After much anticipation, heightened by a couple dozen driving gloves sent to influencers, the world was treated this week to its first look at what might be Virgil Abloh’s most ambitious collaboration to date: a full-scale Geländewagen created with Mercedes-Benz. 

We were also treated to the additional pleasure of speaking with Abloh himself and Mercedes Chief Creative Director Gorden Wagener about the design of the world’s newest collab car, one inspired in part by the (highly relatable) experience of pulling up to the Malibu location of Nobu.

As with many Abloh projects, there’s a lot of homages at play in the design of this new car. To start, its hyper-stylized, NASA-meets-Wes-Anderson features clearly take some kind of page from his creative ally artist Tom Sachs. Furthermore, the truck’s exed-out headlights make a distinct wink to the artist (and part-time Dior logo designer) KAWS. Could the faded patina of the truck also be a nod to Daniel Arsham? Hard to tell in photographs.

But there’s one point of comparison that, while very unintentional, is impossible to unsee: the fact that the truck’s low suspension and rounded body kit makes its silhouette look a lot like a Kia Soul. 

For those who are not experts on subcompact SUVs, the Kia Soul is a model debuted by the Korean manufacturer Kia Motors in 2008. And while it is not the Kia made famous by Blake Griffin dunking over it in the 2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest (that was an Optima), it is indeed the Kia that rose to infamy through a much-maligned commercial featuring “gangsta” hamsters driving the car and dancing to LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem.” 

Let’s be fair: due to its sheer size, no one is going to confuse Abloh’s G-Wagon with a Soul — not even if you left your contacts at home. But the still-not-unseeable comparison points to some absurdities we should probably be asking ourselves about. In the hyper-functional world of German auto design, why do car manufacturers need fashion designers to make window dressings for their classic models? (Let’s not leave Aimé Leon Dore’s 964 Porsche Carrera 4 out of this!) Is what we’re seeing here the cross-branding version of a mid-life crisis victim needing to have younger and cooler friends? Or do we have something even more tragic on our hands here, like the Ford Explorer’s Eddie Bauer Edition? Or, is what we’re seeing our generation’s version of the timeless BMW artist-edition cars by the likes of Frank Stella and Andy Warhol? And most importantly of all: Will people actually pull up to Nobu in this G-Wagon? 

Instead of answering, we’ll leave you with our rodent friends

What To Read Next

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    EXCLUSIVE: How Dior Handcrafted Its "Futuristic Armory"

    Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Loro Piana Pops Up On Rodeo Drive

    Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    The Biebers Face Off in a Battle of Bizarre Sunglasses

    Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    We're Dreaming of an Off-White™ Christmas

    Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Arc'teryx System_A Is Back & It's Extra Pink

    Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Drake's "Certified Lover Boy" Air Force 1s Are Finally Here

    Sneakers
*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titelmedia (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titelmedia strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titelmedia has engaged UsableNet Inc, a leading web accessibility consultant to help test, remediate and maintain our Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Disclaimer

Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.