2009 Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing Panamericana. Want.
“Let’s update a classic model from our past”, is a sentence that, since 1998’s successful redesign and relaunch of the VW beetle, must have been heard in every manufacturer’s boardroom since. In an era of blasé jellybeans on wheels dominating the auto market, I can’t say I blame them. These re-issues come and go with varying levels of success. Sometimes even multiple reissues from the same manufacturer are on opposite ends of this spectrum. New Dodge Challenger? Yes, please. New Dodge Charger? Nuh-uh.
In general, though, I tend to judge the success of digging into the archives for new product based on how much they evoke the original; how true they are to their roots. By that criteria, this design exercise by Arturo Alonso hits the nail on the head. It’s almost TOO close to the original. This is not, however, simply a replica of the classic Gullwing. The plan for this small production run series is to use modern materials and technologies, including a new Benz V8, mated to a very original-looking body—sadly made from fiberglass and not aluminum. The subtle softening of the edges and taming of the corners give the body a more modern look as well, and further suggest that this isn’t just another kit or reproduction.
Like the earlier Viper design project, it is currently only (publicly) a digital rendering. As a design study, it’s fun. More than that, I hope it does come to fruition and inspires more updates of this quality.
keep your eyes on Gullwing-America.com for the official site. It’ not up yet, though.
In the meantime, Carscoop has the, well, scoop.