Automobiles are indeed rolling sculptures, but Mercedes-Benz often takes the metaphor to another level, using static sculptures to hint at future vehicles or design directions. In this case, Mercedes’ latest piece of abstract art appears to preview the next-generation S-Class sedan.
Dubbed “Aesthetics S,” Mercedes-Benz officially states the new sculpture provides “an artistic glimpse of the luxury saloon of the foreseeable future,” but it’s painfully clear the car in question is the next S-Class, which is due to launch in late 2013. Heck, Mercedes’ own release also mentions the S-Class, noting the range frequently “serves as a symbol and role model for the motor car.
“The characteristic lines of the S-class have always represented the expression of automotive culture as we understand it,” boasts Mercedes-Benz design chief Gordon Wagner, in a prepared statement. “The new S-Class will continue this tradition and, with its striking lines, will put a face to our design philosophy over the coming years.”
Aesthetics S is the fourth in Mercedes-Benz’s Aesthetics line of sculptures, but it differs from its predecessors in its presentation. Instead of a full three-dimensional representation of a vehicle body or interior, Aesthetics S is a more like to a relief, and showcases only the surfaces visible from the side of the vehicle. Mercedes amplifies the presentation by bathing the form in reflected light, which is allegedly presented in three acts.
We’re more interested in some of the surface detail hinted at here. Our previous spy photos of the next S-Class hinted at a flowing, traditional roofline, but the Aesthetics S piece hints also incorporates a strong character line that starts at the nose, peaks at the driver’s door, and quickly tapers downward before the rear fenders. A second line, which could potentially serve as a light catcher or rocker sill, echoes the first but curves upwards towards the rear wheel arches. Both lines could be employed on the next S-Class, but test mules we’ve seen appear to be devoid of either form.
Mercedes plans on showing the Aesthetics S sculpture at the Paris Motor Show in September, but we’ll likely have to wait until early 2013 to see the new S-Class in its entirety.