Mercedes-Benz has showcased a sculpture that previews the bold lines and exaggerated proportions of its new electric-powered concept car due to be unveiled at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concourse d’Elegance.
The spectacularly styled single-seater concept EV has been developed under the internal working name Aesthetics Progressive Luxury. It has been inspired by the German carmaker’s dramatic stromlinie (streamlined) Silver Arrows from the 1930s, like the W25 Avus, aeroplane engine T80 and W125. The W125 was driven by the German racer Rudolf Caracciola in 1938 to a record-breaking flying mile average speed of 268.7mph on the A5 Autobahn between Frankfurt and Darmstadt.
The new Aesthetics Progressive Luxury is the latest in a series of highly flamboyant concepts conceived under the guidance of Mercedes-Benz design boss, Gorden Wagener.
Stylistically, the new single-seater concept will draw upon the wind-cheating shape of the celebrated stromlinie cars – with a long sweeping bonnet, prominent wheel arches and a cabin set well back within the wheelbase. However, the look has been updated with elements from the company’s contemporary F1 cars. The sculpture alludes to this through the fin mounted along the centre line at the rear as a measure to aid stability.
The combination of fuller forms at the front and the more futuristic treatment given to the rear of the sculpture is meant to convey the underlying trend of digital transformation, according to Wagener. “Digital transformation, in particular, presents new challenges also for us designers. We are translating intelligent technology into an emotional overall experience,” he says.
This so-called digital transformation is also set to be previewed in the interior of the upcoming Mercedes-Benz concept car. The upcoming concept is rumoured to include functions from the company’s new touch-screen based MBUX user interface system which was recently introduced to the fourth-generation A-class.
The Aesthetics Performance Luxury is planned to act as a one-off figurehead for the company’s new electric sub-brand, EQ. The car's electric drivetrain has been conceived to provide performance comparable to the earlier W125, according to company officials.
Our sister publication, Autocar UK, understands that the Aesthetics Progressive Luxury is set to showcase a new performance-based electric drivetrain. The new drivetrain boasts of more power and a greater battery capacity than the earlier four-wheel drive SLS E-Cell, whose four electric motors produced a combined 740bhp and its lithium-ion battery delivered 60kWh of energy.
Officials at Mercedes-Benz’s R&D centre on the outskirts of Stuttgart suggest that the new driveline hints at how AMG is planning to ramp up the performance of the company’s upcoming range of EQ-badged electric cars. The EQ cars will be headed by the EQ C SUV, due to make its world debut at the 2018 Paris motor show in September.