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Mercedes design boss speaks out

Mon, 22 Jan 2007

By Tim Pollard

Motor Industry

22 January 2007 09:40

We spoke to Mercedes design boss Peter Pfeiffer at the recent Detroit Motor Show – and asked him about the future strategy at the Stuttgart company.

We had a discussion last year about the current Mercedes-Benz line-up. Mercedes has a very strict design and the idea came up to do a forward-looking car. The Ocean Drive concept is not looking back into the history books at all; we wanted to create a dream.

It was always going to be a Mercedes – not a Maybach.

We are going to make a decision whether to build the Ocean Drive or not in the next two to four weeks.

Yes, it does, doesn’t it…

The grille is big – and very three-dimensional. You’ll see this on the new C-class and other future models. Look also at the taut lines and surfaces; the subtle surfaces along the flanks are important, too. The subtle lines continue through the rear lights. Note also the small strip of chrome running along the flank of the car; we are considering this for production. The two-tone paint on the Ocean Drive will happen. It’s more complicated to produce – it has to go through the paintshop twice.

I can’t comment on that.

LED headlight systems will be here in the next two to three years; they give us designers more scope to do exciting things at the front.

The new C-class is both sporty and regal at the same time. We have different design languages for different ranges; our sports cars are different to our saloons – but there’s an overall language binding them all together.

When you look at the S-class today, there is quite a bit of that in the new C-class. But it has its own character, too.

By Tim Pollard