Distinctive concept is a reborn 1960s ‘W115’ saloon with modern-day E-Class underpinnings
29 April 2019

A conceptual reimagining of the 1968 Mercedes-Benz W115 saloon has been released by car designer David Obendorfer.

Aiming to achieve what Obendorfer calls ‘modest luxury’, the design of the Icon E Concept is fairly understated both inside and out.

Though the design of the model is reminiscent of the W115, complete with the vertical headlights that typified the look of 1960s Benzes, the mechanical underpinnings are based on the latest E-Class. Obendorfer notes that main dimensions such as the length, width, height and wheelbase are ‘practically unchanged’. 

The interior is similarly refined, with Obendorfer stating a desire to include ‘as few decorative elements as possible’ in the design. The steering wheel is a direct reference to classic Mercedes style with the metal insert, while the dashboard appears to be as minimalist as possible, featuring only a large digital display that also houses the speedometer. 

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The Icon E Concept is also a tribute to chief designers from Mercedes’ history: Paul Bracq, who styled the original W115, and Bruno Sacco, who served as head of design between 1975 and 1999.

While Obendorfer does work for a design studio, his automotive redesigns are largely personal projects. That being said, one of his creations, a Citroën Type H-inspired bodykit for the Citroën Relay van, was put into production a couple of years ago. 

All of Obendorfer’s automotive concepts aim to reimagine the classic design of iconic cars from decades ago, such as the Renault 4 and the Fiat 600

While it is tempting to use the word ‘retro’ to describe his designs, Obendorfer himself regards the term with some scrutiny, noting: “They are interpretations obtained via a creative process, similarly to any new models. From the designer’s point of view, it’s easy to see that ‘retro’ as such does not even exist.”

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Comments
30

29 April 2019

Extremely smart looking, far more luxury in appearance than the maybach.

Its interesting to see how the trend for modern cars, electric ones primarily, is for extremely minimalist designs, or less reverently speaking; cars with nothing but an absolutely massive screen across the dash.

This does look very modern and simple, ill admit, but surely the practicality of this is limited. It looks like it might be difficult to reach the far ends of the screen on some cars. Personally, I think the duo touch screen across the middle of the cabin is the best combination of practicality and design.

If we don't watch out, the button will become extinct altogether. Is that a bad thing? I just don't think it would feel right to not have something pressable.

JMax

30 April 2019
Ze Chermans should stick to beer, preserved meats and pretzels! Stuff that's good even when it's pug ugly.

7 June 2019

 

what on earth is that? 

unbelievable waste of time and money.

Merc can't style cars anymore, not even a retro effort.

29 April 2019

That is stunning, love the headlights and the simplicity of the design. And especially love the retro colour coded wheels.

Also it has what I call the "proper" Mercedes grill with the bonnet mounted 3 pointed star, which Mercedes seems to be abandoning- only the S Class has it now in the UK, and I believe the E Class still has it as an option in Germany. I loved seeing this driving my old Mercedes 190, it made me feel like I was driving a luxury car, and I think its a shame Mercedes seem to be moving away from this.

30 April 2019
roverfan1984 wrote:

That is stunning, love the headlights and the simplicity of the design. And especially love the retro colour coded wheels.

Also it has what I call the "proper" Mercedes grill with the bonnet mounted 3 pointed star, which Mercedes seems to be abandoning- only the S Class has it now in the UK, and I believe the E Class still has it as an option in Germany. I loved seeing this driving my old Mercedes 190, it made me feel like I was driving a luxury car, and I think its a shame Mercedes seem to be moving away from this.

Agree completely. To me the big badges are tacky, like when people used to modify the grilles of their 190s back in the 80s-90s.

Any time I was in a Merc it felt special looking down the bonnet at the gunsights, the big chrome grille gave it class. Nearly bought one of the last C classes with the proper grille only I wasn't impressed with the interior that felt like a Fiesta.

29 April 2019

If that's the future of Merc styling, bring it on. Far more inspiring & classic than the current mish-mash, albeit it very aero, to say nothing of the Russian-doll-gasm of late. Merc will, as they often used to in the past, look like nothing else on the road.

29 April 2019

nothing for me and looks more like a jelly mould compared to the original. 

29 April 2019

but then I never liked the big ugly Merc grills. The newer Mercs with the 3 pointed star in them are nice but the old ones were just ugly and that is what this car is just plain ugly and boring. Maybe the W115 was good for its time but times are different now and some cars are just not meant to be brought back. 

29 April 2019

That steering wheel is superb. 

30 April 2019

The front looks so wrong, in terms of the relationship between headlight and grille.

Otherwise Mercedes needs to bring back simplicity of design which it has truly lost.

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