It's a good year if you like single-seat electric cars. Three such concepts were taken to Pebble Beach: Infiniti had its prototype 10, a development of the more retro prototype 9 from last year, while Audi's PB18 e-throne put a more futuristic spin on the idea. Mercedes's car took another thanks, but was no less striking for it.
Due to low and threatening as a hammerhead shark, EQ Silver Arrow falls back into the automaker's racing history. In particular, inspiration comes from the 1937 W 125 twelve cylinder, a race car that still looks modern today – there was no shortage of people at Pebble Beach who ask "is that the concept?" On the Mercedes screen. It lent itself liberally from the aviation industry and set an average public road connection that was until November 201
5.3 meters long, EQ Silver Arrow promises even more speed. The carbon fiber body is the style Flash Gordon meets the Cylon warrior, with winding curves running around the wheels, but provides many holes that make it possible to see the custom Pirelli rubber – with its unique star spray.
In fact, much of the car's charm is in the details. EQ Silver Arrow shares some of the EQ elements we've seen before, as the illuminated parts of the grill – here lies a narrow wedge low, close to the ground – but also introduces new features. The amazing wheels, with their partial covers, are probably the most attentive grip.
Each consists of 168 aluminum spikes, painted rose gold and racing-style central hubs. From the hub appears, the half-tulip-like cover, with the wheel itself rotating behind it. The way the light shifts and reflects on rose gold and silver is undoubtedly one of the most charming elements in the whole concept.
The cabin continues attention to detail. If the exterior of the car is a retro-futuristic rocket, the interior is spacecraft that meets speedboat. Alcantara strikes against pinstriped walnut trees, where the single seat – trimmed in saddle brown leather – is built-in. Gleaming chrome-finish aluminum picks out racing harness and the minimalist controls.
Things get more technical under the canopy. Where Mercedes designers have used the steering wheel as a main route for interaction with the car, with a touchscreen built in the center of the rectangular steering wheel. Behind it's the projection panel, transparent so that graphics can be put on the road – or race track forward – including giving drivers a "ghost" lead car to demonstrate the perfect line around the course.
A little under the canopy, just the tip of your head that pops up from the ceiling, you have no power to call. Mercedes-Benz plans a 738 horsepower all-electric drive for the racers, powered by an 80 kWh battery melted into the car's underbody. Like Audi, Mercedes is not too outlandish with propulsion plans. 738 hp can sound like much, but it – and EQ Silver Arrows about 250 miles of range – are incredibly possible given the automaker's future EV technology.
The first production vehicle for sports that does not look as striking or is as impractical as this Pebble Beach concept, the mind. Instead, as Mercedes's teaser indicates today, it will be a far more family-friendly design. Finally, there will be a number of different models – extending SUVs through to more performance-focused options – under the new EQ brand. Figure on niceties like DC-fast charging, which will deliver 60+ miles of charge in about 10 minutes.
The first production EQ car will be revealed on 4 September. As for the EQ Silver Arrow, it will probably end up in the Mercedes Museum as another milestone on its way to a major electrified shake-up for one of the car industry's oldest marques.