transformation began nearly 120 years ago, taking the first step away from high motorised carriage-based designs to a flat design with a light, high-performance engine installed low in the frame, with a honeycomb radiator integrated into the front.

It’s this layout that remains to this day the technical basis of all cars.

vision - Vision Mercedes Simplex 09 - Vision pays homage to first modern car
1902 Mercedes Simplex

Vision Mercedes Simplex recalls this historic event and carries the pioneering spirit and the stylistic character of those days far into the 21st century.

The “Vision Mercedes Simplex” reinterprets the historic Simplex as a two-seater with freestanding wheels, an alternative drive, exciting user Interface and thrilling design.

Its body with a dominant horizontal alignment sits as a monocoque amid the four large wheels, which form the outer points of the vehicle.

The vertical color separation into a white front section with a black rear section follows the historic example.

The transparent trims on the wheels reflect lightness and efficiency, as do the aerodynamic surface areas between the front wheels and the vehicle body.

“Only a brand that is as strong as Mercedes-Benz is capable of the physical symbiosis of history and future,” says Chief Design Officer Gorden Wagener.

“The Vision Mercedes Simplex symbolises the transformation of the brand-specific luxury of Mercedes-Benz.”

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Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.