The 2021 IAA in Munich is dominated by new debuts from Mercedes-Benz and no fewer than five of them are all-electric, including the Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV and 2022 Mercedes-AMG EQS. You don’t have to be an automotive industry specialist or analyst to predict the future for the German automaker is strictly electric. But what does that direction mean for the design of the company?

Well, if we ask Daimler’s design boss, Gorden Wagener, this whole process means we are about to see the end of the traditional saloon. And judging by the EQE and EQS electric vehicles, it seems that the new wave of high-tech EVs from Mercedes will be shaped as a mix between a saloon, a hatchback, and possibly a coupe.

“Electrification will kill the three-box saloon for several reasons,” Gorden Wagener told TopGear during the Munich motor show. “Aero is one. Secondly, with a six-inch battery pack a three-box saloon simply doesn’t look good, it looks s***. You have to do something that visually digests the height.”

While the switch to electric powertrains generally gives designers more opportunities, there are some limitations. What Wagener talks about is the fact that the high-end EV saloons need large and thick battery packs and that ruins the sleek proportions of a traditional three-box saloon. The solution?

Gallery: 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE 350

“That’s why we came up with that bold design with the EQ models, because it looks stretched, it looks stylish. So that [electrification] will change the proportions of cars. We have to make sure they don’t all look alike, but that fear has existed for 30 years or so. We managed to make them look different, and I’m confident we can do that in the future.”