Mercedes-Benz at the IAA 2009: Mercedes-Benz Design
22nd September, 2009
At the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany, Mercedes-Benz is allowing
visitors to take a detailed look behind the design scenes.
Right on the spot, Mercedes-Benz designers show how cars like the SLS AMG or the E-Class Coupé are formed – from
the first design sketch to the finished model. The spectators are right up close, and can witness the design process
at first hand, understand it and be amazed.
They find out about the design features that give Mercedes-Benz vehicles their fascinating and unmistakable
appearance – and are able to take a look into the future of Mercedes-Benz design with the professionals who are
responsible for it.
"Crossing boundaries and setting trends – that is emphatically what our design is all about", says Gorden
Wagener, Head of Design at Mercedes-Benz. "We develop existing forms further, and take them to new, exciting
This year, visitors to the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) are able to see this exciting design process first hand, and
witness how familiar Mercedes features are reinterpreted using innovative design concepts to form a dramatic
composition of tradition and progress.
The designers of the premium automobile brand have allowed outsiders to gain an insight into their work. In
numerous individual stages, they show how a new Mercedes-Benz model is designed from an idea.
To provide this authentic experience, Mercedes-Benz has constructed a special bay on its stand at the show in
Frankfurt. This is where the designers lend their personal, creative touch to the subject of "Mercedes-Benz Design"
by demonstrating their work live at several display stations.
At the drawing board, for example. Or during a live-tape event, where the designers magically project the 1:1 scale
exterior of the AMG SLS Gullwing and the E-Class Coupé on the wall. To do this they use special, usually black
adhesive tape in various thicknesses and transparent foils.
This so-called "taping" is a flexible way of presenting design perspectives. In practice it is used as a first
reconciliation between the proportions and the dimensional concept.
A number of clearly presented exhibits demonstrate aspects of the interior design work. In addition to styling,
this is about functionality, materials, colour, touch or instrument design – to ensure that the aesthetics of the
interior are in harmony with the exterior.
A film with authentic scenes from the design department also shows the development of the SLS from what amounts
to a "backstage" perspective, something which is normally covered with a veil of secrecy for outsiders.
Visitors to the stand are able to judge the quality with which the design ideas have been realised by displays
of design icons such as the E-Class Coupé, CLS, CL, SL and SLK.
Direct communication with Mercedes-Benz designers heightens this first-hand experience. They describe their work,
explain the secrets of the Mercedes-Benz strategy and design philosophy in a logical and clear way even for the
layman, point out the characteristic design features of the Coupé and Roadster, and provide an insight into design
thinking for the Mercedes-Benz sports cars.