This Mercedes-Benz G-Class Race Car Is Actually An Art Project
Project Geländewagen is a one-off reinterpretation of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class as a track-spec racecar, and the brand believes the creation is a piece of art. The company will even sell a unique 1:3 scale model for charity at Sotheby’s Contemporary Curated auction on October 2. It’ll bring an estimated $60,000 to $80,000.
The Project Geländewagen results from a collaboration between Mercedes-Benz Chief Design Officer Gorden Wagener and Louis Vuitton Men’s Artistic Director Virgil Abloh. They came up with the idea of stripping away everything superfluous from a G-Class to create a blank canvas. Somehow, that process resulted in a variant of the SUV looking ready for a touring car race.
Gallery: Mercedes-Benz G-Class Project Gelandewagen
Abloh and Wagener drop the G-Class’ ride height and add wider fenders. Mesh coverings adorn the windows. The racing-inspired tires proclaim this is the Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen. The odd texture of the paint comes from sanding some sections by hand, which comes from a desire to eschew perfection.
The cabin is similarly stripped down to the most basic elements. The majority of the interior is white, but the company paints the roll cage light blue. Safety-related items like the seatbelts, door pulls, and some switches are vibrant red. For other sporty elements, there are a Formula-1-style steering wheel and seats from a DTM car.
“With Project Geländewagen we create a unique artwork that showcases future interpretations of luxury and the desire for beauty and the extraordinary. The result is something between reality and future,” said Wagener about the creation.
We aren’t art critics, but the argument that this vehicle “showcases future interpretations of luxury” is hard to understand on its face because by their very nature racecars prioritize performance over comfort. One analysis could be that the Geländewagen that the traditional meaning of “luxury” is dead. Now, speed is what sells.
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