The rise of EVs will revolutionise the entire automotive landscape in more ways than one. We already know about the ecological benefits they bring, the way they sound, and the way they deliver power. But what we may not have realised just yet, is that EVs may actually change how cars look in the future.
The signs are already there – just take a look at the “radical” EV concepts popping up over the years. And while those may not be enough to convince you yet, you best believe it when it’s coming from the chief designer of one of the most influential brands in the world.
“Aero is one. Secondly, with a six-inch battery pack a three-box sedan simply doesn’t look good, it looks s***. You have to do something that visually digests the height,” he added.
And that is why Mercedes-Benz has adopted a curved, almost fastback-like roofline – called “one-bow design” – for all of its latest electric cars in the EQ brand. “Because it looks stretched, it looks stylish,” Wagener explained.
It’s a similar trend across the industry, too. Take a look at the latest electric cars out there – how many can you genuinely call a (three-box) sedan? Not the Porsche Taycan, not the Tesla Model S, and not the BMW i4.
What Gordon Wagener described, is also pretty much the reason why most EVs are SUVs, at least aside from the market’s general affinity towards them. With the battery packs taking up precious vertical space, the most logical way to preserve cabin space – at least for mass market models.
While it may seem as a shame to us, that such an iconic part of automotive history (and Mercedes-Benz themselves) will soon be completely replaced, Wagener is not one to mourn its passing.
“The three-box sedan is actually the most difficult car to design. To make a really good-looking one is quite difficult. A nice sportscar is so easy!” he joked. “I always like it when there’s something more futuristic coming. That’s why electrification is a great chance to change stuff, and change is always good.”
“We have to make sure they don’t all look alike, but that fear has existed for 30 years or so. We managed to make them look different [before], and I’m confident we can do that in the future.”