Hyundai aren't the only ones previewing future design and technology by modernising grand prix cars. Mercedes are next to use 1930s racing as inspiration for a new concept car
The up and coming Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance event in California is the perfect opportunity to show an intriguing concept car. As we all race toward a predominately electric future, Mercedes-Benz don’t want to forget about the past and so will reveal a new concept inspired by the legendary Silver Arrows.
The Silver Arrow name comes from the legendary Mercedes-Benz grand prix cars of the 50s. Their dominance lead to the press calling the cars ‘the silver arrows’ after their naked metallic bodywork. Even today’s Mercedes-AMG cars are often referred to by the same name as their ancestors. A new electric concept car brings the iconic design work of early 1930s racers into the 21st century.
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A sculpture foreshadowing the single-seater racer has been revealed, as has a design sketch done by Mercedes chief design officer Gorden Wagener. The cigar-shaped body has evolved to shroud the protruding wheels for greater aerodynamic efficiency (and perhaps road-legality) — something engineers of the 1930s didn’t need to consider.
There also appears be to a large dorsal fin located behind the cockpit, which is reminiscent of the extreme bodywork found on the one-off Mercedes-Benz T80. The T80 was a six-wheeled monster that was designed to break the land speed record in the late 30s. A 44.5-litre Daimler-Benz V12 engine gave this car over 3000bhp. World War 2 prevented the T80’s record run, but it did eventually clock 394mph in 1947.
Mercedes-Benz’s first high performance electric car was the SLS E-Cell of 2011. It is suggested that this new battery powered creation could be the forerunner for future battery powered supercars.
Infiniti are another manufacture who displayed a modern vision based on old grand prix car styling in the form of the Project 9. This is a trend we can get behind.
The Mercedes-Benz Electric Silver Arrow concept will be revealed in full at Pebble Beach. We’ll be there!