Mercedes-Benz has just pulled the covers off its latest creation at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and it’s one concept car you probably didn’t see coming.
It’s called the Vision AVTR and it is inspired by James Cameron’s 2009 mega blockbuster film Avatar, hence the name AVTR (which is an abbreviation for Advanced Vehicle Transformation).
The three-pointed star says the Vision AVTR concept “embodies the vision of Mercedes-Benz designers, engineers and trend researchers for mobility in the distant future”. In other words, this is what happens when film and car makers dream up 22nd century mobility.
In terms of styling, the Vision AVTR utilises the stretched “One Bow” design language and has a shape that is rather reminiscent of the F 105 Luxury In Motion concept from five years ago. The AVTR’s design also includes 33 “bionic flaps” on the back of the vehicle which Mercedes says mimics the scales of a reptile and is also a means of communication with the driver.
“Not only is it beautifully designed but it will create a closer connection with the driver and the environment around them. One that hopefully results in a better understanding of our responsibility to the world in which we live” said Jon Landau, producer of the Avatar films.
Mercedes says that instead of a conventional steering wheel, “the multifunction control element in the centre console allow human and machine to merge. By placing the hand on the control unit, the interior comes to life and the vehicle recognizes the driver by his or her heartbeat and breathing.” Perhaps that bit is best left to science-fiction.
The all-electric AVTR features four-individually controlled, high-performance electric motors with a combined power output of more than 350kW. Feeding these electric motors is, for the first time, an organic graphene-based cell that is completely free of rare earth elements and therefore completely recyclable.
Furthermore, according to the marque, the car can also “crab-walk” sideways by up to 30 degrees thanks to the “possibility to drive the front and rear axles in the same or opposite direction”.
Lastly, to reinforce the link with nature, the digital elements in the ‘cabin’ are offset with a range of natural materials. For example, the AVTR has its seats dressed in vegan Dinamica leather which according to Mercedes is the first and only microfiber material that guarantees environmental sustainability throughout the entire production cycle. The floor is covered in Karuun, a type of fast growing rattan from Indonesia.