If you want a solid starting point for the latest sexy Mercedes designs, you might start at the first-gen CLS in 2005.
But those proportions needed work, and the surfacing left much to be desired. Between the CLS and this 2009 F800 Style lived the ghastly F700 and the notorious bionic fish van concept.
This 2009 F800 Style Research Concept really set the tone for a new Mercedes aesthetic. This slinky design was followed by the Style Coupe concept in 2012 -- wearing lines that are even closer to what is now the CLA-Class.
There are details in this F800 Style that have not yet hit the road: and the 2016 SL-Class is set to replicate these headlamps almost exactly.
2009 Mercedes-Benz F800