BMW has a long history of creating stunning concepts that never make it to production. Especially retro-themed ones, such as the BMW 328 Hommage, the M1 Hommage, and, in this case, the Vision M NEXT. The BMW M NEXT was easily one of the best designs to come from BMW this century and fans were incredibly excited about it going into production. Until BMW scrapped it. Now, Mercedes has its own retro-themed concept, the Mercedes One Eleven, which is essentially a futuristic remake of a classic concept, the Mercedes C111. Both the BMW M NEXT and Mercedes One Eleven are electric concepts based on mid-engine supercars, so let’s see which one looks best.

Up Front

Up front, both have funky looking “grilles.” The BMW’s are more traditional, and are shaped like typical kidney grilles, while the Mercedes’s is interesting. It’s a giant digital panel with pixel-like LEDs that give it a retro vibe, almost like you could play Pong inside of it. Which allows Mercedes to house the headlights inside the grille, by just illuminating certain LED “pixels” to create headlights. Neat. Its nose also slopes down very low, giving it a whale shark-type look, and its fenders are nice and high. So it has a very classic supercar vibe. While the BMW M NEXT is great looking, I think the Mercedes One Eleven is a bit better looking up front.

From the Side

This is one of the nerdiest car comparisons ever and I love it. Both cars are concepts that are designed after cars from the ’70s, the BMW M1 and Mercedes C111. Both original ’70s cars were German supercars designed by Italians (Giorgetto Giugiaro did the M1 and Bruno Sacco penned the C111). However, they were both incredibly different designs. The M1 was a wedge-heavy design, similar to other Giugiaro cars of the era, and the C111 was smooth and flowing, like other Sacco designs. The same can be said for the BMW M NEXT and Mercedes One Eleven. Which is better? I don’t know, as I like them both. So I’m gonna call it a draw.

From the Back

Out back, the two concepts have very different principles. The BMW’s headlights are up high, slim, and modern and it features an aggressive rear diffuser and fat rear tires. It was clearly designed to look like an aggressive, high-performance supercar. While the Mercedes One Eleven actually sort of replicates the front grille at the back, with digital taillights. It’s very smooth and it flows nicely, with softly sculpted rear haunches and a lower belt line. Again, I really like them both but I think the M NEXT just edges it out for me because it looks sportier.


Both cars have minimalist, futuristic interiors, and funky steering wheels. I really like the cabins of both, too. The M NEXT looks like a race car from the future and the One Eleven has an awesome retro looking LED panel that looks like it’s from the ’80s. I think I’m gonna have to give it to the BMW, only because it’s less busy, but I dig the Mercedes’s too.


By nature of the score, BMW wins here, with 2.5 points versus the Mercedes’s 1.5 points. However, the real loser here is us, the enthusiasts, as neither car will ever reach production. Could both brands use both cars as inspiration for future designs? Sure, but that’s yet to be seen. Until then, we’re stuck drooling over awesome concept cars that will never be.

[Photo Source: BimmerToday]