Mercedes-Benz unveil new Avatar-inspired future car
Mercedes-Benz has unwrapped its new Vision AVTR concept, a car that was inspired – of all things – from James Cameron’s film Avatar.
Hot on the heels of Sony’s first car concept debut, Mercedes unveiled the car at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The car – which stands for Advanced Vehicle Transformation – is super high tech, and is meant to embody ‘Mercedes-Benz vision for its next chapter in sustainable luxury’.
The reason for the odd inspiration is simple: Avatar was (ultimately) all about the importance of sustainability in the modern world. That, and blue aliens. But mainly, ecology (like how the aliens had to save a giant tree).
Mercedes’ has said the car is deliberately different than anything the automaker currently has in its lineup by design.
“The world of Avatar is a cosmos full of new shapes and colors, and such inspirations are inherently inspiring for designers,” Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer of the Daimler Group, explains.
“Just think of all the extraordinary environments, life forms, and also the culture of the indigenous Na’vi inhabitants in the world of Pandora; everything is closely related to our design philosophy and the bipolarity of our brands of intelligence and emotion.”
While the car was inspired by the original Avatar, don’t expect to see it in any future films.
“We’re doing it the other way around,” jokes Jon Landau, Avatar’s Producer. “To me, the car is not a product placement because it won’t be featured in the Avatar movies. But it’s a product placement in the sense that Avatar is in the car, it goes the other way.”
The vehicle is equipped with advanced AI, which can sense the heartbeat and breathing patterns of its driver and passengers. It’s touch sensitive too, (just touch the steering wheel and the car will start.
The doors are transparent, meant to mimic that of a flying insect and features 33 dynamic movable flaps on the back to help aerodynamics.
Mercedes also made quite a bit of noise about the bond between human and machine. “I don’t know how many people have a nickname for their smartphone, but we all know that many cars are treated like friends or family,” inferred Ola Kallenius, Chairman of the Board of Management at Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG.
Under the hood you get four high-performance fully-electric motors, one for each wheel. It produces close to 500-horsepower, but the most startling driving feature is not how fast it can go in a straight line.
Each wheel can turn 30-degrees on its axel, something which Mercedes is calling a ‘crab movement’. That makes it particularly useful if you’re trying to park on a congested street, or on the blue alien home planet of Pandora.
Again, don’t expect this to hit roads anytime soon. It’s just a concept after all. But you can expect to see elements of this space-aged motor to start landing in Mercedes-Benz production cars in the near future.