the electric mercedes-benz simplex concept throws back to 1901

the electric mercedes-benz simplex concept throws back to 1901

mercedes-benz has unveiled a vision simplex concept car that reinterprets the historic simplex as an electric two-seater with freestanding wheels and a digital display in place of the grille. the german manufacturer unveiled the updated take on its 120-year-old design at the mercedes’ new design center in nice, france, on saturday (september 16th).

images courtesy of daimler



the name simplex comes from the line of luxury simplex cars that mercedes produced from 1902 to 1909. at that time, the simplex had innovatively adopted a modern front-engine, rear-drive layout with a radiator positioned ahead of the engine.



like the original, the reimagined model features rounded shapes and large wheels that sit outside the body. meanwhile, the radiator blends a dominant frame in rosé gold with an opening in the form of a large lens-shaped 3D display that displays the vintage mercedes logo.



inside the car, a minimal cockpit displays context-sensitive info like speed and navigation through projections. a steering column, switches, and instrument panel are inspired by motorcycles and nautical design. the colour-and-trim concept, including the azure blue upholstery cover which transitions seamlessly into the footwell, is inspired by the colours of the côte d’azur.



its unlikely that a production version of the simplex will ever exist, unless mercedes-benz decided to update the concept with headlights and some other basic safety features. this is more an illustration of mercedes’ ability to merge the history of its DNA with the technology of today: ‘only a brand that is as strong as mercedes-benz is capable of the physical symbiosis of history and future. the ‘vision mercedes simplex’ symbolises the transformation of the brand-specific luxury of mercedes-benz’, says chief design officer gorden wagener.


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