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Mercedes-Benz Grille: Evolution From Radiator Cover To EV Sensor Hub


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A good walk through of the grille evolution in Mercedes for the past 120 years. I am particularly amazed by the very forward looking grille on the 1954 300SL, which make a come back only about 60 years later. 

Merc's front-end has gone a long way after 12 decades

1900 - 2016

mercedes-benz-evolution-of-brand-definin

1900 - EV Era

mercedes-benz-brand-defining-grille-desi

The grille is the easiest way to discern a car's make. It serves as the face of the automobile, which gives it an identity amid the sea of automotive brands on the planet. But unlike the human face, vehicle grilles go younger with time, evolving and conforming to what the car needs and what is allowed beyond the limits of functionalities.

That's exactly the case with Mercedes-Benz's grille. It has immensely evolved ever since Wilhelm Maybach fitted his invention, the honeycomb radiator, to the Mercedes 35 PS in 1900. The radiator grille was designed to solve the cooling problem of internal combustion engines then, but ultimately commenced the era of vehicle grilles.

In 1931, the arrival of the Mercedes-Benz 170 changed everything. For the first time, the radiator was mounted behind the grille for protection, which was part of the vehicle's hood. This gave birth to the iconic chrome grille, which not only served as a protection for the radiator but also as an identifier, together with the three-pointed star emblem. From then on, Mercedes continued evolving the chrome grille for decades.

In the 1950s, Merc introduced a new standalone grille design with the 300 SL "Gullwing" and the smaller 190 SL roadster. It's known internally as the "sports car face." The horizontal slats became a hallmark among subsequent Mercedes vehicles.

In 2007, Mercedes started offering grille choices to customers depending on the trim level. They can either go classic (Classic and Elegance) or sporty (Avantgarde), which was offered in both C-Class and E-Class.

With the electric vehicle era peeking around the corner, Mercedes-Benz grilles are here to stay but with a different function from the protective radiator cover in the past. Without the need for a radiator, the German marque moves on to a Black Panel grille for its EQ range, which serves as a perfect surface for hidden but indispensable sensors.

mercedes-benz-evolution-of-brand-definin

Here are some of the grilles from the past... 

1900-mercedes-35-ps.jpg

1911-mercedes-knight-16.jpg

1931-mercedes-benz-170-w15.jpg

1951-mercedes-benz-220-w187.jpg

1954-mercedes-benz-220-ponton-w180.jpg

1954-mercedes-benz-300-sl.jpg

1959-mercedes-benz-220-se-w111.jpg

1965-mercedes-benz-280-sel-w108.jpg

1972-mercedes-benz-450-sel-w116.jpg

1979-mercedes-benz-500-sel-w126.jpg

1991-mercedes-benz-600-sel-w140.jpg

1998-mercedes-benz-s400-w220.jpg

2005-mercedes-benz-s-500-w221.jpg

2007-c-klasse-classic.jpg

2007-c-klasse-avantgarde.jpg

2008-g-klasse.jpg

2012-a-klasse.jpg

amg-gt-r-2016-studio-exterior-amg-green-

And the future. 

mercedes-eq-eqa-amg-line-mountain-grey-m

mercedes-eq-eqb-2021-electric-art-line-r

mercedes-eq-eqs-580-4matic-exterior-colo

mercedes-eq.-eqs-suv.-exterior.-studio-s

mercedes-amg-eqs-53-4matic.jpg

So which is your favorite? 

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Internal Moderator
3 hours ago, Carbon82 said:

A good walk through of the grille evolution in Mercedes for the past 120 years. I am particularly amazed by the very forward looking grille on the 1954 300SL, which make a come back only about 60 years later. 

Merc's front-end has gone a long way after 12 decades

1900 - 2016

mercedes-benz-evolution-of-brand-definin

1900 - EV Era

mercedes-benz-brand-defining-grille-desi

The grille is the easiest way to discern a car's make. It serves as the face of the automobile, which gives it an identity amid the sea of automotive brands on the planet. But unlike the human face, vehicle grilles go younger with time, evolving and conforming to what the car needs and what is allowed beyond the limits of functionalities.

That's exactly the case with Mercedes-Benz's grille. It has immensely evolved ever since Wilhelm Maybach fitted his invention, the honeycomb radiator, to the Mercedes 35 PS in 1900. The radiator grille was designed to solve the cooling problem of internal combustion engines then, but ultimately commenced the era of vehicle grilles.

In 1931, the arrival of the Mercedes-Benz 170 changed everything. For the first time, the radiator was mounted behind the grille for protection, which was part of the vehicle's hood. This gave birth to the iconic chrome grille, which not only served as a protection for the radiator but also as an identifier, together with the three-pointed star emblem. From then on, Mercedes continued evolving the chrome grille for decades.

In the 1950s, Merc introduced a new standalone grille design with the 300 SL "Gullwing" and the smaller 190 SL roadster. It's known internally as the "sports car face." The horizontal slats became a hallmark among subsequent Mercedes vehicles.

In 2007, Mercedes started offering grille choices to customers depending on the trim level. They can either go classic (Classic and Elegance) or sporty (Avantgarde), which was offered in both C-Class and E-Class.

With the electric vehicle era peeking around the corner, Mercedes-Benz grilles are here to stay but with a different function from the protective radiator cover in the past. Without the need for a radiator, the German marque moves on to a Black Panel grille for its EQ range, which serves as a perfect surface for hidden but indispensable sensors.

mercedes-benz-evolution-of-brand-definin

Here are some of the grilles from the past... 

1900-mercedes-35-ps.jpg

1911-mercedes-knight-16.jpg

1931-mercedes-benz-170-w15.jpg

1951-mercedes-benz-220-w187.jpg

1954-mercedes-benz-220-ponton-w180.jpg

1954-mercedes-benz-300-sl.jpg

1959-mercedes-benz-220-se-w111.jpg

1965-mercedes-benz-280-sel-w108.jpg

1972-mercedes-benz-450-sel-w116.jpg

1979-mercedes-benz-500-sel-w126.jpg

1991-mercedes-benz-600-sel-w140.jpg

1998-mercedes-benz-s400-w220.jpg

2005-mercedes-benz-s-500-w221.jpg

2007-c-klasse-classic.jpg

2007-c-klasse-avantgarde.jpg

2008-g-klasse.jpg

2012-a-klasse.jpg

amg-gt-r-2016-studio-exterior-amg-green-

And the future. 

mercedes-eq-eqa-amg-line-mountain-grey-m

mercedes-eq-eqb-2021-electric-art-line-r

mercedes-eq-eqs-580-4matic-exterior-colo

mercedes-eq.-eqs-suv.-exterior.-studio-s

mercedes-amg-eqs-53-4matic.jpg

So which is your favorite? 

Very brahaus, just line and practicality. very german. I likey. 

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Twincharged
1 hour ago, BoneStock said:

the 1954 design actually looks quite modern

I think that design is for sports coupe like 230SL. 

I remember the Johor TMJ of those years had one.

image.png.c0661d7d5c78dbd034c5ac14043b8edb.png

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On 9/6/2022 at 7:17 AM, ER-3682 said:

W126.

As a luxurious model in the Mercedes Benz product line up, the grille in W126 look the "fullest" without occupying >2/3 of the front, very well proportioned. 

I can't say the same for the W223, too bloated imo. 

2021-mercedes-benz-s-class-australia-0-1

 

On 9/6/2022 at 8:27 AM, BoneStock said:

the 1954 design actually looks quite modern

I concur. And the same design make a reincarnation after >60 years, on the W206 C Class, with the 3 point star imprint. Very tastefully done imo. 

Mercedes-Benz-C-180-AMG-Line-4.jpg

 

On 9/6/2022 at 12:07 PM, Lethalstrike said:

All the front faces of the EQs remind me of a racoon 😅

image.png.bf8f4358a7a4a6a45331a1e5ff742205.png

Oh No... What seen cannot be unseen, the new EQ series will never look the same to me from now... :D

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Turbocharged
On 9/6/2022 at 12:42 PM, DOBIEMKZ said:

Some Mercedes front emblems are very useful sometimes.
1025282035_MercedesFrontLogoEmblemasFoodTray.thumb.jpg.d27603cab7f52aa18b5f004bbd4584e4.jpg

Oi! Still don't want to return to the owner after using it as your lunch box ah?

IMG_20220908_150829_041.jpg

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Turbocharged
35 minutes ago, Toeknee_33 said:

Oi! Still don't want to return to the owner after using it as your lunch box ah?

IMG_20220908_150829_041.jpg

I swear I've returned! Someone else took it!😁

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Supersonic
15 hours ago, DOBIEMKZ said:

I swear I've returned! Someone else took it!😁

OK Lah..... somebody used it as an ash tray later on :grin:

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Turbocharged
40 minutes ago, BanCoe said:

OK Lah..... somebody used it as an ash tray later on :grin:

😧 That means it could have been an ash tray before i used it to put my lunch on !😰

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Twincharged
On 9/7/2022 at 9:00 PM, Carbon82 said:

As a luxurious model in the Mercedes Benz product line up, the grille in W126 look the "fullest" without occupying >2/3 of the front, very well proportioned. 

I can't say the same for the W223, too bloated imo. 

2021-mercedes-benz-s-class-australia-0-1

 

I concur. And the same design make a reincarnation after >60 years, on the W206 C Class, with the 3 point star imprint. Very tastefully done imo. 

Mercedes-Benz-C-180-AMG-Line-4.jpg

 

Oh No... What seen cannot be unseen, the new EQ series will never look the same to me from now... :D

C'mon....everyone knows this is the biggest & baddest mersilly grille

 

14167491302_a0d8780c28_b.jpg

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@Soya Commercial vehicle not counted lah, but since we are on it, yours cannot beat this. 

teaser-actros-slt.jpg

Future electric truck has no main grille. 

mercedes-benz-urban-etruck-concept-2016-

And it is the hydrogen cell model which look the most futuristic. 

Daimler-Trucks.jpg

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Twincharged

But gotta give it to mersilly la. Same big mama badge on rubbish trucks, lorries, vans n ppl still prepared to wait 3-6 mths n kena carrot by their overtrade (aka lowball trade in) arrangements to own a piece of the badge. The power of branding! 

 

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