Mercedes-Benz Electric Silver Arrow concept previews EQ flagship

Mercedes-Benz has previewed the bold lines and exaggerated proportions of a new electric-powered concept car that’s set to be revealed at the upcoming 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance with the unveiling of a sculpture of the spectacularly styled single-seater.

Developed under the internal working name Aesthetics Progressive Luxury, the new Mercedes concept has been inspired by the German car maker’s dramatic streamlined cars from the 1930s, including the W25 Avus and the aeroplane-engined T80 and W125  – the latter of which was driven by Rudolf Caracciola to a record-breaking flying mile average speed of 268.7mph on the A5 autobahn between Frankfurt and Darmstadt in 1938.

The latest in a series of highly flamboyant concepts conceived under the guidance of Mercedes-Benz design boss Gorden Wagener, the Aesthetics Progressive Luxury will be a one-off figurehead for the company’s new EQ sub-brand, with an electric powertrain that has been conceived to provide performance comparable to that of the earlier W125, according to company officials.

Autocar understands the Aesthetics Progressive Luxury is set to showcase a new performance-based powertrain with more power and greater battery capacity than the earlier four-wheel-drive SLS E-Cell. That car’s four electric motors produced a combined 740bhp and the lithium ion battery delivered 60kWh of energy.

Next Mercedes-Benz GLE interior previewed in new sketches

Officials at Mercedes’ R&D centre on the outskirts of Stuttgart suggest the new powertrain provides hints at how AMG is planning to ramp up the performance of the company’s upcoming range of EQ-badged electric cars, headed by the EQ C SUV, which is due to make its world debut at the Paris motor show in September.

Stylistically, the concept draws on the wind-cheating shape of Mercedes’ celebrated streamliners with a long, sweeping bonnet, prominent wheel arches and a cabin set well back within the wheelbase. However, the look has been updated with elements from the company’s contemporary F1 cars, as alluded to within the new sculpture by a fin mounted along the centre line at the rear as a measure to aid stability.

The combination of fuller forms at the front of the new concept and the more futuristic treatment of the rear of the sculpture is meant to convey the underlying trend of digital transformation, according to Wagener.

“Digital transformation, in particular, presents new challenges for us designers. We are translating intelligent technology into an emotional overall experience,” he says.

This so-called digital transformation is also set to be previewed in the interior of the concept, which is rumoured to include functions from the company’s new touchscreen-based MBUX user interface system, as recently introduced on the fourth-generation A-Class.

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