Mercedes-Benz has revealed the Vision Tokyo concept vehicle at the Tokyo motor show. Described as a “mobile club lounge”, the car is also capable of driving autonomously.
“The Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo embodies the concept of an automotive lounge for a future generation of megacities. The purity and sensuality of the Vision Tokyo’s styling defines a new interpretation of modern luxury from Mercedes-Benz,” says Mercedes design boss, Gorden Wagener.
The five-seater’s bodyshell has been designed to allow the crash-protected integration of a fuel cell-powered electric drive system. A development of the same system that was featured in the recent F 015 Luxury in Motion showcar, this combines the on-board generation of electricity with a high-voltage battery that can be charged contactlessly via induction.
The electric hybrid system is claimed to deliver a total range of 609 miles, of which some 118 miles are courtesy of battery-powered driving and around 491 miles on the electricity produced in the fuel cell.
The car’s exterior is finished in monochrome Alubeam paintwork, with the side windows also screen-printed in the same colour. Additional surfaces and lines are illuminated in blue – among them the 26-inch wheels and the side skirts – providing colour highlights and indicating the concept car’s electric drive system.
Instead of a conventional windscreen, the Vision Tokyo features a continuous stretch of glass panelling, which the designers say has been inspired by the glazed cockpit of a powerboat.
As was the case with the AMG Vision Gran Turismo, the front headlamps are set well to either side and at an angle. The area across the front of the vehicle can be used to display a series of different lighting functions. If music is playing inside the vehicle the display will, for example, visualise a sound pattern, rather like a sound analyser. The rear window is set into a surrounding ring of red LED cubes, which gives it visual depth. Once again, the LED field can be put to functional use – as an indicator display or as part of the analyser function.
Passengers access the interior via the upward-swinging door on the left-hand side – ideal for the right-hand-drive traffic in Japan’s megacity. The interior features a large, oval-shaped couch instead of a conventional seating arrangement in rows.
Behind the passengers are large wraparound LED screens. The perforated seats are back-lit, while apps, maps and displays emanating from the entertainment system are presented as three-dimensional holograms within the interior space.
“The Vision Tokyo is a homage to the urban Generation Z, the cohort of people born since 1995 who have grown up with the new media. The role of the vehicle has changed for this global generation: it is no longer simply a means of getting around, but a digital, automobile companion. The Vision Tokyo takes things another step further: innovative algorithms allow it to evolve constantly; Deep Machine Learning and an intelligent Predictive Engine mean that, with each journey, it becomes more and more familiar with its occupants, their likes and preferences,” explain the designers.