Design & Style


The G-Class steers headfirst into the metaverse.

February 2022

Some of the world’s top digital artists have paid homage to the G-Class with striking NFT art that has already made a mark.

Design & Style


The G-Class steers headfirst into the metaverse.

February 2022

Some of the world’s top digital artists have paid homage to the G-Class with striking NFT art that has already made a mark.

NFT artwork of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class by Antoni Tudisco

Mercedes-Benz teamed up with international crypto artist collective, ART2PEOPLE, for its first non-fungible token (NFT) art project, dubbed NF-G. Image: Antoni Tudisco / Art2People.

The G-Class has crossed almost every terrain imaginable in its 43-year history, and now the iconic off-roader can add the metaverse to its list of destinations.

In January, Mercedes-Benz teamed up with international crypto artist collective, ART2PEOPLE, for its first non-fungible token (NFT) art project, dubbed NF-G. The brief? Five top international artists each pay tribute to the G-Class by creating a unique, one-off digital artwork in the form of an NFT.

An NFT is a one-off data asset, such as a video or piece of art, that is created and stored on a blockchain – a secure digital ledger. The artist then assigns the digital asset to one person only – a virtual certificate of authenticity. Many digital artists embrace NFTs as they facilitate the sale of digital works as non-transferable originals that cannot be easily replicated.

NFT artwork of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class by Klarens

Klarens Malluta was one of five top digital artists to reinterpret the G-Class as an NFT artwork. Image: Klarens / Art2People.

Artists Roger Kilimanjaro; Charlotte Taylor & Anthony Authié; Antoni Tudisco; Klarens Malluta; and Baugasm were commissioned to produce arresting digital artworks, with the old-world craftsmanship of the G-Class as their source of inspiration.

Stunning sales figures

One of the main goals of the project was to build a bridge between the two worlds of G-Class enthusiasts and the burgeoning NFT community.

Can Florian Ahegger, the Germany-based founder of ART2PEOPLE, owns a G-Class and says it was a “dream come true” to work with the artists in bringing the project to life. “The pieces are extraordinary, and I love them all,” he says. “Already I have snapshots of all of them in my office as physical prints and also on my digital frames.”

Hailing from diverse backgrounds in music, fashion, graphic design, architecture, creative marketing and luxury design, each artist has a style, a digital signature, that is unique.

The NFG collection dropped on the NFT marketplace, Nifty Gateway, in January, and limited artworks were on sale for one hour, ranging in price from US$222 to US$1,554.

The pieces sold out almost immediately, which won’t be a surprise to anybody familiar with the booming global NFT market. Last December, an artwork by artist Pak sold for US$91.8 million through Nifty Gateway, making history as the most expensive digital artwork ever sold.

Rare qualities

Can notes that the NF-G project highlighted the rarity of both the G-Class and the NFT artworks.

“Owning a Mercedes-Benz G-Class is something very special,” Can says.

“To own exclusive art that is truly unique, that you can keep in your wallet, in your digital purse, is also something very special. And the symbiosis of the two takes it all to a whole other level.”

NFT artwork of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class by Baugasm

“[The G-Class] has cut through history and still maintains its own shape and its own aesthetic, it represents so much and is such a cool design piece,” says artist Baugasm. Image credit/photographer: Baugasm / Art2People.

Artists were challenged to let their imagination run wild and to interpret the style, luxury and design aesthetic of the G-Class through a digital lens. For designer/artist Baugasm, the project offered an opportunity to work with a car he has long admired.

“I’ve been a real big fan of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class for a very long time, it’s such an iconic car,” Baugasm says. “And the fact that it has cut through history and still maintains its own shape and its own aesthetic, it represents so much and is such a cool design piece.”

Klarens Malluta says understanding the meaning behind the Mercedes-Benz logo helped inform the final artwork. “The three-pointed star logo represents the strength of the engines on the land, on the sea and in the air,” he explains.

Mercedes-Benz and Virgil Abloh’s Project Geländewagen

Mercedes-Benz chief design officer, Gorden Wagener worked with the late fashion icon Virgil Abloh on Project Geländewagen. Image: Mercedes-Benz Group AG.

Using Adobe Photoshop, After Effects and Cinema 4D software, Klarens produced an NFT that included a Mercedes UFO hovering over the G-Class, as well as an animated cyber butterfly with the Mercedes-Benz logo on its wings.

It’s not the first time Mercedes-Benz has teamed up with other noteworthy creatives. As part of ‘Project Geländewagen’, Mercedes-Benz chief design officer, Gorden Wagener worked with the late fashion icon Virgil Abloh to create a fresh incarnation of the G-Class – stripping it back to basics and rebuilding it as a stylish racing car.

The G-Class has been setting the pace in its own way for more than four decades and is the vehicle of choice for an incredibly diverse range of people including celebrities, and even the Vatican. In the 1980s, Pope John Paul II had a mother-of-pearl 230 G as his personal Popemobile.

Discover the iconic Mercedes-Benz G-Class.

By Johanna Leggatt