STUTTGART, Germany – Mercedes-Benz previews the bold lines and exaggerated proportions of a new electric-powered concept car to be revealed at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concourse d’Elegance with the unveiling of a sculpture of the spectacularly styled single-seater.
Titled Aesthetics Progressive Luxury and developed under the internal working name Electric Silver Arrow, the concept is inspired by the German automaker’s dramatic stromlinie (streamlined) cars from the 1930s.
These include the W25 Avus, airplane-engined T80 and W125 – the latter of which was driven by Rudolf Caracciola to a record-breaking flying mile average speed of 268.7 (432.6 km/h) mph on the A5 Autobahn between the German cities of Frankfurt and Darmstadt in 1938.
The latest in a series of flamboyant concepts conceived under the guidance of Mercedes-Benz design boss Gorden Wagener, the Electric Silver Arrow is to act as a one-off figurehead for the company’s new EQ sub-brand, with an electric drivetrain conceived to provide performance comparable to the earlier W125.
The Electric Silver Arrow will showcase a new, performance-based electric drivetrain boasting more power and greater battery capacity as the earlier all-wheel-drive SLS E-Cell, whose four electric motors produce a combined 740 hp and 60 kWh of electrical energy delivered by a lithium-ion battery.
Officials at Mercedes-Benz’s R&D center near here suggest the new driveline hints at how the automaker’s AMG performance division plans to ramp up the performance of the upcoming range of EQ-badged EVs, headed by the EQ C SUV due to make its world debut in September at the Paris auto show.
Stylistically, the new single-seater concept draws on the wind-cheating shape of Mercedes-Benz’s celebrated stromlinie cars with a long, sweeping hood, prominent wheel arches and a cabin set well back within the wheelbase.
The look has been updated with elements from the automaker’s contemporary Formula 1 cars, as alluded to within the new sculpture by a fin mounted along the center line at the rear to aid stability.
The combination of fuller forms at the front of the new concept and more futuristic treatment of the rear of the sculpture created to preview the Electric Silver Arrow 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 transformation also is to be previewed in the interior of the upcoming Mercedes-Benz concept car, which is rumored to include functions from the automaker’s new touchscreen MBUX user-interface system as recently introduced to the fourth-generation A-Class.