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September 9, 2020

If Mercedes-Benz Thinks This is the Future of Luxury Then We're in Trouble

If Mercedes-Benz thinks that this the future of luxury, well, we might as well gouge our eyes out. Meet Project Geländewagen a collaboration between the German automaker and Chief Creative Director and Founder of Off-White and Men’s Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton Virgil Abloh.

According to its official press release:
The exterior is kept as clean as possible to emphasize the G-Class’s iconic silhouette, demonstrating its monolithic character. The final design lays its construction methods bare, and celebrates the handcrafted imperfections that make it unique. The paintwork was partially sanded by hand to create a sense of timeless simplicity. Welds are celebrated as key design motifs, as craftsmanship takes center stage. The indicators, outside mirrors and the bumper bar have all been removed and the body of the car is widened and lowered, for a sportier effect. The distinct personality of the G remains intact, however, and an exaggeration of the tires and spare wheel exude the G’s inimitable charisma. 
Inside the art piece, reduction reigns and the racing inspiration is clear; eschewing all clichés of an SUV. All interiors have been stripped back, and the safety frame becomes a central motif. The dashboard is removed and replaced with a clean, reduced version which celebrates an analogue speedometer and fuel gauges, reminiscent of a classic car. This contrasts with the steering wheel and seats, which are more akin to a Formula 1 vehicle. Safety features and key racing elements, such as the safety frame or the 5-point seat belts are highlighted in baby blue and bright red tones. These strong accent colors create a new kind of color grouping, and contrast against the bare interior.

 Basically, though it ugly. It looks too contrived, unrefined, and juvenile. Personally, the moment they try to find a Formula 1 connection, they have lost me. Sure, it may appeal to the 20-something purveyors of Off-White and Supreme, but will this be regarded as a pop art piece? Well, I guess beauty or in this case, luxury is in the eye of the beholder.

Anyway, one good thing to come out of this though is that a replica of the design piece will be auctioned off with proceeds going to a charity that supports international creative communities.

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