Wednesday, February 4, 2009

First thoughts on W212 design

I realize the graphic to the right is a mess of circles, arrows and creases, but how about we play a game of, "spot the Mercedes?" Who are they trying to fool? The blind? My personal issue with the new e-class is that Mercedes, in an attempt to freshen a preexisting design model, have begun to imitate what the expected clientele would refer to as lesser cars. The Hyundai Genesis actually shows a lot of promise, and the coupé is even better, but that's not something mercedes customers understand. On the other hand, they don't want their cars to appear like the Lincoln MKZ, and rightly so, it's hideous, as is the 2003 Kia Optima, but somehow, the boardmembers approving of this new, odd project, which comprises Merc's best-selling model ignored this completely. Perhaps the resemblence isn't all that strong, but it's there. If we ignore the possible prestige implications of the "new" front and rear fascia, is it a good thing to look at? Right now, to this cynical author? No.
I think what is the biggest issue is that while the proportions of the lighting surfaces are very practical, the grille in the front provides much space for air to be sucked in, it stimulates the viewer just as much as the Volvo 740. Sure, it's practical and safe, but it has the sex appeal of a kitchen cabinet. I applaud Mercedes for not attempting to produce bangle-butt-like characteristics, setting a precedent for the other automakers to look moronic, but no effort has been put forth as far as I can tell.

~Sawyer Sutton