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Revealed: Mercedes ‘Ener-G-Force’
Mercedes would have you believe this rather striking new concept car, the Ener-G-Force, is a friendly, cuddly, fluffy patrol vehicle that cares about your health, wellbeing and general safety.
Except it doesn’t. It looks like it belongs in a broken society hell-bent on destruction, akin to 1987’s RoboCop. An uncomfortable, apocalyptic future, then. Look closely at those lines: remind you of ED-209, RoboCop’s arch nemesis?
No surprise then, the Ener-G-Force came from California, where the Hollywood water is rich with imagination. It was built for the upcoming LA Motor Show’s annual ‘Design Challenge’, which this year asks the question of what a 2025 cop car would look like.Designers have to account for things like emissions, population growth, transport infrastructure and so forth, but it appears Mercedes has focused on the whole ‘scaring puny humans to death’ thing.
Merc’s scribblers have taken the genes of the venerable G-Class and imagined how it would transfer to the year 2025; a future which has determined the Ener-G-Force to have small windows to provide a “safe cocoon for officers”, emergency lights “that are impossible to ignore” (read: blindingly painful) and “gigantic wheels that guarantee the right of way even where no way exists”. Which basically means - in the words of the clumsy ED-209 - you have five seconds to comply…
So in essence, it’s a steroidal G-Class built for riots that can intimidate and off-road. But underneath the bruiser looks lies its cuddly heart, for mounted on the roof are specialised water tanks, which transfer recycled H2O to a “hydro-tech converter” turning it into hydrogen. This hydrogen is used to power the fuel cells, with electricity storage cells hiding in the side skirts. The wheels are fitted with motors, and power is adjusted individually according to the terrain.
Speaking of which, the Ener-G-Force comes equipped with a ‘Terra-Scan’ that permanently maps the road ahead. And probably, as in RoboCop, identify who is in ‘direct violation of Penal Code 1.13, Section 9’. The estimated range is 800km, which is a significant distance in which to mow down an entire battalion of pesky cyborgs.
Gordon Wagener, design director at Mercedes, says the Ener-G-Force “could also be a clue about a new beginning for the off-road design idiom of Mercedes-Benz”. Meaning this concept will soon be authorised to use physical force…