The name of the groundbreaking concept vehicle stands not only for the close collaboration in developing the show car together with the AVATAR team but also for ADVANCED VEHICLE TRANSFORMATION. This concept vehicle embodies the vision of Mercedes-Benz designers, engineers and trend researchers for mobility in the distant future.
With its four high-performance and near-wheel-built electric motors, the VISION AVTR embodies a particularly agile implementation of the vision of a dynamic luxury saloon. With a combined engine power of more than 350 kW, the VISION AVTR sets a new benchmark for EQ Power. Thanks to the intelligent and fully variable torque distribution, the power of the four fully individually controllable motors is not only managed in the best possible way in terms of driving dynamics, but above all in a highly efficient manner. The innovative all-wheel drive with torque vectoring enables completely new freedoms and guarantees driving dynamics at the highest level while at the same time providing the best possible active safety. This means that each wheel can be driven separately and depending on the driving situation. Due to the possibility to drive the front and rear axles simultaneously or in opposite ways, the VISION AVTR can move sideways by approx. 30 degrees, in contrast to conventional vehicles. The so-called “crab movement” gives the concept vehicle a reptile-like appearance even in its movement.
The VISION AVTR was designed in line with its innovative electric drive. This is based on a particularly powerful and compact high-voltage battery. For the first time, the revolutionary battery technology is based on graphene-based organic cell chemistry and thus completely eliminates rare, toxic and expensive earths such as metals. Electromobility thus becomes independent of fossil resources. An absolute revolution is also the recyclability by composting, which is 100% recyclable due to the materiality. As a result, Mercedes-Benz underlines the high relevance of a future circular economy in the raw materials sector.
In addition to an exponentially high energy density – compared to today’s battery systems with up to 1,200 Wh/litre – the technology also impresses with its exceptional fast charging capability via automated, conductive charging technology. This means that the battery will be fully recharging in less than 15 minutes. The innovative technology also allows maximum flexibility with regard to the construction space: with a local minimum of 94 millimetres, the battery adapts ideally to the shared space vehicle concept, thus maximising the multifunctional interior.
With a capacity of around 110 kWh, the VISION AVTR enables an electric range of more than 700 kilometres. By recuperating during roll-out and braking, the high-voltage battery can be recharged with a higher efficiency than established systems while driving and thus contributes to the high energy efficiency of the overall system.
At Mercedes-Benz, the consideration of efficiency goes far beyond the drive concept, because with increasing digitalisation, the performance of the large number of so-called secondary consumers also comes into focus – along with their efficient energy supply, without negatively affecting the drive power of the vehicle itself. Energy consumption per computing operation is already a key target in the development of new computer chips. This trend will continue in the coming years with the growth of sensors and artificial intelligence in the automotive industry. The neuro-inspired approach of the VISION AVTR, including so-called neuromorphic hardware, promises to minimise the energy requirements of sensors, chips and other components to a few watts. Their energy supply is provided by the cached current of the integrated solar plates on the back of the VISION AVTR. The 33 multi-directionally movable surface elements act as “bionic flaps”.
For the first time, Mercedes-Benz has worked with a completely new design approach in the design of the VISION AVTR. The holistic concept combines the design disciplines interior, exterior and UX from the first sketch. Man and human perception are the starting point of a design process from the inside out. The design process begins with the experience of the passengers and consciously focuses on the perception and needs of the passengers. The goal was to create a car that prolongs the perception of its passengers. It was also a matter of creating an immersive experience space in which passengers connect with each other, with the vehicle and the surrounding area in a unique way.
Large areas such as the back shell of the seat and the sky are decorated with a colour-changing fabric inspired by the colour world of the sea. Depending on the light, the textile changes its colour from dark blue to a subtle light blue. These seats are refined by the vegan DINAMICA® leather. DINAMICA® is the first and only microfibre that guarantees environmental sustainability throughout the entire production cycle.
It is recycled material made from old clothing, flags and PET plastic bottles. During production, attention is paid to low pollutant emissions and low energy consumption. Thanks to its versatility, maximum performance and high quality, DINAMICA® is suitable for use in luxurious car interiors. It also guarantees slip resistance for passengers on the seats. The softness of the material gives the occupants a “welcome home” feeling.
The VISION AVTR already responds to the approach of the passengers by visualising the energy and information flow of the environment with digital neurons that flow through the grille through the wheels to the rear area. The first interaction in the interior between man and vehicle happens completely intuitively via the control unit: by placing the hand on the centre console, the interior comes to life and the vehicle recognises the driver by his breathing. This is made visible on the instrument panel and on the user’s hand. The VISION AVTR thus establishes a biometric connection with the driver and increases his awareness of the environment. The digital neurons flow from the interior into the exterior and visualise the flow of energy and information. For example, when driving, the neurons flow over the outside of the vehicle. When changing direction, the energy flows to the corresponding side of the vehicle.
The visual connection between passengers and the outside world is created by the curved display module, which replaces a conventional dashboard. The outside world around the vehicle and the surrounding area is shown in real-time 3D graphics and at the same time shows what is happening on the road in front of the vehicle. Combined with energy lines, these detailed real-time images bring the interior to life and allow passengers to discover and interact with the environment in a natural way with different views of the outside world. Three wonders of nature – the Huangshan Mountains of China, the 115-metre-high Hyperion Tree found in the United States and the pink salt Lake Hillier from Australia – can be explored in detail. Passengers become aware of various forces of nature that are not normally visible to the human eye, such as magnetic fields, bioenergy or ultraviolet light.
When the boundaries between vehicle and living beings are lifted, Mercedes-Benz combines luxury and sustainability and works to make the vehicles as resource-saving as possible. With the VISION AVTR, the brand is now showing how a vehicle can blend harmoniously into its environment and communicate with it. In the ecosystem of the future, the ultimate luxury is the fusion of human and nature with the help of technology. The VISION AVTR is thus an example of sustainable luxury in the field of design. As soon as you get in, the car becomes an extension of your own body and a tool to discover the environment much as in the film humans can use avatars to extend and expand their abilities.