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Mercedes’ design boss: traditional design doesn’t work for electric vehicles

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Mercedes-Benz design boss Gordon Wagener has a problem with electric vehicles.

Well, sort of – it’s more of an EV design issue. Well, sort of again – in particular, he thinks electrification makes the traditional three-box sedan bad.

The three box sedan is basically what every kid draws when asked to draw a car. There is an obvious hood or front area, a cabin for passengers and a trunk, making three boxes. Fastbacks are still largely three-box designs, although they are a bit more fuzzy.

The designer of the Mercedes-Benz EQS doesn't think the traditional sedan design works with electric vehicles.

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The designer of the Mercedes-Benz EQS doesn’t think the traditional sedan design works with electric vehicles.

Talk with Top speed, Wagener said that “electrification will kill the three-box sedan (sedan) for several reasons.” Aero is one of them. Second, with a six-inch battery, a three-box sedan just doesn’t look good, it looks s … You have to do something that visually digests the height. “

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You can see this attitude in electric vehicles from Mercedes, like the EQS or the EQE. There’s barely one box to spot, let alone three. The hood flows into the windshield and the roof, which tapers to the edge of the trunk. It feels more aerodynamic than anything else, which helps EVs achieve better range.

The Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 breaks the sweeping roofline with a spoiler, but it's still quite ovoid.

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The Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 breaks the sweeping roofline with a spoiler, but it’s still quite ovoid.

Wagener went on to say that he was not in favor of other new EVs that don’t really have a grille: “These are faceless, somewhat anonymous fronts. “

“They all look a lot alike. Do they look aggressive? No. They want to be more like a supercomputer on wheels.

“Maybe as driving becomes more regulated and when the car becomes the driver, it has to look more like a computer and less like an aggressive animal.

Meanwhile, the BMW i4 still uses a separate three-box design and also looks great.

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Meanwhile, the BMW i4 still uses a separate three-box design and also looks great.

“However, you to do need a certain amount of wedge in the headlights, and so on. It’s a lot of physiognomy, you know – the facial expressions or the body sculpture in the car that makes it look like humans. And that’s something that doesn’t change.

This may be a bit true when it comes to, say, the Tesla Model 3, but other electric sedans like the BMW i4 certainly have a grille and a face. And it still maintains the three-box shape, while looking good at the same time.

But you can’t pretend that the Mercedes-Benz EQ range doesn’t have a separate identity thanks to its fluid and smooth design.