The cat is officially out of the bag. Meet ‘The Flip’, a one-off Mercedes-AMG model designed in collaboration with American rapper will.i.am (real name William Adams). The car has been christened with the name WILL.I.AMG, and the 47-year-old sought the help of West Coast Customs to realise this project.

Now, regardless of how you feel about the car’s design, know that it was made to raise money to help fund students from disadvantaged communities. The goal is to give them access to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) education, which will hopefully help equip them with the skills required for future-focused jobs and to invent new technologies.

Okay, back to the car. It’s actually based on the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupé as opposed to the GT, with obvious design influences from the G-Class. There are also hints of the legendary SLS Gullwing (the split glass roof and the vented bonnet; the vents were originally on the sides), as well as rear-hinged doors, or commonly known as suicide doors.

Nearly every exterior panel is new. The grille features six horizontal slats across, in the middle of which rests a bear face with the three-pointed star. The front bumper and quarter panels are entirely new (and much wider than stock), while the AMG lower bumper appears retruded slightly. Massive retro-style block-sided wheels complete the look.

Speaking at the unveiling, will.i.am said: “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.”

“Now I’ve reached my goal and pushed even higher by reimagining 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 energising to collaborate with like-minded people who also seek continuous improvement,” he added.

Keen to see the entire conversion process? Well, the automaker has filmed the whole journey, which will be aired in a six-part documentary series called ‘Drive’. This will premiere in Cannes during the 2022 film festival. The rapper will also launch the ‘Bear Witness’ collection, a limited-edition apparel and accessories range that can be purchased online.