This is officially called the Mercedes ‘Aesthetics Progressive Luxury’, and it is not a car. It is a sculpture, built in deference to a specific point in the Benz story.
Particularly, the point when Rudolf Caracciola set a world speed record on public roads. In 1938, Caracciola climbed on-board the Mercedes W125 Rekordwagen – a road version of the W125 GP racer – complete with a V12, and smashed a 268.8mph top speed with a flying start.
So, Mercedes held an internal design competition with the specific aim of recreating the form of those 1930s racers, but with a “completely new and contemporary interpretation”.
Specific dimensions aren’t provided (for scale, there’s a pic above of Merc design boss Gorden Wagener standing next to it), nor any concrete information about, well, anything really. But you can ogle the long, flowing bodywork with flared arches that winds itself through to that rear fin. “The formal clarity of the sculpture,” explains Merc, “with its purist main body reflects the seamless look of all EQ vehicles.”
Ah, EQ. That’s Mercedes-Benz’s electric vehicle strategy, the first results we’ll see in the upcoming electric SUV dubbed EQC; a version of the concept EQ we saw a while back. That concept featured a pair of electric motors, a little over 400bhp and 516lb ft of torque.
Does this mean this sculpture reflects a desire within Mercedes to build a range-topping, super-EQ car? Only time will tell, but Merc’s commitment to the EQ brand will stretch across ten new models between now and 2022. “We wish to offer our customers the right mix between mostly electrified conventional powertrains and all-electric powertrains”.
And don’t forget, AMG built the SLS Electric Drive years ago, showcasing how electricity could work in a full supercar, and today AMG is rolling out petrol-electric hybrids in the shape of the 53 AMG series…
So it might be a sculpture for now, but is it one that points to a future product? Only time will tell.