The Vision Mercedes Simplex takes its inspiration from a 1901 Daimler race car, but its style is old-school hot rod for the 21st century.

The Vision Mercedes Simplex takes its inspiration from the Mercedes 35 PS, a 1901 race car built by Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft. The revolutionary race car was designed based on suggestions by Emil Jellinek, a German-born entrepreneur who found great success importing and selling Daimler vehicles in Nice, in the South of France. Jellinek specified a long-wheelbase, wide-track design with the engine mounted low to give a more favorable weight balance. The vehicle that resulted, the Mercedes 35 PS, was named for Jellinek’s daughter, Mercedes, and for the 35-PS (roughly 35-horsepower) Daimler engine that powered it.

The Mercedes 35 PS set the new standard for automobile design. Unlike the tall, ungainly motorized carriages that preceded it, the 35 PS mounted its honeycomb radiator in front of the engine, which itself sat longitudinally-oriented between the front wheels, low in the chassis. It’s a precedent that carries on in many of today’s modern vehicles.


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