THE DAWN OF A NEW ERA

The Dawn of a New Era

As always, it all starts with a blank sheet of white paper, a pen (it can’t be too thick) and a creative mind uninhibited in its imagination, capable of sticking to the design philosophy while also boldly and confidently pushing it as far as it will go.

And then the idea is submitted for internal vetting in the form of a global competition for the best designs. The goal is always to come up together with a design that is characterised by the successful merger of both clarity and the unexpected. After all, the road must lead not to a great idea, but to a great success.

 

This classic, analogue approach was also taken for the design process of the new EQC. The first fully electric SUV from Mercedes-Benz was presented back in September, making it the first model of the new Mercedes-Benz EQ brand, and thus the dawn of a new era.

 

Of course, the designers had a lot of typical stylistic elements to draw on: a Mercedes would be unthinkable without the characteristic star. But the EQC is also a completely new type of vehicle that employs the latest technological advancements with aesthetic finesse. And yet for all of the novelty this vehicle represents, it is still a genuine Mercedes-Benz.

 

How did the designers manage this balancing act? And how does the new Mercedes-Benz EQ brand fit into the world of the star?

 

There’s a lot of talk these days about the reinvention of the automobile. What that refers to is the technological revolution being advanced by a number of developments: from the proliferation of digitally interconnected cars to innovative services and sharing offers and the imminent reality of autonomous driving. And then, of course, there’s electromobility. 

 

What we know for sure is that this type of mobility will produce less noise pollution, be sustainable and intuitive, and enrich our lives. And Mercedes-Benz will play a pioneering role in shaping the future, with the new brand representing a leap of innovation in the field. The name EQ stands for ‘electric intelligence’, which comes from the brand values of ‘emotion and intelligence’. Its design alone reveals the future integrated into it. As a holistic concept, it is intended to tug at the customers’ emotions and appease their rational side. Customers should become fans.

 

And a Mercedes-Benz designer is not one to shy away from such tasks. Surrounded by thousands and thousands of engineers that make technological dreams into technological realities, there are dozens of designers at the design offices in Sindelfingen alone. Their job is to bring the design philosophy of ‘sensual purity’ to life – and this goes for EQ too. Sensual purity: the expression of contemporary luxury. A luxury that isn’t to be put on a pedestal, but to be loved as a cherished part of daily life.

The Dawn of a New Era

As always, it all starts with a blank sheet of white paper, a pen (it can’t be too thick) and a creative mind uninhibited in its imagination, capable of sticking to the design philosophy while also boldly and confidently pushing it as far as it will go.

And then the idea is submitted for internal vetting in the form of a global competition for the best designs. The goal is always to come up together with a design that is characterised by the successful merger of both clarity and the unexpected. After all, the road must lead not to a great idea, but to a great success.

 

This classic, analogue approach was also taken for the design process of the new EQC. The first fully electric SUV from Mercedes-Benz was presented back in September, making it the first model of the new Mercedes-Benz EQ brand, and thus the dawn of a new era.

 

Of course, the designers had a lot of typical stylistic elements to draw on: a Mercedes would be unthinkable without the characteristic star. But the EQC is also a completely new type of vehicle that employs the latest technological advancements with aesthetic finesse. And yet for all of the novelty this vehicle represents, it is still a genuine Mercedes-Benz.

 

How did the designers manage this balancing act? And how does the new Mercedes-Benz EQ brand fit into the world of the star?

 

There’s a lot of talk these days about the reinvention of the automobile. What that refers to is the technological revolution being advanced by a number of developments: from the proliferation of digitally interconnected cars to innovative services and sharing offers and the imminent reality of autonomous driving. And then, of course, there’s electromobility. 

 

What we know for sure is that this type of mobility will produce less noise pollution, be sustainable and intuitive, and enrich our lives. And Mercedes-Benz will play a pioneering role in shaping the future, with the new brand representing a leap of innovation in the field. The name EQ stands for ‘electric intelligence’, which comes from the brand values of ‘emotion and intelligence’. Its design alone reveals the future integrated into it. As a holistic concept, it is intended to tug at the customers’ emotions and appease their rational side. Customers should become fans.

 

And a Mercedes-Benz designer is not one to shy away from such tasks. Surrounded by thousands and thousands of engineers that make technological dreams into technological realities, there are dozens of designers at the design offices in Sindelfingen alone. Their job is to bring the design philosophy of ‘sensual purity’ to life – and this goes for EQ too. Sensual purity: the expression of contemporary luxury. A luxury that isn’t to be put on a pedestal, but to be loved as a cherished part of daily life.

Fascinating contrasts

The Dawn of a New Era

Fascinating contrasts

For the designers, this guiding principle doesn’t just pose a challenge, it also serves as an inspiration. A good design must be simultaneously hot and cool, and it must combine emotion and intelligence. These two poles are incorporated into every model, and to illustrate them, the designers have assigned them unique color codes. The red side represents ‘sensuality’. It brings out the emotion. The blue pole embodies ‘purity’. It lends the design purism and clarity. While Mercedes-AMG is at the ‘hot’ end of the spectrum, Mercedes-Maybach and Mercedes-Benz both wander between the two poles in their own unique way. By contrast, the newcomer, Mercedes-Benz EQ, will call the ‘cool’ end home – though this is by no means an indication that emotionality will be compromised.

Each of the company’s brands has an unmistakable aesthetic in its DNA that is governed by this system. “Design is an expression of the brand’s soul, our sources of inspiration and our customers’ feedback,” AG Chief Design Officer Gorden Wagener explains. Mercedes-Maybach represents ultimate luxury, while Mercedes-Benz is a more modern brand of luxury. Mercedes-AMG, on the other hand, boasts performance luxury, and EQ is paving the way to the future with progressive luxury.

The Dawn of a New Era

Progressive luxury? The effect, the designers explain, is produced by the marriage of digital and analogue elements and the smooth transition between intuitive and physical elements – a feature known as “seamless design” – that extends into the car’s interior. Technologically speaking, the atmosphere is cool, yet the synthesis of wholesome, organic shapes and warm materials like dark wood and wool create a sense of comfort. Furthermore, additional innovative materials and blue accent lighting convey the brand’s progressive nature. The result is an all-new aesthetic – you could call it an “electro-aesthetic”, even if it sounds strange at first.

The Dawn of a New Era

In order to create this electro-aesthetic, the designers turn to their design philosophy to choose from a wide range of ingredients. Each step of the design process involves combining and refining the ingredients into a new, collective seasoning of sorts. This is repeated until a vehicle like the EQC can, say, register the light of the streets. Or until a show car like the recent Vision EQ Silver Arrow combines classic forms and materials with futuristic elements with virtuoso-like aplomb – a one-seater that recalls the legendary Mercedes racing cars while also opening up new doors for design of the future.

The EQC launch is scheduled for this coming year. It is the first sign that a future in which electromobility is part of everyday life is near, and it gives us hope that that the vision of autonomous driving could soon  become a reality. The new EQ brand is an entire ecosystem of electromobility-based products, innovations and services. It doesn’t just consist of electric vehicles, but also wall boxes, charging stations and even a whole charging infrastructure.

Are you curious about what the sketch of the first EQ we showed you will look like in real life, and what it will be like to drive it in the near future?