At Pebble Beach in California, Mercedes-Benz is unveiling the Vision EQ Silver Arrow show car during Monterey Car Week, which is being held from 18 to 26 August 2018. The event attracts car aficionados and collectors from all over the world. The one-seater vehicle is also an homage to the successful record-breaking W 125 car from 1937. The paintwork in alubeam silver is reminiscent of the historic Silver Arrows which, for weight reasons, did not have a white paint layer.
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. 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 exterior: sporty silhouette
With its clear, seamless design, the design idiom of the Vision EQ Silver Arrow is a brand-specific embodiment of the design philosophy of Sensual Purity. The streamlined silhouette of the approximately 5.3-metre long and approximately one metre shallow one-seater vehicle is slender yet sensuous.
The show car's body structure is made of carbon fibre. The multiple layers of paintwork in alubeam silver appear like liquid metal over the top. This concept represents the design polar opposites of "hot" and "cold". Functional attachment parts made of carbon fibre such as the front splitter epitomise the cool and rational aspect of this philosophy. The same applies to the front trim designed as a display, as well as the continuous lighting strip at the front. The side skirts also feature a lighting strip and the large, recessed EQ lettering in front of the rear wheels is illuminated blue as is characteristic of the brand.
Other highlights include the driver's cockpit, which can be folded forwards, and the partially free-standing multi-spoke wheels. The 168 spokes per wheel are made of lightweight aluminium and are painted a rose gold colour as is typical for EQ.
Offering exceptional traction and correspondingly fast acceleration, the Vision EQ Silver Arrow has slick 255/25 R 24 tyres at the front and 305/25 R 26 tyres at the rear. Attesting to the attention to detail, tyre partner Pirelli has helped to realise a star pattern on the tread.
Interior: between tradition and modernity
The interior of the Vision EQ Silver Arrow represents the values of Progressive Luxury. The design idiom combines timeless aesthetic appeal with futuristic visions.
When the driver's cockpit is folded forwards, it provides a view of the surprisingly wide interior. A contrast brings it to life: On the one hand, it uses traditional, high-quality materials. These include saddle brown genuine leather on the seat and steering wheel, polished aluminium throughout the interior and solid walnut with darker coniferous wood pinstripes on the floor. On the other hand, modern, high-tech solutions such as the large projection surface for the panoramic screen and innovative user experience solutions such as the virtual race option represent the EQ's typically visionary character. This contrast is an intentional merging of past and future.
The sitting surface and backrest have an unusual pattern which is aligned with the seat contour: Stars have been stitched in with the help of laser engraving. AIRSCARF neck-level heating is integrated into the seat. A four-point seatbelt inspired by motorsport holds the driver securely in place. The pedals can be adapted to the driver's specific stature, with a controller located on the seat for adjusting the pedals.
To match the exterior paint finish in alubeam silver, the side walls of the interior are covered in a luxurious, grey suede.
Emission-free drive system
The Vision EQ Silver Arrow is conceived as an electric vehicle. This soundless Silver Arrow has an output of 550 kW (750 hp). The thin rechargeable battery in the underbody has a useable capacity of approx. 80 kWh and enables a calculated range of over 400 km according to the WLTP. Side air vents help to cool the battery.
The inspiration: the world record-breaking vehicle from 1937
The role model for the Vision EQ Silver Arrow is the W 125 twelve-cylinder, record-breaking car which Mercedes-Benz built in 1937 on the basis of the Grand Prix racing car.
For the new body in 1937, Mercedes-Benz was inspired greatly by the aviation industry: Examples include the recommendation from the development departments of the aircraft factories of Ernst Heinkel and Willy Messerschmitt to shorten the front overhang and to make the front more rounded. The front was also extended further down and ended more steeply at the tip. As desired, this reduced lift on the front axle. A longer and more strongly raised rear reduced lift on the rear axle. One striking feature – and inspiration for the designers of the Vision EQ Silver Arrow – was the round cockpit glazing modelled on a drop of water in terms of outline and cross-section.
With it, Rudolf Caracciola achieved 432.7 km/h on the A5 autobahn between Frankfurt and Darmstadt based on the average speed travelling there and back. This speed record on public roads stood until November 2017.