Mercedes-Benz's designer chief claims that electrification will end the three-box sedan. This shocking revelation was made by Gorden Wagener in an interview.
The three-box sedan was on its way out. Ford famously canceled all its sedans. Acura dropped the RLX and Chevy Impala were dead. As we predicted in 2016, the rise of the crossover is the reason. Wagener however has other theories. The three-box sedan design is not optimal for electrification. Aerodynamics is Wagener's primary reason. You'll notice that aerodynamics was not high up on the list when designing a Mercedes-Benz sedan. Modern sedans are better than the old EQS, but they don't compare to the Mercedes-Benz engineers who went to great lengths to make it as slippery and smooth as possible.
Design is the second reason. Wagener says it bluntly. He stated that a three-box sedan with a six-inch battery pack doesn't look good. The best sedans are those that are low-slung and can be driven on the roads. One prime example is the Alfa Romeo Giulia. To accommodate a battery pack, imagine extending the side profile six inches. It would completely ruin the aesthetics. Wagener found a simple solution. The latest EQ models have been stretched to meet the powertrain requirements, but retain the Mercedes elegance.
To make cars less aggressive, designers will need to reduce the overall design. So, does the future design of cars have to reflect our environmental goals? Wagener didn't give a clear answer on how well or poorly a design was executed, but it is something we can already see happening.
For obvious reasons, electric cars do not have grilles. The engine is not able to cool down. The result is often a bland, blocked-off front with a badge. Volvo agrees that EV design needs to change. Mercedes-Benz has found a way to get around this problem, by adding fake slats at the front of its EQS. It is compared to the Tesla Model S. Wagener is equally honest when asked if he will miss the three-box sedan. Because it is difficult to design a beautiful one, And The 2022 BMW i4 still looks quite handsome to us - as long as you don't look at the front end.