To many people around the world, Mercedes-Benz and its silver star of glory represents the epitome of luxury and style. Want to be chauffeured around in a limousine? An S-Class or a Maybach is what the doctor ordered. Need a bit more space? A luxed-out Sprinter van is at your service. But if you're looking to soar above the skyline and take that Benz luxury with you, the German automaker's design studio has partnered with Eurocopter for this unique whirly-bird.
Unveiled at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibit in Geneva, this EC145 – a favorite for luxury travel as it is for medevac teams and a myriad other applications – has had its cabin outfitted by the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studio on Italy's Lake Como. There, design chief Gorden Wagener oversaw the fitment of the chopper's cabin with all the usual Benz touches, from ambient lighting to wood trim. The cabin has also been arranged in a flexible layout, with seats that can be moved around on rails to seat up to eight passengers or removed to offer extra space for the privileged few.
The project is the first initiative of Mercedes-Benz Style, the automaker's new product-design division, who we expect will be rolling out a number of licensed designs over the course of the coming years. Follow the jump for the full press release, and check out the high-resolution images in our gallery.
Unveiling of first "Mercedes-Benz Style" product in Geneva: EC145 "Mercedes-Benz Style" helicopter from Eurocopter makes its world premiere
The first product from "Mercedes-Benz Style" is ready for take-off: The EC145 "Mercedes-Benz Style" helicopter from Eurocopter celebrates its world premiere on 17th May, 2011 at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition 2011 (EBACE) in Geneva, after which it will be handed over to a European customer. Mercedes-Benz designers created the interior, which is notable for its outstanding versatility and exquisite materials. The EC145 "Mercedes-Benz Style" is tailor-made for luxury-class business and private travel.
"We are very pleased to have realized the first product of 'Mercedes-Benz Style' with Eurocopter," said Prof. h.c. Dr. Gorden Wagener, head of design at Mercedes-Benz. "The interior design of the EC145 'Mercedes-Benz Style' helicopter represents the classic passion of the Mercedes-Benz design language and fulfils the very highest expectations in terms of elegance, luxury and comfort."
The luxurious interior design was created in the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studio in the Italian city of Como and is inspired by the luxury-class saloons created by the brand with the three-pointed star. The EC145 "Mercedes-Benz Style" offers deluxe materials, elegant woods, and ambient lighting familiar from the S and E-Class that can be adjusted to a number of different colour and brightness settings, as well as spacious multi-function boxes with various equipment options.
Moreover, the designers have placed a great deal of emphasis on variability. The passenger cabin is incredibly versatile, making the EC145 "Mercedes-Benz Style" ideal for a diverse range of travel needs – from business or family travel, to leisure and sporting trips. All seats are fixed to rails and can be rearranged very easily in a number of different arrangements for four to eight passengers, or removed altogether in order to create space for luggage. The spacious load area also offers a high degree of flexibility with an extensive range of anchoring options on the floor and walls.
"Only one year after Eurocopter presented the EC145 'Mercedes-Benz Style' concept at EBACE 2010, we now are unveiling the first aircraft and can already announce the initial sale to a European corporate operator," said Olivier Lambert, Eurocopter's Senior Vice President Sales and Customer Relations. "These achievements confirm Eurocopter's successful approach in developing products that meet the demanding expectations of executive and private customers worldwide."
About "Mercedes-Benz Style"
In addition to styling iconic automobiles, the designers at Mercedes-Benz also work on product design in other fields. The portfolio of "Mercedes-Benz Style" division comprises not only transport-related products, but also furniture and lifestyle products, as well as industrial design. The business model for "Mercedes-Benz Style" incorporates contract work - whereby the design rights are sold to the product manufacturer - and the granting of design licences.