My Car Quest

July 14, 2024

Design Critique: Mercedes-Benz Vision One-Eleven

This Mercedes concept design is a homage to their 1960s C-111 prototype.

by Wallace Wyss –

Mercedes-Benz recently unveiled the Vision One-Eleven, an electric homage to the gillinged metallic orange C111 experimental supercar first shown in 1969. A total of 16 C-111 cars were made but eventually MB dropped the idea of a production version.

Initiated by the Advanced Design team in Carlsbad, CA and later finished in Germany, today’s Vision One-Eleven moves aside the wedge shape of the 1970s for what they say is now a signature “single bow” silhouette, with a short front and rear overhangs and pixelated, stretched oval graphics in the front and rear.

Mercedes-Benz Vision One-Eleven

Designers wanted the sculptured body to sit like a shell on top of highly technical carbon fiber elements.

The original car was meant to bring attention to their Four Rotor Wankel engine and fittingly this new one brings attention to the new technology, possibly including EVs. They state up front it will use small lightweight motors made by a UK-based company, YASA, recently acquired by MB. That sounds EV to me.

Will they make a production version? No official word, but with an EV they don’t have to worry about passing emissions.

Here’s my take on the design:

FRONT A fresh more organic shape than before as if it was a sea creature. Like the bringing back of the front hood vent–as a homage should, using an original design cue. Bringing back of the front hood vents–as a homage–helps convey it is related to the original.

SIDE Wheels a bit too big. Side scoop extends out such a marginal amount–is it useful and what’s it cooling? The big scoop on the side rocker panel is welcome by me if it’s functional–for rear brakes or batteries? Alas, in the side view the rear bumper looks “hung on” the back rather than integrated.

Mercedes-Benz Vision One-Eleven

REAR The original taillamp wall is brought back in the same shape but this time the whole rear valance panel face is electrified wall-to-wall. Dubious to me is the enabling of this panel to flash messages–one reporter asked if they will be censored by AI? The huge vent below the light bar seems way too large. Their purpose is not explained.

Mercedes-Benz Vision One-Eleven

INTERIOR All switches and dials are on the screen, not separate. The choice of all white with silver seems a conflicting color choice.

Mercedes-Benz Vision One-Eleven

IN SUM A worthy update to the C-111 but this time let’s hope it makes production.

Mercedes-Benz Vision One-Eleven

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss art

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is an expert in sports car marketing. For copywriting he can be reached at

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Photos compliments of Mercedes-Benz.

Design Critique: Mercedes-Benz Vision One-Eleven
Article Name
Design Critique: Mercedes-Benz Vision One-Eleven
The Mercedes-Benz Vision One-Eleven is a worthy update to the Mercedes C-111 but this time let's hope it makes production.


  1. John Shea says

    Kylee Jenner was obviously brought in for inspiration.

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