This partnership is the first of its kind: Mercedes-Benz and Virgil Abloh.
And the outcome is right in front of you…the G-Class as never seen before. It was unveiled via a unique digital launch event.
To support the arts at a critical time, a replica of the design piece will be auctioned as part of Sotheby’s Contemporary Curated, one of the most revered series of the auction house that is characterised each year by the unique perspective of a different influential tastemaker, with all proceeds going to a charity that supports international creative community.
Advanced bidding commences on 14 September 2020.
“My ultimate goal in this project with Mercedes-Benz is inspiring young artists, engineers, designers to question the status quo, in addition to experimenting with my own design abilities. For me it’s all about providing opportunities for those coming after me and giving this next generation a foundation for success, both here with Mercedes-Benz and through my own Virgil Abloh™ “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund.“
Virgil Abloh, Chief Creative Director and Founder of Off-White and Men’s Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton
The G-Class has had so far a number of incarnations from a 4×4 to a Landaulet, but never a racing car – until now.
The exterior is kept as clean as possible to emphasize the G-Class’s iconic silhouette, demonstrating its monolithic character. The exterior is kept as clean as possible to emphasize the G-Class’s iconic silhouette, demonstrating its monolithic character. The final design lays its construction methods bare, and celebrates the handcrafted imperfections that make it unique. The paintwork was partially sanded by hand to create a sense of timeless simplicity. Welds are celebrated as key design motifs, as craftsmanship takes center stage. The indicators, outside mirrors and the bumper bar have all been removed and the body of the car is widened and lowered, for a sportier effect. The distinct personality of the G remains intact, however, and an exaggeration of the tyres and spare wheel exude the G’s inimitable charisma.
Inside the art piece, reduction reigns and the racing inspiration is clear; eschewing all clichés of an SUV. All interiors have been stripped back, and the safety frame becomes a central motif. The dashboard is removed and replaced with a clean, reduced version which celebrates an analogue speedometer and fuel gauges, reminiscent of a classic car. This contrasts with the steering wheel and seats, which are more akin to a Formula 1 vehicle. Safety features and key racing elements, such as the safety frame or the 5 point seat belts are highlighted in baby blue and bright red tones. These strong accent colours create a new kind of colour grouping, and contrast against the bare interior.
Through this project, the worlds of fashion, art and automotive are united by one common passion: outstanding luxury design that anticipates future ambitions.
“With Project Gelandewagen we create a unique artwork that showcases future interpretations of luxury and the desire for beauty and the extraordinary. The result is something between reality and future. The collaboration with Virgil has seen two distinct design philosophies unite, for a one-of-a-kind re-imagination of the G that continues to celebrate the extraordinary at its core.”
Gorden Wagener, Mercedes-Benz Chief Design Officer