Mercedes-Benz's 'Aesthetics A' Concept Teases Smooth New Design Language

All hail the classic, unfussy three-box design!

Studie Aesthetics A
Daimler AG - Global Communicatio—Daimler AG

"The days of creases are over," Mercedes-Benz just announced in a press release teasing their "Aesthetic A" concept, which previews the new styling direction of the upcoming A-Class. Mercedes is not a brand to take lightly when it comes to design; after all, the Germans from Stuttgart essentially created the now-popular "four-door coupe" styling when it unveiled the CLS in 2004. If their prediction that smooth is the new move proves correct, it could be bad news for the origami-d likes of Lexus and Cadillac.

And while their "Sensual Purity" conceit sounds like a sex-store perfume, we can get behind the thinking: "'Aesthetics A' has a three-box design and is thus also a sign of new forms in the compact class, because outside of Germany and Europe classic saloons are also very much in demand in this segment," reads the release, which also notes that red will be a signature Mercedes color going forward. Smooth, unfussy, classic three-box design is basically why we spend our downtime researching vintage Jags, after all.

The full press release from Mercedes-Benz, below.

Sindelfingen. The Mercedes-Benz designers have restyled the product range with great success. The upcoming compact class generation marks the dawn of an even more rigorous implementation of the design idiom of "sensual purity". The "Aesthetics A" sculpture provides a first indication.

The designers at Mercedes-Benz are reconciling tradition and modernity in designing the cars for the future. Their work centres on 'Sensual Purity' as an expression of modern luxury. In applying this design philosophy, Mercedes-Benz sparked a transformation in design with the current A‑Class, launched in 2012. The new design idiom featuring edges and creases – indentations and recesses in the sheet metal – aimed to create clear forms and sensual surfaces which showcase high tech while also arousing emotions. This played a decisive role in making the brand younger and was key to the company's excellent sales results. Every Mercedes-Benz model that followed since was born from this philosophy despite having an individual character.

With the "Aesthetics A" sculpture, the design team now presents the vision of a saloon car in the compact car segment which is stripped down to the essential body. It also provides a clear indication of how the design philosophy of 'Sensual Purity' will be manifested in the not too distant future. The "Aesthetics A" sculpture embodies the advancement of the Mercedes-Benz design idiom.

"Form and body are what remain when creases and lines are reduced to the extreme. We have the courage to implement this purism", says Chief Design Officer of Daimler AG, Gorden Wagener. "In combination with perfect proportions and sensual surface design, the upcoming generation of the compact class has the potential to herald a new design era. Design is also the art of omission: the days of creases are over".

Rather than modifying the basic shape with lines and creases, the Mercedes-Benz designers employ sweeping surfaces at angles to each other to contour the body design with light and shadow and to emphasise the proportions. This makes the essence of a body visible and communicates it in a credible way. The expressive and confident red as a new signature Mercedes-Benz colour underscores the sensuality and emotion of the sculpture.

"Aesthetics A" has a three-box design and is thus also a sign of new forms in the compact class, because outside of Germany and Europe classic saloons are also very much in demand in this segment.

The "Aesthetics A" sculpture is a continuation of a series of sculptures from Mercedes-Benz which to date comprises the works "Aesthetics No. 1" (2010), "Aesthetics No. 2", "Aesthetics 125" (both 2011) and "Aesthetics S" (2012).

Design as a key success factor for Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz design serves to showcase a passion for automobiles in a modern design idiom. The importance which Daimler AG attaches to design today was highlighted when the post of Chief Design Officer was established on 1 November 2016. Dr Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: "Good design is about much more than simply creating beautiful products: It combines functionality with fascination and gives brand values a distinctive form. We are delighted that our design team under the leadership of Gorden Wagener is among the best in the industry, because the excellent global sales of our vehicles is ultimately also due to their outstanding design".