Fast forward to the year 2035 and you’ll be riding in the cozy confines of your luxury coupe for your next escapade – connecting with nature like never before. That’s what designer Lujie Huang has proposed for millennials to be close to nature and also with their close ones. As a part of his senior thesis, while studying at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California, Lujie thought of creating a 3-seat grand tour which has an inside out design approach. According to him, “The objective is to capture the magical moments of user experience offered by autonomous vehicles as a part of our lifestyles.”
He calls this luxury coup of the future “Mercedes-Benz Vision Duet” and it has the essence of marine design influence and by the Mobius strip (yes, the same one that inspired Tony Stark!) The coupe has cocooned seating embodied with an open seating experience, much like the two-seater coupe convertible. Huang believes that autonomous electric vehicles will be a common thing by the 2030s. Given the level 5 autonomous design of the Vison Duet, the car carries that very imagination with no driving controls like steering wheel, pedals, or gear shifters. The inside-out approach is evident in the comfortable forward-facing seats and a center table inside the cabin. On the one side on the front, there’s a retracting storage drawer for food and utensils while on the opposite side there is a built-in mini-fridge. When the car is parked amidst nature, the glass roof retracts and the third seat opposite the conventional seating area (inspired by the seating layout of leisure boats) can be used for enjoying the surrounding view with your pals. On the outside, the car impresses with an iconic Mercedes-Benz grille and the rear sporting a strikingly cool bumper design.
The EV also derives inspiration from the classics of the past, blending it with modern luxury which is apparent from the overall flowing design on the coupe. In a way, it also looks influenced by the very future-forward and practical Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR (the names sound similar too). The only predicament of the design and functionality with Huang’s iteration is its practicality! The lack of doors makes safety an issue. Also, not to ignore the ability of the EV to reach high speeds since the aerodynamic drag would make it impossible for the riders to get away with chunky hair after a long trip! The fun is when the car is parked and you can bask in the luxury of a picnic-like setup. Perhaps, the addition of clear glass doors that can be retracted is a more viable option for the riders to feel safe. Maybe Mercedes should ask Tony Stark to share his input after all the Mobius strip did help him breakthrough one difficult problem already!
Designer: Lujie Huang
Ideation and Explorations
The Final Design