The latest attraction announced for the forthcoming Paris Motor Show is this design study from Mercedes-Benz, entitled ConceptFASCINATION. Mercedes hopes its concept will give fresh impetus to the ‘shooting brake’, a category of vehicle which is rarely seen these days – yet it’s one which the carmaker sees as having a distinctive charisma.
The designers have indulged themselves by creating an automotive sculpture with geniune aesthetic appeal. The aim, we’re told, was to embody practical usability in the shape of a large luggage compartment, while retaining the ‘fast, thrilling lines’ of a coupé. The sense of forward movement is an essential component of the styling. This impression is emphasised by the long, frameless, side-window line, creating a continuous arc from front to rear and uninterrupted by a B-pillar.
Wood, aluminium and smoked glass aim to give the interior an ‘exclusive’ ambience, with a luggage area that incorporates a refrigerated compartment and a humidor (as well as offering the necessary generous loadspace). The side windows can be lowered completely – one of the fundamental genetic markers of every Mercedes-Benz coupé – to provide an uninterrupted view of the fine materials inside the car.
These materials are apparently inspired by the equestrian world: the look and feel of a saddle is suggested by the thick, dark leather covering the aluminium centre console. This console extends like a bridge from the front to the rear, spanning the space between the four individual seats. Contrast is provided by nubuck leather on the seats and other surfaces, as well as by the deep-pile carpet. Trim strips in American walnut with a fine chrome surround complete the picture.
The ConceptFASCINATION design study draws its technical underpinnings from the future E-Class Coupé, including its new, 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine, developing 201bhp.
Text: Charis Whitcombe
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