The evolution of the Mercedes-Benz grill over time

Mercedes-Benz evolution of brand-defining grille design from 1900 to 2016 – Radiator grille evolution: from chrome radiator covers to avant-garde design artifacts, the 1900 sensor hub is a decisive year for the car’s inception. This is the first time Wilhelm Maybach has fitted his 35 PS Mercedes with a honeycomb radiator of his invention. The patented concept reliably solves the problem of internal combustion engine cooling and enables the production of vehicles that are not only more powerful but also more reliable. Because radiators are located at the front and center of the vehicle, they have an immediate impact on the brand image. A new era has begun. Until the 1930s, front-ends with vertical radiators were common practice worldwide, but 120 years later, Mercedes-EQ electric vehicles bring a new face to the star brand with Black Panel grilles. It integrates seamlessly with the headlights while also serving as a technology hub. β€œThe large-scale technological shift towards electric mobility and autonomous driving offers us new possibilities in terms of exterior design. The classic radiator grill loses its original function and turns into an avant-garde design artifact and technology hub. The black panel grille on the EQ model marks a milestone and shows how Mercedes-Benz is bringing the grille design into the future of pure electric vehicles,” said Robert Lesnick, Head of Exterior Design at Mercedes-Benz AG. The pipe engine cooling that made automobiles successful was one of the biggest challenges in the early days of automobiles. An efficient cooling system that could operate in a closed circuit was needed. One of the first solutions was the tubular radiator, invented by Maybach in 1897. It consists of a narrow water tank with pipes open from the front to the back, through which air is circulated while the car is driving. A crankshaft driven fan keeps the cooling system running even when the engine is idling. It was the tubular radiator that allowed to get a more powerful engine. A big breakthrough came in 1900 with the Mercedes 35 PS honeycomb radiator. It consisted of more than 8,000 small pipes with a square cross section of about 6 millimeters per side. The larger front area and higher airflow provided by the square tube provide much greater cooling performance. They were welded together to create a new type of rectangular radiator with an integrated reservoir. A fan located behind the radiator provided improved temperature control at low speeds. The first Mercedes’ 35-horsepower engine required only 9 liters of water instead of the previous 18 liters. After a year, after many improvements, the amount of water required is only 7 liters. The Mercedes radiator grille has become a design benchmark. The design of the Mercedes 35 PS with its powerful vertical radiator grille has had a lasting impact on the automotive industry. Until the mid-1930s, almost all mass-produced cars had radiators of a similar design with some differences between flat and pointed radiators. The radiator grille with a distinctive vertical corrugation in the center appeared in 1911, allowing for a slightly larger cooling surface. However, because of the more complex production, they were mostly used in vehicles with powerful engines. For the first 40 years of automotive history, radiators served a purely practical function. At first, automakers did not consider it a distinctive mark of their brand. Individual designs are in the creative hands of bodybuilders who love to experiment with the shapes of radiators, from luxurious curves to aviation-inspired aerodynamic designs. The protective radiator grille underwent major changes with the launch of the Mercedes-Benz 170 (Typ W 15) in 1931. For the first time, the radiator is mounted to be protected behind the grille. This new element is part of the hood and has been designed with great care. The smooth, rounded rectangular shape was based on the shape of the radiator itself. But it was also complemented by a wide chrome frame that conveys a message of quality and timeless elegance. The Mercedes star appears not once, but twice, on the innovative radiator cover with badges and ornaments. The fine honeycomb pattern played a functional as well as an aesthetic role. It protected the radiator from the impact of dust and stones. Dirty radiator fins are less cooling than clean fins, while a stone impact can cause damage and lead to engine overheating. The radiator grille of the 1937 Mercedes-Benz 170 V retained the same basic, vertical and slender shape. However, it is slightly tilted back and tapers inward as it goes down. So the visual message about the dynamic performance of the new limousine is even stronger. The slightly pointed shape of the radiator subtly enhances this effect. The attention to detail was also evident in the delicacy of the openwork and chrome crosses that divide the surface into visually precise sections. Chrome Grille – Carefully evolved in the name of aerodynamics, the chrome grille has become one of the brand’s most recognizable elements. Mercedes-Benz designers adapted very gradually to the general shape by the 1960s, but the Mercedes-Benz grille became wider and narrower in height. The emphasis on width gives more power and presence. However, this evolution is also explained by the tendency to lower the bonnet to improve aerodynamics and efficiency. This meticulous development of visually distinctive signatures such as the grille has increased the recognition of Mercedes-Benz on the road, enhancing its brand image worldwide. The chrome grille design continues to expand and evolve to this day. “The face of a sports car” makes a name for itself In the 1950s, Mercedes-Benz created a second, completely independent radiator design. The legendary 300 SL ‘Gullwing’ and smaller 190 SL Roadster offered a modern alternative known internally as the ‘Sports Car Face’. A large Mercedes star is mounted in front of the wide, shallow radiator openings, with horizontal chrome fins on the sides. This design has become a hallmark of sports cars and roadsters, and in the decades since, it has proven to be just as timeless and durable as the classic Mercedes radiator grille. The model offensive of the 1990s and 2000s saw the front end of Mercedes cars evolve into a sportier look and feel. Entering new market segments with models such as A-Class and B-Class, SUVs, and more convertibles, coupes and roadsters required new design transformations. Various variants of the sports car face with and without distinctive horizontal fins have appeared across more model lines, highlighting the brand’s new and even more performance-oriented direction. It’s the customer who chooses: the classic or sporty second-generation SLK and SLR McLaren’s striking Formula 1 nose, with occasional exceptions. But in 2007, the C-Class (W 204) made a revolutionary decision leaving the choice to the customer. Depending on the equipment line, a classic (classic and elegant) or sporty (avant-garde) grille adorns the front of the vehicle. This concept has been extended to the E-Class and still applies today to both model lines. The grille design of current Mercedes-Benz models is much more individual and above all sculptural. The different shapes, contours and fins make it easy to distinguish the different model lines without ignoring the distinctive characteristics of the Mercedes-Benz brand. They are unique in terms of identity and perception. For over 120 years, Mercedes can still be clearly recognized as a Mercedes through all eras. The same goes for the G-Class, Mercedes-AMG and Mercedes-Maybach brands. The G-Class grille is just as iconic and unique as the car itself. It features horizontal fins, a large central star, and two round headlights. The sharp contours reflect the design language of this timeless off-road classic, characterized by clear lines that have been carefully reworked since 1990. The AMG grille with its downward contours and vertical fins represents the legendary race-winning 300 SL. 1952 in Panamerican, Mexico. Several iterations over the years have made it the most unique mark of all new AMG models. The Vision AMG show car shows what the AMG grille of the future might look like. The grille panels are the same color as the bodywork, but retain the authentic AMG look with vertical fins. Thanks to the lighting, the grill is instantly recognizable even at night. The recognition value of the famous Mercedes-Maybach grille lies in the sculptural treatment of vertical fins inspired by the striped suit. The MAYBACH wordmark is integrated into the chrome frame of the grille. The latest concept, the EQS Maybach, features a fully electrically interpreted grille with an integrated, discreet radar plate. A new look at the front – the fusion of technology and design results in a unique black panel grille. Evolution continues. Battery-powered electric propulsion eliminates the need for a radiator in the front of the vehicle, but still requires air intakes. However, designers are free to place them wherever they want, allowing them to create entirely new and unique front designs that highlight the progressive luxury of Mercedes-EQ models. Instead of a grille, there is a black panel with a central star that blends perfectly with the innovative headlights. The visual breadth of the entire front end reflects the dynamic performance of an all-electric vehicle. This design incorporates intricate and detailed star patterns that create subtle three-dimensional effects. Variations in design details give EQ models an individual character. The black panel and headlights are also connected by street light strips. And the EQS sedan’s signature daytime running lights are identified by three light dots, while the EQS SUV’s signature is identified by three triangles. Perfect Surface for Hidden But Indispensable Sensors In addition to being visually distinct, the black panel provides the perfect surface for seamless integration of the various sensors essential to the automated conditional driving of the future. These include ultrasound, cameras, radar, and lidar (laser). The camera for DISTRONIC Active Distance Assist is integrated in the Mercedes star. Behind the black panel of EQE and EQS models is the advanced technology of the revolutionary DRIVE PILOT. Mercedes-Benz Brand Definition Grille Design Evolution 1900-2016- Mercedes-Benz Brand Definition Grille Design Evolution 1900-2016- 2012 A-Class 2008 G-Class 1954- Mercedes-Benz 300 SL 1911-Mercedes Knight 16 Similar Items
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