Both Mercedes-Benz and BMW say they will ditch unnecessary design lines in favor of more minimalist exteriors.
For Mercedes, the latest-generation CLS and A-Class represent the start of this new approach. Rather than implementing sharp and aggressive character lines down the sides of the two models, the brand has decided to abandon them almost completely.
This is perhaps most evident with the new A-Class. Whereas its predecessor featured two converging design lines along the flanks, the latest model has neither, instead favoring a more subtle line that arcs back from the front wheel arch to the rear arch.
Speaking to Automotive News Europe, Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche said upcoming Mercedes models will follow this new philosophy.
“The previous A-class design had to be edgy and loud for a reason: to attract attention, a concept that has been widely adopted by the competition, so it’s time to move on. As our head of design, Gorden Wagener, puts it: ‘If you like it, take a line off. If you still like it, take another line off’.”
BMW almost acknowledges that it too must change up its design philosophy and is doing so by taking inspiration from some of its heritage models.
“There is more competition now. The world has changed. It’s a faster pace, so our design needs to change faster as well,” BMW Group design boss Adrian van Hooydonk admitted.
“We’re going to clean things up. We’re going to use fewer lines; the lines that we will have will be sharper and more precise.”