Mercedes-AMG’s collaboration with multi-platinum American musician, tech entrepreneur, philanthropist and TIME 100 IMPACT Award winner will.i.am has gone from strength to strength since its launch in September 2021 and is now culminating in an extraordinary project launching May 5, 2022 in Miami and at www.will.i.am. Under strict secrecy, “The Flip”, an automotive masterpiece with an expressive design and a far-reaching message has been created.
The one-off vehicle, named WILL.I.AMG, is a visible symbol of the goals of Mercedes-AMG and will.i.am to boldly drive forward new ideas, push boundaries and dare to do the impossible. In their sixth project together, will.i.am teamed up again with West Coast Customs to execute his fearless vision for “The Flip.” It also sets an example for the future: the mission of this joint project “The Flip – Innovation for Purpose” is to give more students from disadvantaged communities access to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) education in order to be equipped with the skills required for future-focused jobs and to invent new technologies.
The world premiere of “The Flip” will be unveiled during the Formula 1™ Grand Prix USA in Miami/Florida in the company of prominent guests such as record world champion Lewis Hamilton. The expressly designed sports car is based upon the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupé that has been extensively modified.
“I grew up in a ghetto. I grew up with hip hop. I watched legendary hip hop artist rap about Mercedes, so it was always a dream to own a Mercedes. For a lot of inner-city kids, owning a Mercedes is a symbol of progress and advancing out of struggle,” explains will.i.am. “Now I’ve reached my goal and pushed even higher by re-imagining and creating my own vision of an AMG model. But I didn’t touch the engine, because AMG really does make the best engines. The story of the founders of AMG truly inspires me and it is energizing to collaborate with like-minded people who also seek continuous improvement.”
“Our cooperation with will.i.am has reached a new peak with ‘The Flip’. We have inspired and motivated each other in the realisation of this holistic concept, which is far more than an exceptional automotive one-off. We take our responsibility to society seriously. The success of Mercedes-AMG as a Performance Luxury brand also depends to a large extent on inspiring the next generation and giving them easy access to the latest technologies and digital progress. It is part of our tradition to always be pioneers and to dare to do something new. We are continuing this legacy into the future together with will.i.am and ‘The Flip’“, according to Philipp Schiemer, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
All the activities surrounding this one-of-a-kind vehicle based on the AMG GT 4-Door Coupé, influenced by design elements of the G-Class and the legendary SLS Gullwing will benefit will.i.am’s i.am/Angel Foundation to help build a STEAM-ready talent pool that will lift families and communities out of poverty. Mercedes-AMG is supporting this project enthusiastically because it also fulfils a lifelong dream of will.i.am: he is a car guy through and through and a Mercedes-AMG enthusiast who has always dreamed of making his personal Mercedes-AMG vehicle a reality.
Inspired by the Mercedes star logo and the vehicle sound, will.i.am created a bear-like face icon, which has been dubbed “BEAR WITNESS.” This icon is also the focal point of the BEAR WITNESS collection that features limited-edition apparel and accessories available at the Mercedes-AMG Experience Center in Miami and online. The BEAR WITNESS collection Drop 1 – Limited Edition will be available May 6, 2022 at 12 noon Eastern time/ 6:00PM Central European time on https://will.i.am. A portion of the proceeds will go to support the i.am/Angel Foundation.
The elaborate conversion and construction of this extraordinary car has been captured in an extensive six‑part documentary series, “DRIVE” that will sneak preview at the May 5th reveal event. “DRIVE” will then go on to premiere in Cannes during 2022 film festival (out of competition).