Mercedes-Benz design chief talks AMG R50

Gorden Wagener shares his thoughts about the challenges of designing a once-in-a-generation hypercar.

Gordon Wagner with Mercedes-Benz
Gallery1

Gorden Wagener is the man responsible for Mercedes-Benz styling, and will have last say in signing off on the look of the AMG Hypercar before its likely reveal at Frankfurt in September this year.

Details are scarce about the styling of the as-yet officially unnamed machine, which was announced accompanied by one restrained sketch at Paris last year, and is simply referred to internally as ‘Hypercar’ or the codename R50.

In essence, it is a road-going Formula One car, featuring the same 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 engine and hybrid drivetrain as the current world championship-winning race car.

Consumer Electronics Show Mercedes HypercarR50 will be mid-engined and feature a roof scoop over the cab to feed the air intake. Packaging such an ambitious vehicle requires unusual considerations be taken for elements like active aerodynamics and above average cooling demands.

A new image of the car was shown ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week. Speaking to journalists afterwards, Wagener shared his thoughts about incorporating AMG’s familial design elements into the hypercar while creating something unique.

“There’s always two sides. Such proportions are almost like a penalty shot in soccer without a goalkeeper. You can’t do much wrong! Proportion is so important. You have to have great proportions. Everything has to be in the right place.

Gordon -Wagner -Mercedes -Benz -chief -designer“It’s low and it’s wide, it’s perfect and stunning. The hard part is what makes it different to all other super or hyper cars that are out there. What makes it Mercedes and relates it to Formula One and our F1 cars. Not only the colours, but the shape and everything.

“You see on the teaser that it shares our language. You see the car is very clean and pure, but of course it will be very extreme.”

The recently announced AMG GT C and AMG GT R feature a grille with prominent vertical slats known as the Panamericana front. It is modelled off the Mercedes-Benz W194 300SL that won the 1952 Carrera Panamericana in Mexico, and comes from the Silver Arrows before that. The AMG hypercar is expected to wear an interpretation of the same front end.

Gordon -Wagner -Mercedes -Benz -chief -designer“This is our traditional racing grille. We brought that back from the racing onto the street. That will be the new signature for AMG.

“The big differentiation we are doing is to really make that sub-brand on a similar level to Porsche. For all-AMG products, like the GT, we give it even more of a profile.”

Orders for the landmark AMG vehicle have started to roll in, with six unnamed Australians in the queue to buy their own according to local Mercedes Benz spokesman David McCarthy.

“I think this is a very special car that happens once every 50 years,” said Wagener. “We’re truly making a statement in history and we better do it good! I think what we’ve come up with is fantastic. You will see.”

 

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Ryan Lewis
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