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virgil abloh and mercedes-benz remix the G-class as a race car for project geländewagen

virgil abloh and mercedes-benz, led by chief design officer gorden wagener, have revealed their first collaboration: project geländewagen. the conceptual car design project reimagines the mercedes-benz G-class as a race car, disrupting future perceptions of luxury. the design process was inspired by wagener and abloh owning and experiencing the G-class first hand. together they considered how to make the viewer look at mercedes-benz designs with a fresh perspective, while driving luxury away from a polished and flawless aesthetic to something raw, natural and honest.

virgil abloh and mercedes-benz remix the G-class as a race car for project geländewagen
all images © mercedes-benz AG

 

 

for project geländewagen, the exterior is kept as clean as possible to emphasize the silhouette of the mercedes-benz G-class, 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. meanwhile, 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.

virgil abloh and mercedes-benz remix the G-class as a race car for project geländewagen

 

 

inside the art piece, the car is more of a racer than a typical 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. this contrasts with the steering wheel and seats, which are more akin to a formula 1 vehicle. key racing elements and other features, such as the safety frame or the five point seat belts, are highlighted in baby blue and bright red tones.

virgil abloh and mercedes-benz remix the G-class as a race car for project geländewagen

 

 

‘project geländewagen’ brings together the worlds of fashion, art, and automotive engineering. my ultimate goal in this project with mercedes-benz is inspiring young artists, engineers, designers to question the status quo, in addition to experimenting with my own design abilities,’ explains virgil abloh. ‘for me it’s all about providing opportunities for those coming after me and giving this next generation a foundation for success, both here with mercedes-benz and through my own virgil abloh™ “post-modern” scholarship fund.’

virgil abloh and mercedes-benz remix the G-class as a race car for project geländewagen

 

 

‘with project geländewagen we create a unique artwork that showcases future interpretations of luxury and the desire for beauty and the extraordinary. the result is something between reality and future,’ continues gorden wagener, mercedes-benz chief design officer. ‘the collaboration with virgil has seen two distinct design philosophies unite, for a one-of-a-kind re-imagination of the g that continues to celebrate the extraordinary at its core.’

virgil abloh and mercedes-benz remix the G-class as a race car for project geländewagen

 

 

‘project geländewagen perfectly encapsulates mercedes-benz’s manifestation of contemporary luxury, pushing creativity and innovative design,’ adds bettina fetzer, vice president marketing at mercedes-benz AG. ‘culture and the arts have always played an important part in both mercedes-benz products and the brand, and we are proud to donate all proceeds of the replica auction to support international creative communities to continue their education in the arts.’

virgil abloh and mercedes-benz remix the G-class as a race car for project geländewagen

 

 

a replica of the design piece will be auctioned as part of sotheby’s contemporary curated — one of the auction house’s most revered series, which is defined by the unique perspective of a different influential tastemaker each year. all proceeds go to a charity that supports international creative communities. advanced bidding will begin on september 14, 2020.

virgil abloh and mercedes-benz remix the G-class as a race car for project geländewagen

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