It is not uncommon for companies in the automotive world to revive a certain nameplate, especially if it has earned some iconic or legendary status or if it has gained some historical prominence. For instance, Porsche revived the 911R from the 1960s and the 718 from the 1950s. Ferrari brought back the Tdf nameplate from a special model designed to compete in the Tour de France auto race. Lincoln also revived the Continental nameplate while MINI gave a new lease on life to the Seven nameplate – as a special edition model – which is the very first MINI launched in 1959.
What about the Mercedes-Benz 540K? Well, there have been no signs that Mercedes is willing to revive this nameplate. However, there could be “secret” discussions about reviving the Mercedes 540K within the German premium carmaker. So far, there have been no substantial reports yet. But we believe that with enough support from customers, the Mercedes 540K could come back to life.
What is exciting about the Mercedes 540K? Designed by Friedrich Geiger and produced completely between 1936 and 1944, the Mercedes 540K is offered as a two-seater cabriolet, four seater coupé and a seven seater limousine. Its name was derived from the displacement of its engine, a 5,401-cc straight-8 powerplant as aspirated by twin pressurized updraft carburetors for 115 hp (86 kW) of output. Interestingly, a Roots supercharger was employed that could momentarily increase power to 180 hp (130 kW) of output with a top speed of 170 km/h (110 mph).
The Mercedes-Benz 540K was regarded as the finest car made in the interwar period, and was the preferred vehicle among the elite. In fact, 12 special extended wheelbase versions of the Mercedes 540K were developed for the Nazi hierarchy, featuring an armor plate and were heavier than their typical counterparts. Marshall Hermann Goering also owned a 540Ks, a special edition of the 540K. This car was then possessed by the United States and took part in a victory bond tour across the country.
Interestingly, a graphic designer from Poznan, Poland, has created a modern concept based on the Mercedes 540K and posted it in his account on Behance, an online platform that allows creative professionals across different industries and companies to showcase as well as discover creative work. Creative designer Bartlomiej Tarnowski’s modern take is dubbed the Mercedes-Benz 540K Concept 2016.
Wrapped in copper-like finish, this design concept featured a menacing front end with a black huge grille and Mercedes’ three-star logo – likewise in black -- positioned on the center. Able to accommodate two occupants, this Mercedes-Benz 540K Concept 2016 features a coupe-like appearance but with the dynamic and imposing presence of an SUV. Its front wheels deviate to outside the front bonnet while a spare tire is cleverly accommodated on the rear.
Well, when compared to the classic Mercedes 540K, the concept seemed to be more menacing than elegant. It looks like it’s ready to devour other vehicles on the road, instead of classily and gracefully announcing the arrival of an important passenger. On the upside, the concept offers a whole new take on the Mercedes-Benz 540K.