In 2010, Mercedes-Benz Canada turned the Designo trim into a specialized division greatly expanding the personalization options for the E-Class, S-Class, CL-Class, SL-Class, SLS AMG, M-Class, and G-Class. Mercedes USA took longer to open up its storehouse of exclusive colors and upholsteries, finally doing so in 2015 with Designo Manufaktur, and only for the G-Class. This year, Mercedes says Designo Manufaktur requests have increased 200 percent, a trend that helps justify the decision to expand the program’s range of customization and available vehicles. Buyers can choose any of the automaker’s paint hues used since the 1950s, or they can pull a joker and request a rival automaker’s colors — say a G-Class in blues of the Nogaro or Grabber varieties, “upon confirmed availability.” The E-Class, S-Class, and two-door AMG GT join the G in the private tailoring shop as well.
Mercedes worked up two cars to demonstrate the livelier possibilities among the 34 exterior colors and 54 interior leather and fabric choices. An AMG S 63 Cabriolet wears a Deep Green heritage collection color with a light brown Nappa leather interior. An AMG E 63 S wagon gets the Steel Blue normally reserved for Sprinter vans, and a black Nappa leather interior with white contrast stitching. The fabric sample book for the normal S-Class and the Maybach trim is nearly unlimited, customers able to spec any color and pattern for the headliner, and stitched leather coverage inside the Maybach can be extended to nearly every surface.
The automaker didn’t mention price, because that would be rude. But the standard G Manufaktur paints on the configurator each add $6,500 to the price, all but one of the Designo paint shades for the S-Class cost $3,950, the standard Designo interiors for the S-Class cost $6,550, and the two-tone paint jobs on the S-Class Maybach are $12,000. Extravagant individuality will be even more extravagantly expensive.