Inspired by the blockbuster "avatar mercedes has built a green luxury glider for the middle of the next century. However, his driving performance is more in keeping with the present – how promising is the sedan for the future??
Against it, even the latest design studies from mercedes look like relics from old science fiction movies in black and white. Because with the vision AVTR, the Swabians are not looking one or two vehicle generations into the future, as is usually the case, but are leaping forward a whole century at a time.
And because that’s a pretty long time even for designers with visionary foresight, they’ve enlisted help from hollywood. Together with legendary director james cameron, a car in the spirit of the blockbuster avatar has been created that is intended above all to paint an optimistic picture of the future. Because just as the navi on planet pandora live in harmony with nature, the luxury sedan of the day after tomorrow not only respects the environment, but literally mimics it.
Gullwing with vegan luxury lounge
That’s why the five-meter-long futurist doesn’t look like a spaceship, but like a living being: thousands of LEDs light up the balloon-like tires and quote the "wood sprites from the "tree of life from the film. More than 30 illuminated flaps on the rear end twitch in the airstream, looking like the armor of a lizard. And when the frameless glass doors swing upwards as if by magic, you can’t help but think of the wings of insects.
They open the way to a lounge that is as airy as it is luxurious, with not much to remind you of a car except the mercedes star on the center console. You lounge in a lounger upholstered in vegan faux leather. The floor is covered with rattan harvested in harmony with nature in the rainforest. The consoles are made of plastic waste fished out of the ocean. And as soon as the car wakes up with a spectacular light show, everything shimmers in the same blue that dominates the color world on pandora.
Mercedes vision AVTR: the seats are upholstered in vegan imitation leather. (source: imago/UPI photo)
Navigating and driving by hand
The controls are as unusual as the material concept: there are no more instruments or switches, but everything that is important is projected onto the huge white console in front of the passengers. While the autopilot drives, it becomes a movie screen. And when the driver wants to intervene, the menus run virtually via the outstretched palm of the hand. Individual contents can then be activated simply by closing your hand. It sounds wacky, but makes even complex commands child’s play.
Mercedes vision AVTR: while the autopilot is driving, the huge white console becomes a cinema screen. (source: imago/UPI photo)
The only real operating element is the so-called merge device, which makes man and machine one – at least in the philosophy of the designers. In practice, this silicone-covered knob in the shape of a jellyfish is a joystick in disguise that can be used to do the work of the autopilot and steer the car as if it were a computer game: simply place your hand on the knob and specify the direction, and the future gets under way.
Electrically into the next century
The driving force here is four motors mounted close to the huge, internally illuminated balcony wheels, which are of course powered electrically. With a combined output of over 350 kW/476 hp, they are powered by a battery that, like the entire car, bears witness to a great deal of foresight. Because in the vision of the developers, it is completely organic, does not require any rare earths or metals, and can simply be composted after use. The theoretical performance is appropriate for a luxury coupe: 200 km/h should be easily achievable, and with a projected capacity of 110 kWh, the vision AVTR can cover 700 kilometers.
But because the study was built by hand and is not yet intended for the road, the maximum speed in practice is much lower than in theory. Nevertheless, a special driving experience is not lacking. Because the four-seater not only masters conventional cornering like any current car, but also a new type of crab steering: because all four wheels can be turned by about 30 degrees in the same direction and driven individually, the avatar can also drive at an angle – an experience that most car drivers have never experienced before.
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Conclusion: a glimpse of a distant future
But they still have a little time left. Just like the engineers. Because the movie "avatar" plays in the middle of the next century. But as far-fetched as the vision of a living luxury sedan with an organic battery and steering at the touch of a hand may be, and as wacky as the gullwing may look, in more than 100 years it could be quite normal.