Will.i.am Pumps up Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door With a G-Wagon Grille
They often own fancy cars, but it’s rare for celebrities to get directly involved in car design beyond restorations or modifications. Some, though, do step in at the OEM level. For example, the musician/actor/philanthropist will.i.am, who announced a special Mercedes-AMG collaboration a few months ago. Well, the covers are finally off. And I gotta feeling will.i.am’s Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door concept car is going to turn some heads.
Scream and shout over will.i.am’s new Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door supercar concept
Although will.i.am became a spokesperson for Mercedes-AMG EVs last year, this is the first time he’s collaborating with the brand on a car build. However, this isn’t his first car project. He’s worked on several builds with renowned custom shop West Coast Customs, ranging from a wild VW Beetle-based coupe to a 1959 Corvette restomod. This new AMG project marks the sixth time will.i.am has commissioned WCC to build something crazy.
Until recently, we’ve only seen a shadowy look at this Mercedes-AMG concept’s front end. But that was enough to glean that it was, a) some kind of coupe, and b) had a G-Class-like nose. And as it turns out, those weren’t far from the truth. However, it turns out will.i.am and WCC turned up the boom boom pow a bit higher than some expected.
Yes, the WILL.I.AMG is a coupe and its front end looks a bit like a G-Wagon (or G-Wagen for the German-language-minded). However, it’s actually based on the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door. And that’s the least wild thing about it.
The WILL.I.AMG brings a G-Wagon face, suicide doors, and that Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door 63 S power
Firstly, although Mercedes-AMG calls the GT 4-Door a coupe, it’s really a sedan with a swoopy roofline. However, the WILL.I.AMG is a real two-door coupe. Only it doesn’t have conventional doors: instead, it has rear-hinged ‘suicide’ doors. In addition, the car has a split-glass roof, which is likely an homage to the gullwing-doored SLS AMG.
As for the front, WCC didn’t explicitly graft a G-Wagon nose on a Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door body. The WILL.I.AMG’s front-end styling is inspired by the boxy SUV’s look, though. Only instead of a three-pointed star, the wild coupe has a bear emblem dubbed ‘BEAR WITNESS.’
That emblem—which does incorporate a tiny Mercedes star—also resides on the wheels’ center caps. Furthermore, Mercedes is applying its name to a limited-edition line of apparel and accessories launching alongside the WILL.I.AMG concept. Though speaking of the wheels, they bear (I’m sorry) more than a passing resemblance to the monoblock designs Mercedes offers on other cars, albeit white.
Although the WILL.I.AMG’s body is wildly different from the stock Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door design, its powertrain isn’t. In this case, that means the same 630-hp 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 and AWD system as the GT 63 S. And considering the stock sedan is a Nürburgring lap record-holder, it’s likely most people will be seeing more of the coupe’s rear than its front.
It’s will.i.am’s way of getting the STEAM philanthropy party started
The WILL.I.AMG isn’t just an excuse to build a wild, fast coupe, though. As noted earlier, will.i.am is a philanthropist—and this Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door coupe is part of his work.
Those apparel and accessory lines I mentioned? Mercedes is selling them at its Experience Center during the upcoming Miami Grand Prix. And a portion of the proceeds go to the i.am/Angel Foundation, will.i.am’s STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) education outreach organization for disadvantaged families and communities.
In addition, neither Mercedes-AMG nor will.i.am is keeping this GT 4-Door coupe. This functional concept is headed to auction. And again, proceeds go to further will.i.am’s STEAM outreach efforts, The Drive reports. This is all part of his ‘The Flip—Innovation for Purpose’ project, which is also the name of an upcoming six-part documentary series centered around this car.
Furthermore, will.i.am didn’t partner with Mercedes-AMG on a whim. “I grew up in a ghetto,” he says, “I grew up with hip-hop. I watched legendary hip-hop artists rap about Mercedes, so it was always a dream to own a Mercedes. For a lot of inner-city kids, owning a Mercedes is a symbol of progress and advancing out of struggle. Now I’ve reached my goal and pushed even higher by reimagining and creating my own vision of an AMG model. But I didn’t touch the engine because AMG really does make the best engines. The story of the founders of AMG truly inspires me and it is energizing to collaborate with like-minded people who also seek continuous improvement.”
In short, this coupe is will.i.am’s way of showing where’s the love.
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