Since succeeding Peter Pfeiffer as Mercedes-Benz design boss in 2008, Gorden Wagener has redefined the brand's design language with products such as the CLA, GLA, C class, S class and S-class coupe.
Mercedes calls the style "sensual purity." Wagener, a 45-year-old German, spoke with Automotive News Europe Correspondent Eric Gallina.
Q: Where does sensual purity come from and where is it going?
A: For every new car, you see another piece of the puzzle coming together. These are the fruits from what we established after I took over. I created a whole new design philosophy, which affects the entire brand. It's not only about design; it also defines what the brand should stand for in the future. We set some guidelines that define our philosophy, sensual purity, which is equivalent to modern luxury.
Which car best showcases the company's new design language?
The new C class really embodies that at its best. There's only a single line on that car. Other than that it's pure, clean, sheer surfacing. We have our signature line, the dropping line in the side, which comes out of the headlight, over the fender and goes toward the rear wheel. We're not doing wedge-shaped cars anymore. Wedge-shape for me is kind of late '90s, a bit dated. We've actually been inspired more by 1930s-era streamline design.