Driven To Write descends into facelift hell. Pray for us.
Today’s foray into facelift hades stems from recent past. The original 2003 R230 SL series was a good 65% less attractive than its far more accomplished (R129) forebear. Nevertheless, amongst the less than stellar offerings emerging from Sindelfingen under design chief, Professor Peter Pfeiffer during the post-Sacco era, R230 in its original form was at least broadly cohesive.
In the fond past such matters would have been beneath them – largely because the design would have been sufficiently well judged in the first place. In the old Vertical Affinity, Horizontal Homogeneity days Mercedes-Benz were never in the habit of carrying out anything but the most perfunctory of facelifts, but by 2008 Sindelfingen was well and truly in the fashion business.In order to bring the SL into line with the new corporate look, a more important looking nose was grafted on, and there’s really no gentle way of saying this – it was frightful. With Pfeiffer’s retirement that year, this facelift was not to prove much of a swansong. But then, his prior output didn’t amount to much of a legacy either.
As a statement of intent however, it was profoundly eloquent, Gorden Wagener’s current ‘dona es requiem’ demonstrating the whole SL concept is well overdue a decent burial – or a total reinvention.
2 thoughts on “Theme : Facelifts – New Adventures in Rhinoplasty”
It doesn’t look like the most crass or outrageous of facelifts to me but hey, we all have our pet hates…
It clearly isn’t a fine example of the art of facelifting, but what’s more impertinent is how it thwarts Mercedes’ ethos of yore – or, as could be argued, how it exemplifies the new thinking at Mercedes-Benz. Stylistic longevity is an even lower priority for Gorden Wagener than it was for the weak Peter Pfeiffer, so he wouldn’t have minded severely altering a design that had been rather faddish in the first place.
Applying this logic, we can expect delightful things once the Daimler board allows funding to spruce up the current SL in light of disappointing sales figures.