If you needed any more proof that retro-inspired restomods will be a thing of the future, then the iconic Mercedes-Benz W114/W115 is proof that it should return as a modern EV.
In the late 1960s all the way through the mid-1970s, Mercedes-Benz was fielding a car that would prove to be one of its most recognisable - indeed a template for their next 50 years of saloon cars, evolving into the modern luxury saloons the brand is known for.
Now that the company has announced an ambitious plan to reinvent themselves as an EV-focused automaker, perhaps it's time to revisit some of those older, iconic designs. Of course, the W114/W115 would make an ideal candidate for this retro-inspired experiment.
Apart from its other selling points, buyers tend to need to be visually incited into action with electrification, hence the wide selection of EVs sporting designs that go out of their way to look futuristic, even exotic.
That trend, however, is quickly reaching its saturation point. Every electric vehicle seems to want to be a fluidly sculpted piece of featureless metal to the point that they all just seem to blend in with each other. So why not go the opposite direction, as explored by Instagram user lars_o_saeltzer of Larson Design, who posted a render of this bold alternative take on the Mercedes-Benz EQS.
It’s based on the W114/W115 (or ‘stroke eight’ nickname to denote their 1968 launch year), in case you hadn’t noticed, and in our opinion is a direction that could certainly win more fans over to the EV camp compared to the car designs we have now.
That said, the boxier shape of older cars doesn’t exactly translate well from a practical standpoint, being aerodynamically inefficient and underutilising the front and rear portions of the vehicle, which would previously house an engine, transmission, driveline, and boot.
During an 8-year production run, a staggering 2 million examples of the W114/W115 were produced, making it one of their most popular models at the time while also guaranteeing the car’s widespread global reach. Given the now-legendary reliability of Mercedes-Benz vehicles of that era, it wouldn’t be too surprising to find a decent chunk of those is still operational to this day.
Apart from leading the pack insofar as large luxury saloons were concerned in the 60s and 70s despite being positioned just below the first-generation W116 S-Class, the W114/W115 featured many design cues brought over from the ultra-luxurious and technologically advanced Mercedes-Benz 600 flagship series, including the legendary Pullman limousine, itself a forerunner to the Maybach sub-brand.
This was due to both vehicles being designed by Paul Bracq, who was chief designer at the time and left his post at Daimler-Benz only after penning the W114 coupe and W115 saloon.
So what do you think? In its quest towards electrification should Mercedes-Benz go all space-age or look towards the past to bring them into the future?
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