In Brief

Mercedes-Benz unveils futuristic concept car inspired by Avatar film

The concept vehicle has reptilian scales and moves ‘like a crab’

Mercedes-Benz have teamed up with James Cameron to create a concept car inspired by the Hollywood director’s film Avatar.

Unveiling the futuristic-looking new vehicle at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the German carmaker’s chief design officer Gordon Wagener said: “We didn’t want to create a car, we wanted to create something like a living organism.” 

The front and rear axles of the concept, called the Vision AVTR, can be driven in the same or opposite directions, which means the car can move sideways “like a crab” as well as backwards and forwards.

The wheels were inspired by the seeds of a special tree in Avatar, and there is no steering wheel because the vehicle is completely autonomous.

Meanwhile, the body is covered in reptilian-style scales that Mercedes have dubbed “bionic flaps” - which again “appear to be inspired more by the blockbuster film than real biology”, says Sky News.

Inspiriert von der Zukunft: Das Mercedes-Benz VISION AVTR // Inspired by the future: The Mercedes-Benz VISION AVTR

http://media.daimler.com

“The 33 bionic flaps on the back of the vehicle are reminiscent of scales from the dinosaur-like creatures from the film, and they move and breathe and live,” says Mercedes’ Steffen Kohl, director of advanced exterior design at Mercedes-Benz. 

“There is a universe of shapes and creatures from the film’s universe that provoked us when we thought about the vehicle’s design. The spiral repeating lines from the Na’vi reflect the illumination of the multifunctional control element in the centre console that allows human and machine to merge.” 

The Guardian’s film critic Stuart Heritage says the car has been designed “for reasons you could never hope to understand”, but notes that the concept forms part of the carmaker’s Ambition 2039 initiative, “which aims to make Mercedes ‘the most loved sustainable modern luxury automotive brand in the market’”.

And “whatever you think of the car – which will almost certainly be ‘urgh’, you have to admit it’s a canny way to ramp up publicity for next year’s Avatar sequel”, he adds.

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