This is the Icon E concept, a mash-up of modern Mercedes E-Class and classic Benz styling cues.
It’s the work of car designer David Obendorfer who said that the Icon E is an attempt to revive the concept of “modest luxury” as typified by the classic W115 Mercedes of 1968 (pictured below).
That car’s signature front end styling served as the inspiration for the Icon E, which apes the W115’s vertical headlights and square grille. The theme continues at the back, which is redrawn with rectangular, horizontally-ribbed lamps.
According to Obendorfer, the Icon E also serves as a tribute to Mercedes chief stylists Paul Bracq and Bruno Sacco. Bracq oversaw the W115 and the iconic W123 that replaced it, while Sacco headed the design department from 1975 to 1999, during which time Mercedes produced such legends as the W126 S-Class and W124 E-Class.
Oberndorfer notes that the dimensions of the Icon E near-enough match those of the current W213-generation E-Class.
The interior has been reimagined, too, made as minimalist as possible while retaining the modern E’s double TFT screen infotainment system. Even the steering wheel has been given a retro look, the chrome ring mimicking the horn control on Mercs of old.
It seems unlikely that we will see the Icon E made real anytime soon. Having said that, Obendorfer’s design reimagining the current Citroen Relay van as the classic H Van was put into production as an add-on bodykit that bolts onto a Relay. So you never know…
By Graham King