Mercedes-Benz Icon E Concept Re-imagines Classic W115 As 21st-Century E-Class

The Mercedes-Benz ‘W115’ sedan is one of the car manufacturer’s most iconic models, and thanks to car designer David Obendorfer, has been re-imagined as a modern-day concept.

Obendorfer’s creation is dubbed the Icon E Concept and is based on the current E-Class. Despite the vehicle’s familiar underpinnings, it adopts both interior and exterior designs drastically different than any other Merc.

In designing the Icon E Concept, some of the most recognizable elements of the W115 have been brought into the modern world. For example, there is a large chrome front grille and a pair of upright headlights similar to those of the W115, but with a more square and aggressive shape. Elsewhere, the car sits on a set of wheels with body-colored rims and chrome trim.

Also Read: Would You Rather Have A New Mercedes E-Class Or This Used S600 Pullman?

The Mercedes-Benz W114/W115 models were built from 1968 through 1976


The rear of the vehicle also looks quite similar to the W115, but again, it has been brought into the 21st century with some significant alterations. The Icon E Concept may be quite different from the current E-Class, or any other modern Merc for that matter, but it does show that the iconic design of the W115 lends itself quite well to a fresh interpretation.

In the interior, there are the same dual screens used for the digital gauge cluster and infotainment system as the actual E-Class. Alterations have been made to the layout of cabin to make it a little more simple, while a retro-looking steering wheel is also featured.

It would take a very brave (and wealthy) person to take a perfectly good E-Class and commission a coachbuilder to make something like the Icon E a reality. But it’s still a nice try at trying to show how a past icon might have looked like.


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  • Ben

    Is ugly the new black?! Have I missed something?

  • Yobobjm

    I gotta be honest… I like it. It’s a little weird, but in an endearing way.

  • Bash

    Excellent, this is how the Benz designs should have evolved and became over the years.

  • Astonman

    I really liked the presentation – very well done. The design – I like from the A pillar back. The headlights are too large and busy inside, The grill looks a little dated like it was taken directly from an older gen mercedes and tacked on.


  • enthusia

    Pretty good! I think the headlights should be the same length & height as the grille and the interior needs more work, but I’m loving the concept.

  • MarketAndChurch

    Not too crazy about the front end, the side profile could have used a few more retro cues to spice it up, but I really like the rear 3/4 view of the vehicle. Pretty cool, and I hope to design a car based on that look.

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  • Nordschleife

    To be fair I only hate the rear end.

  • StrangerGP

    It’s better looking than their current limousines.

  • Alduin

    Looks like something the Soviet Union would’ve built. Ugly.

  • Dude

    I like the complexity of the headlights

  • Richard Taylor

    Appreciate the effort but I think it’s a little too literal in places (grille and rear lights) and not literal/retro enough in others (silhouette and graphics). After Peugeot’s e-Legend, the bar is set extremely high for retro remakes.

  • Alx

    Do prefer the side profile, but the rest is too literal.

  • Craig

    I would have gone even more ‘retro’ with the front end. It needs to look even more like the classic original.

  • Pelopidas Georgiadis

    One or two tweeks would turn it to a must buy.
    For example a re-design of the headlamps (a bit more classic cues) and even better (= practical) interior / facia. All that inclned surface looks impressive, but we’re talking about a usable luxury vehicle.

  • I really like this, apart from the front, rear, side and interior.

  • Matteo Tommasi

    It’s fugly.

  • erly5

    Love it!

  • MJ Coffey

    That iconic Sacco-line! Love it!

  • Subi-Rubicon1

    As many have stated already, its lacking a little finesse, but overall I love this design exercise.

  • Stephen G

    WOW Brad, you’re telling me the computer generated image I see shares a chassis with the E-class! Remarkable to say the least.

  • Knarck

    This is the perfect car for the main character of “Her”

  • ksegg

    It definitely needs more work, but overall I feel THIS should be the direction MB should be taking its design direction.

    Its current design language is awful.

    • Enter Ranting

      Totally agree about current Mercedes design. It’s vulgar, gimmicky, unrefined and undignified.

    • Cobrajet

      This looks like a fake imitation, no way.

  • Enter Ranting

    I have a 1973 W115 sedan. I paid $1500 for it on Craig’s List. It’s been a solid, dependable car for the last six years. It’s fun to drive, and it’s great at freeway speeds. I get compliments on it every week.

    This design study misses the mark. It’s interesting that the designer rendered the glare on the instrument screen.

    • Marwan Abdul Hak

      My dad had in the past a 1976 E class and it was solid like a tank

  • Marwan Abdul Hak

    It’s a lovely direction. It needs some refinement in the front end but I love this idea and I believe that maybach could take this timeless direction to differentiate it more from Mercedes. I love the 2007s to 2012 maybach and UNHAPPY of it being just a trim
    Rolls Royce consistently is respectable for example

  • Six Thousand Times

    An interesting idea. I prefer my Benzes old-school and built like tanks. The kind of “blobular “ modern ones aren’t really my thing. I’m not sure this hits the spot, though.

  • Aeromann

    I like this a lot.
    This is what Mercedes should be :
    Classy, Elegant, Timeless.

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