NAMES from Mercedes-Benz’s history don’t come much more illustrious than the two Rudolfs – Uhlenhaut and Caracciola. The pair of them respectively designed the W125 race car and then won the 1937 European Championship in it. What’s more Caracciola achieved an average speed of 432.7 km/h on the A5 autobahn between Frankfurt and Darmstadt in a streamliner version, a speed record on public roads that stood until late last year. This car has provided the inspiration for a quite stunning show car unveiled at Pebble Beach.
The EQ Silver Arrow Concept show car takes the elegant form of the W125 and teases and morphs it artfully, translating that design language from eight decades ago into something that’s modern but with a playful hint of steampunk about it.
The striking alubeam silver paintwork is reminiscent of the historic Silver Arrows racers which pared back weight by stripping off the traditional white paint layer. The cabin is finished in traditional materials like leather, brushed aluminium and solid walnut, but incorporates a fully digital dial pack comprising a curved panoramic screen with back projection, as well as a touchscreen integrated into the steering wheel.
"Over 80 years ago, the historic Silver Arrows demonstrated that Mercedes-Benz was a pioneer when it came to speed thanks, among other things, to their streamlined shape," says Gorden Wagener, chief design officer at Daimler AG. "The EQ Silver Arrow show car draws on that legacy. Intended for acceleration and driving pleasure, it embodies progressive luxury and provides an insight into the future of our design. As a result, the show car drives the design idiom of our new EQ product and technology brand to the top."
Were you to strip back the alubeam paint from the EQ, you’d find a carbonfibre weave beneath. The partially free-standing (and enormous) wheels are an intriguing design touch, and feature non-rotating hub caps and 168 rose-gold-painted aluminium spokes per wheel. The Pirelli tyres also incorporate a star pattern on the tread, in 26-inch diameter at the rear and 24-inches up front.
Power comes courtesy of a 550kW electric drivetrain. The underbody houses a thin 80kWh battery pack, endowing the EQ Silver Arrow with a range of over 400km according to the WLTP. Although not slated for any sort of production, the EQ Silver Arrow represents a showcase for Mercedes’ EQ family of electric vehicles, which has thus far comprised the Concept EQ coupe-styled SUV, unveiled at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, which will come to market next year as the Mercedes-Benz EQC.
This was followed by the Concept EQA compact car from the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. Also featured at that show was the Smart vision EQ fortwo – an electric and autonomous urban scoot with no steering wheel or pedals. Figure on a three year showfloor to showroom gestation and it’s clear that we won’t have to wait too long for Mercedes’ next generation of EVs. Even if you are rich and devoid of friends, don’t bank on landing an EQ Silver Arrow anytime soon though.
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