The Mercedes Vision Simplex is a gorgeous retro-future concept
The concept pays homage to the first mass produced Mercedes.
This week was my first time visiting the Los Angeles Auto Show, hosted at the Los Angeles Convention center in the heart of downtown LA. I came to shoot photos of several planned releases and to get close to some vehicles I haven't yet had a chance to see in person. Shortly after the Mercedes Benz press conference had finished and the media fray started to clear out, I made my way over to shoot some photos. As I was snapping my last few shots I moved left to see some of the production vehicles.
Photo by Chris Turek
I was stopped in my tracks by this gorgeous vehicle display. The sultry backsplash with the tri-star emblem patterned across it, the word "Mercedes" opulently inscribed on the wall, and clever lighting that made the concept stand out like a sore thumb. I was completely enamored by the beauty of the display.
Photo by Chris Turek
The vehicle on display was the Mercedes Vision Simplex, designed by Mercedes' new design studio in Nice, France. It was created to pay homage to the original Mercedes Simplex, a model that revolutionized the automobile by popularizing the modern front-engine rear-wheel-drive layout. The original Simplex was named as such to designate its ease of use. This concept does well to bring back that simplicity with a beautiful modern touch. It retains the horse buggy-like layout with open wheels and no windscreen, but the wheels have caps and the engine compartment has machined edges that simply wouldn't be possible to produce in the early 1900s. The design even had a modern Louis Vuitton bag attached to the back, similar to how luggage would be stowed over a century ago.
Overall I think the Vision Simplex is the perfect mix of retro and modern. Anyone looking to modernize an old design should look to this concept as inspiration. As of now there's no plan to put this concept into production, but I personally would love for Mercedes to sell 20 or so limited edition models to a couple of customers, just as a proof of concept.