The once-proud Mercedes-Benz has suffered a fair few indignities of late, but there is one desecration to make all the others appear moderate and respectful by comparison.
It takes quite a lot to make Sensual Purity® appear timid and deliberate. In that sense, the Mercedes Royale (which, legally speaking, is unlikely to be named thus) is a gargantuan achievement.
But what on Earth is it? First of all, it isn’t some particularly elaborate Photoshop hoax. There are numerous accounts vouching for this car’s physical existence. CGI renderings are good these days, but not this good. Secondly, the physically existing Royale obviously poses an attempt at recreating the glamour of Mercedes models from the ’50s and ’60s on the basis of a modern W222-generation S-class.
Karl Wilfert and Friedrich Geiger don’t need to look the other way these days. Paul Bracq does though, so let’s hope none of these snapshots make it to Bordeaux.
The Royale’s visual composition specifically consists of stacked chrome bumpers front & rear, a (presumable) W186 grille, upright c-pilars and (SLS-sourced) stacked headlamps, most of which try and tip their metaphorical hat to the Geiger/Bracq designs of the ’60s. Yet, possibly in order to show its unorthodox nature through even small details, the Royale also references the 300SL with its elaborate side vents.
Curiously, the Royale’s rear aspect evokes non-Mercedes and even non-German designs above all else. For, despite aforementioned stacked chrome bumpers and SLS rear lights, the Royale’s derrière carries more than a whiff of Japanese prestige saloon about it. The lack of alignment between the light units and their chrome framing is certainly more early ‘L-Finesse’ than Vertikale Homogenität/Horizonate Affinität.
And that W111-apeing chrome bar across the boot lid also cannot prevent the stern’s square stance from evoking a Toyota Century, rather than any Sonderklasse.
There are obviously plenty more enchanting details that make this Royale such a sight to behold. We haven’t even touched upon its unique proportions or the delicate use of chrome yet, to name but two. Yet such relatively minor concerns obviously need to make room for the one question that truly matters. And that’s the question of authorship.
So who would be so bold as to create an automobile which so boldly rejects most fundamental aesthetic rules held dear by a majority of people (at least in the western hemisphere)? Who would have the cheek to almost make Sensual Purity® appear sophisticated? Who would dare outgorden the Wagener?
It could only ever be one man:
Nobody could ever design a car like the Royale with the same sense of ‘casuality’ as Henrik Fisker. Not even Gorden Wagener.
And that’s quite some achievement.
The author of this piece runs an obscure motoring site of his own, which you may or may not choose to visit at www.auto-didakt.com