Mercedes-Benz pays tribute to the first modern motor car

The futurist re-imagining of the 35 hp hints at some design principles the brand is moving toward in the 21st century

Mercedes-Benz has honored the first truly modern motor car - and the car that gave it the Mercedes name (the 35 PS dating from 1901) - with a new sculptural futuristic design. Reinventing the classic automobile that helped tipped the industry away from rickey carriages symbolises the transition to a new era of design and technology as well as paying homage to the historical legacy and the birth of the brand.

The EV concept car, called Vision Mercedes Simplex adheres, for example, to the original two-seat, large-wheeled layout of the 35 hp. Like the 35 hp nearly 120 years ago, the Simplex also has a trunk - and it's a removable piece of luggage that reminds us where the term "trunk" actually came from. And while its wheels are not wooden like its ancestor's, they're still wide and exposed, with electric drive systems and logo-stamped tires.

In the meantime, there's the "hyper analog" digital dash, which is designed to present only the information necessary at the precise moment you look at it. Digital lighting behind a translucent white surface presents speedo, dash and navigation functions as you drive, with the most pivotal content centered inside a rose gold ring in the center. The original radiator grille is then replaced with a black panel/3D display, framed in rose gold.

It’s highly unlikely that this design will see the light of production, but it’s nonetheless a beautiful look at the past as Mercedes paves the way for the future.

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