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The Mercedes Vision AVTR is definitely not the next S-Class

Team behind the Avatar movie helped Merc create its CES concept

In perhaps the unlikeliest partnership since Land Rover’s design boss teamed up with a swimwear company to release a waterproof three-piece suit, Mercedes has jumped into bed with the folks behind 2009’s Avatar and its many forthcoming sequels.

The ensuing car, revealed at CES in Las Vegas, “serves as an imaginative guide to a future in which our relationship with ourselves, nature and technology has changed”, says Merc futurologist Alexander Mankowsky.

The Vision AVTR (meaning ‘advanced vehicle transformation’) draws inspiration from nature – there are no straight lines, transparent doors and “bionic flaps”, inspired by creatures from the movie, which affect aerodynamics and supposedly allow the AVTR to communicate with its surroundings.

Then there are the spherical wheels, which mean the AVTR can move diagonally and skip over gassy surfaces without tearing them to shreds. Inside it’s all about the hologram-based HMI that projects menus into the palm of your hand. And of course there is no steering wheel – the car recognises you from your breathing and heartbeat.

Sustainable materials have been used in the car’s construction – from the wood and fabrics that trim the interior to the (theoretical) battery, which uses graphene-based organic cell chemistry and is thus free from toxic and expensive metals and therefore totally recyclable.


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