The sleek shape is a homage to Mercedes’ record-breaking Grand Prix racer from the 1930s.
While this year’s Pebble Beach has been dominated by major supercar reveals such as the Bugatti Divo and Lamborghini Aventador SVJ, Infiniti’s striking Prototype 10 speedster concept was a standout show car. Not to be outdone, Mercedes has unveiled the retro-inspired Silver Arrow Concept, and it’s an absolute stunner. The aerodynamic design is a homage to the record-breaking Mercedes W125 Grand Prix racer driven by Rudolf Caracciola, who achieved a flying mile average speed of 268.7mph on the A5 autobahn between Frankfurt and Darmstadt in 1937 – a public road record that wasn't beaten until November 2017.
"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," said Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer at Daimler AG. "The Vision EQ Silver Arrow 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."
The sleek shape evokes the W125’s aerodynamic design and continues the automaker’s ‘Sensual Purity’ design philosophy. With seating for one, the EQ Silver Arrow Concept measures 17.3 feet long, while the body is made entirely of carbon fiber. It’s also finished in Alubeam Silver as a nod to the historic Silver Arrows race cars, which didn’t have a white paint layer to keep the weight down. A continuous lighting strip at the front connects the slender headlights, and the side skirts also feature a lighting strip running along the bottom of the car. EQ lettering in front of the rear wheels is illuminated in blue to represent Mercedes’ EQ electric sub-brand.
Partially covered slick 255/25 R 24 tires at the front and 305/25 R 26 tires at the rear offer exceptional grip and acceleration. There’s also an active rear spoiler that extends when necessary like the Project One. Unsurprisingly, the EQ Silver Arrow is fully electric. Paired with an 80 kWh battery, the electric motors deliver a combined output of 750 hp and a range of up to 248 miles.
Inside, the interior also merges the past with the future. Materials inspired by Mercedes’ historic race cars include saddle brown genuine leather on the seat and steering wheel, as well as polished aluminium throughout the interior and solid walnut with darker coniferous wood pinstripes on the floor. This is contrasted with futuristic tech, such as a panoramic screen that displays information in front of the driver.
For example, a 3D image of the surroundings is projected from behind or the screen can superimpose a virtual race track on the highway with ghost cars that you can race against. There’s also a touchscreen on the steering wheel that can be used to select different driving modes such as Comfort, Sport and Sport+. It can also be used to configure sound settings, enabling the driver to make the car sound like a current Formula 1 Silver Arrow or a V8-powered Mercedes-AMG if you don’t like driving in silence.
The EQ Silver Arrow may just be a show car, but it previews some of the design cues we can expect from future electrified Mercedes models such as the strip that connects the headlights. It's also easy to imagine the powertrain being used for a future Mercedes EQ halo car.