You aren't likely to spot a helicopter parked next to an E-Class at your local Mercedes-Benz dealer anytime soon, but designers employed within the automaker's styling studios are lending a hand in creating a number of non-automotive products.
We first saw the AMG-branded Cigarette racing boat back in February, but it seems the sleek vessel was just the tip of the iceberg. Daimler revealed today a number of different assignments doled to its designers, ranging from helicopter cabins to luxury yachts and everything in between.
"We are in no way entering into new territory," says professor Gorden Wagener, head of design at Mercedes-Benz Style. "Our design team has already styled such products such as watches and interiors, as well as numerous products for Mercedes-Benz accessories. Our design division has all of the necessary expertise in more than ample measure, and has benefited from such skills for many years."
As is the case with BMW's Designworks studio, Mercedes-Benz Style can be hired by outside firms to provide design work for future products. Although we'd be a little surprised to see Daimler's stylists penning vehicles that would compete against its own wares, Wagener says the operations has its foundations in land, sea, and air transportation, so anything goes.
Although Daimler itself is no longer attached to the EADS consortium or its Eurocopter subsidiary, M-B's first project was to create the cabin for the new Eurocopter EC145 luxury helicopter. Reportedly inspired by the R-Class crossover, the helicopter has seating for eight, which can be quickly reconfigured or removed to make room for more luggage. Buyers can select from a number of different trim materials and wood patterns, while a three-color ambient lighting system is culled from the S-Class.
Wagener sets no bounds on M-B Style's activities, but does insist clients "must match our premium standards and represent innovation, as well as trend-setting, enduring style." Look for the design operation -- which is comprised of 400 employees from 20 different countries -- to have a hand in many more products in the years to come.