Born in Los Angeles in 1975, William Adams — better known by his stage name of will.i.am — is well-known for his Grammy Award-winning music, work in tech, and philanthropy, though far fewer are aware of the Boyle Heights native’s passion for cars — a love he’s recently demonstrated via the debut of a one-off concept car he created in collaboration with Mercedes-AMG.
Revealed in Miami during Formula 1 Grand Prix USA weekend, this one-of-one vehicle is based on Mercedes’ existing AMG GT 4-Door Coupé though has been heavily reworked inside and out. Dubbed the “WILL.I.AMG,” this one-off concept retains the donor’s 116.2-inch wheelbase, however, it has been transformed into a two-door saloon configuration with rear-hinged suicide doors. Now equipped with a split-speedster-style glass roof, a one-off grille design, and a boxy front end with circular headlights, the WILL.I.AMG takes obvious and ample inspiration from existing Mercedes designs — namely the G-Class Wagens and the iconic SLS Gullwing.
In place of Mercedes’ signature Three-Pointed Star roundels, will.i.am has modified the iconic logo and designed a cartoon bear emblem around the star motif that’s been christened “BEAR WITNESS.” Other minor elements include a stretched hood with exhaust outlets, front intake scoops filled in with AMG-branded pannels, bespoke WILL.I.AMG door sills, a custom decklid spoiler, and a bespoke set of vintage-inspired five-arm wheels. One thing will.i.am opted not to modify was the AMG donor car’s powertrain, meaning the GT Coupé’s turbocharged, hybrid-assisted, beltless 3.0-liter inline-six and its output of 362hp go unchanged.
Alongside the car, will.i.am and Mercedes have also partnered on a limited-edition BEAR WITNESS apparel and accessories capsule collection that’s available now, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the i.am/Angel Foundation.