Mercedes-Benz Style is the Daimler equivalent to all the other fancy design houses run by auto manufacturers (think BMW's DesignworksUSA and Porsche Design). The goal is build product portfolios for more than just cars (like furniture, household utensils, etc.) using Merc's international design studios.
Mercedes-Benz design head Professor h.c. Gorden Wagener explains, "Our unique design expertise is appreciated throughout the world. We have therefore decided to establish the Mercedes-specific styling outside the automotive field too – and so far we have met with a very positive response from a great number of manufacturers in a variety of sectors."
Daimler's latest firm will both take on commissions (where the project originator is sold the styling user rights) and create original work (where the styling rights remain at MBS).
For their first trick, MBS has created a sumptuous interior for the the EC145 by Eurocopter, an EADS (European Aeronautic Defense and Space) subsidiary. Designed in Como, Italy, the EC145's interior benefits from a variety of "deluxe materials" and available wood flooring, along with ambient lighting derived from the Mercedes' E- and S-Class.
The designers decided to use some other Benzes for inspiration, as well, such as a "modular" layout reminiscent of the R-Class. The track-mounted seating allows for up to eight passengers and removal/layout shift for extra space if necessary. Other than making the chopper more Mercedes-y, the brainstorm theme of the day seems to have been "effective use of space".
"There are...three multi-function boxes with features such as a cool box, cup holder, table, 15-inch monitor and DVD player. In the partition wall [separating] the cockpit from the cabin, extra storage space is provided by drawers...Multi-purpose storage [is]a feature of the tail as well. Whether it's golf clubs for a day on the links with business partners or bikes and surfboards for a family holiday, the high-capacity luggage compartment has numerous attachment points on the floor and walls."
Next up: designing the exterior of a luxury yacht (the one where my EC145 will be landing for those "family holidays").
By Phil Alex