Perhaps because it was inspired by the blockbuster "Avatar".
Not on all concept cars are alike. Some are clearly intended for production. Some are simple design studies. Others, however, are a combination of potential future designs and advanced technologies. The Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR falls under the latter category.
Making its official debut at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is a concept vehicle the German automaker dreams of producing one day. Perhaps those dreams aren't so far away. Mercedes has joined forces with the team behind James Cameron's blockbuster science fiction movie "Avatar" to create this new concept, a bold four-seater featuring organic design, active aerodynamics, a hologram-based human-machine interface, and advanced interior materials and an all-electric drivetrain. It's very different from any current Mercedes vehicle, even the all-electric EQC.
The Vision AVTR (Advanced Vehicle Transformation) was revealed on stage by Mercedes Chairman Ola Kallenius, James Cameron, and members of the Avatar team including producer Jon Landau and production designer Ben Proctor. All three played key roles in creating the concept.
Although it doesn't preview an upcoming model, the Vision AVTR is all about displaying combined ideas from designers, engineers, and futurists. The concept acts as a "living organism" capable of connecting with its users and allowing them to feel the world around them. For example, simply placing your hand on the central controller and vehicle can read your pulse. There's also a huge central screen capable of letting you virtually travel to a faraway land. You know, like Avatar's Pandora or someplace closer here on Earth.
The interior lighting and styling elements are inspired by the Na'vi species' homes and the leaf hammocks where they sleep. The seats, dashboard, and floorboard are made from recycled materials, such as "Dinamca" faux leather and "Karoon," a type of wood sustainably harvested from roots from the Amazon rainforest. And no, there is no steering wheel. The exterior design is also organically inspired.
Though it has four-door coupe styling, the idea is that it mimics breathing and the movement of creatures, like the Banshee of Pandora. It's all quite flamboyant, to say the least. There are 33 individual "bionic flaps" reminiscent of reptiles that deploy from the rear bodywork to alter aerodynamics. Instead of regular tires there are spherical tires for increased maneuverability and decreased impact on surroundings. There are also pulsing lights on the front fascia and rear. Mercedes says it envisions a world of organic battery technology made of recyclable materials, and the Vision AVTR is no exception. Its 110 kWh battery pack utilizes graphene-based organic cell chemistry completely free of rare Earth metals.
All told, the concept has 470 horsepower and an estimated driving range of up to 435 miles. The concept can also move sideways at approximately a 30-degree angle with its "crab movement" which creates maximum agility and mobility.