Mercedes-Benz announced today that it is collaborating with the multi-hyphenate designer, Virgil Abloh, to create a unique artwork.

Titled Project Geländewagen, the artwork will modify and reinterpret the German carmaker’s G-Class SUV, a robust off-road vehicle with a distinctive boxy silhouette, first launched in 1979. It draws on the hallmarks of the Mercedes-Benz brand: premium materials, superb craftsmanship and highly developed design; and intends to deliver a new vision of luxury that is defined by the sharing of ideas and disciplines.

In the preview announcement, Abloh calls the project ‘a perfect chassis to interject modern artists’ ideas of what the future can be stylistically, within conceptual car design’.

An X-Ray Vision of a Mercedes Benz car
A teaser image offers an X-ray view of the back of Virgil Abloh and Gorden Wagener’s reinterpretation of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class SUV. Image courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Echoing Abloh’s enthusiasm for creative experimentation, Mercedes-Benz chief design officer Gorden Wagener says that they are ‘set to create something unseen’ in automotive design, fashion and art. The project articulates Mercedes-Benz’s positioning as ‘more than a luxury carmaker, it is a design brand and luxury label.’

Virgil Abloh

Project Geländewagen will be revealed digitally to a global audience on 8 September 2020, at 4pm CET on mercedes-benz.com.

Recognising a duty to support the arts and the international creative community in a time of uncertainty, Mercedes-Benz and Abloh have agreed to auction off a home-scale replica of their unique artwork following the launch event, with all proceeds donated to a charity that supports the arts. The winner of the auction will also receive a personal introduction to Abloh and Wagener, to learn more about the inspirations and intentions for the artwork.

The full story on Project Geländewagen, with exclusive preview imagery, will run in the September 2020 issue of Wallpaper*, on newsstands from 20 August. Wallpaper* subscribers will receive the issue with a limited-edition cover by Abloh. §

A Mercedes Benz G class sits on a driveway
The original Mercedes-Benz G-Class. Image courtesy of Mercedes-Benz