Modern Luxury: Mercedes-Benz: design and brand

Jul 5, 2018

The brand aesthetic

The aesthetic of modern luxury is characterised by timeless beauty, a combination of high-grade technology and craftsmanship as well as a reduction to what is really important. The aim is to spark a desire for the brand. The atmosphere created by the design conveys a reduced, but not distant appearance that is modern and timeless. Black and silver are the dominant colours that create a stage for highlights, but also stage innovations to be complemented by a warm colour range. Natural materials, such as leather and wood give a feeling of being approachable and can be harmoniously combined with technical and innovative highlights. Modern graphic elements that quote the typical Mercedes style idioms or pick up on the brand make the brand identity stronger.

Exterior design: sporty, dynamic, emotional

Characteristic exterior design elements of Mercedes-Benz vehicles include the striking radiator grilles, dynamic side lines and sensually traversing surfaces that largely do away with creases.

Striking radiator grille

Regardless of the variant: Mercedes-Benz vehicles' radiator grilles always embody noblesse, confidence, and timeless aesthetic. They dominate the progressive front design featuring a deep-drawn, stretched bonnet. Only Mercedes-Benz offers brand and target group-specific variants of the radiator grille for its products, for instance with centrally positioned star (Avantgarde variant for Mercedes-Benz) and the star standing upright on the body (Exclusive exterior).

Calm, dynamic side lines

The vehicle is visually extended by the longer wheelbase and individual, lateral dropping lines run along the side. The cab has been slightly offset towards the rear, hence creating an ample prestige dimension. The prestige dimension states the distance between A-pillar and front axle. The greater the prestige dimension, the longer and more impressive the bonnet looks. This contributes to the unique Mercedes-Benz proportions that have been convincing and sparking a passion in generations of onlookers.

Reduced lines, sensual surfaces

Mercedes-Benz stages sophisticated technology and sparks emotions with clear shapes and sensual surfaces. The extreme reduction of creases and lines emphasises the elegant vehicle body and structures it with light and shade. Mercedes-Benz design thus creates unexpected shapes while being emotional and fascinating.

Interior design: new ways

A modern interpretation of luxury calls for emotional, authentic experiences. With this in mind, the bipolarity of traditional craftsmanship and sophisticated technology also forms the focus of interior design at Mercedes-Benz. The vehicles exude Sensual Purity, setting standards in precision and quality with an extraordinarily high-grade finish. With the interior of the new A-Class and the next GLE, Mercedes-Benz is consistently carrying on as intended to completely restructure the interior.

Avantgarde instrument panel

The unique architecture of the interior is particularly marked by the avantgarde design of the instrument panel. For the first time in the A-Class a traditional cowl above the cockpit has been completely dispensed with. As a result, the wing-shaped main body of the instrument panel extends from one front door to the other without visual discontinuity.

Floating widescreen display

The instrument panel of the A-Class has been clearly structured into two three-dimensional, horizontal sections: the lower section is visually separated from the main body of the instrument cluster by a "trench", and it appears to float in front of the instrument cluster. The optional ambient lighting enhances this effect, accentuating the free-floating impression of the substructure. The lower section of the instrument panel simultaneously provides the basis for the turbine-look air vents and the completely free-standing widescreen display in front of the driver's seat. The new GLE will also feature a free-standing cockpit display that seems to be floating as well as a new, lightweight image and a sporty focus on the driver. This is emphasised by the lower body, with a deep-set wrap-around wooden trim with door panels, This generates an ample focus on the width of the vehicle and a feeling of space like in luxury class saloons to create an extraordinary feeling of elegance and safety.

New turbine look

Thanks to the omission of a cockpit cowl, the main body of the instrument panel with its trim extends from one front door to the other behind the seemingly free-floating widescreen. The trim elements have been structured in so-called "wrap-around" design and the choice of materials (e.g. open-pore wood) underlines the progressive, modern positioning as the top interior in this class. The total of five, round air vents in the A-Class are given a new turbine look inspired by the world of aviation. Finely designed air vanes in a concentric arrangement create the impression of a jet aircraft turbine. As part of one equipment line the vent surround is emphasised in colour at the rear of the vent geometry, giving the impression of an afterburner. The air vents in the centre are driver-oriented, accentuating the sportiness of the interior. In the new GLE, the central nozzles, also known as square nozzles, with their four-fold signature design familiar from the S-Class and E-Class, are staged in a striking, SUV style to emphasise their width. The interior has been designed with great attention to detail featuring ambient lighting like never before.

UI/UX: a new user experience

Mercedes-Benz also launched a new infotainment system with the new A-Class. The name MBUX alone – Mercedes-Benz User Experience – indicates that the experience (UX: user experience) and benefits for occupants are in the focus. A unique feature of this system is its ability to learn thanks to artificial intelligence. MBUX can be individually configured to adapt to the corresponding user. Brilliant graphics and a clear, very structured design intuitively create a link between vehicle and driver. In terms of design, the colour theme, free-floating spatial design of screens and the options for different degrees of detail strike the eye.

New interpretation of the traditional, black colour theme

The Mercedes-Benz world works with black backgrounds. They form a space like on a stage which not only sets standards visually, but also supports navigation between the individual information levels. Blue creates a modern, digital look. Materials, such as glass and chrome are in the focus and support a technical look.

Free spatial design of screens

The most important information (such as arrival time, song currently being played, etc.) is displayed on the home screen, alongside the freely selectable main applications (e.g. telephone, navigation and radio). However, not as lists, but using intuitively operated, brilliant 3D graphics in maximum resolution. These so-called main icons have been positioned freely within the space and they are made tangible by images. Emotional staging underlines the simple understanding of the operating structure. Operation is horizontal and makes optimum use of the ten-inch media display's widescreen format. Graphics are calculated and illustrated in maximum resolution and real time.

Concentrating on what is important

Luxury also means being able to concentrate on what is important. For this reason, drivers can select Silent Mode in MBUX. In this mode, the system exclusively shows information that is directly required for driving as part of a clear, transparent interface. Concentrating on what is really important to users in this moment, that is the essence of digital luxury. Digital luxury means making it as easy as possible for drivers and linking the digital with the analogue world. The vehicle knows what the driver needs and always supplies the information required, such as warnings about the traffic situation. This user interface is only made possible by the vehicle's digital intelligence. Anyone seeking more information can add more detail and data to round off the driving experience.

The new A-Class: the perfect balance of beauty and intelligence

The design philosophy of Sensual Purity, defined by the six guidelines of the design code, applies to all Mercedes-Benz designers. This unique design philosophy is interpreted and developed accordingly, ensuring that each model series acquires its own distinct character while nevertheless always remaining recognisably Mercedes-Benz.

Mercedes-Benz stages sophisticated technology and triggers emotions as well as desires thanks to the clear shapes and sensual surfaces of the A-Class. The exterior of the A-Class represents sportiness, dynamism and emotion. The progressive front design with a low bonnet, slim LED headlamps (optional) with chrome elements and daytime running lamps guarantees a confident appearance. The striking radiator grille reinterprets its shape. Its outline opens up towards the bottom and also features pins with a diamond look as well as a silver, central louvre.

The larger wheels underline the sporty character of the new A-Class and make for a powerful appearance on the road. The vehicle has a wider look at the rear end thanks to a more heavily waisted greenhouse which also emphasises the shoulders, and to the wider-spaced rear reflectors in the modular, two-section rear bumper. The slim tail lamps are in two sections. The laterally attached spoiler on the rear window improves aerodynamics.

The emotional stage is also set thanks to the versatility of 64 colours for ambient lighting: the different colours are composed into ten colour themes to allow an avant-garde lighting display with spectacular colour changes.

For instance, this avant-garde ambient lighting becomes apparent in the area where the upper and lower sections of the instrument panel merge. Thanks to a combination of indirect and direct lighting, a very special ambience is created here that could be compared to the night-time illumination of a historic building. The interior of the turbine-like air vents with galvanised surfaces is likewise emotively presented by the ambient lighting.

The new GLE: Sporting elegance and safety

The interior of the new GLE combines the luxurious elegance of the Mercedes-Benz interior with the formal language of a progressively designed SUV interior. The central element in the dashboard’s design is a sporty cockpit embedded in a high-performance body. The freestanding cockpit display floats, for the first time without a cover, in a cassette with built-in air nozzles for a sporty accent. This is emphasised by the lower body, with a deep-set wrap-around wooden trim with door panels, This generates an ample focus on the width of the vehicle and a feeling of space like in luxury class sedans to create an extraordinary feeling of elegance and safety. The high centre console stands in slick contrast to the architecture of the dashboard. The two dominant handles, the highlight of the centre console, symbolise the playful aspect of the off-road experience.

The electronic instrument cluster offers impressively intuitive operation with three directly selectable zones. Showcasing elements in an emotively appealing manner underlines the comprehensibility of the control structure and impresses with brilliant pixel-perfect graphics.