Mercedes-Benz wants to bring the vision of James Cameron's hit movie, Avatar, to the road. Drawing from the movie's key plot points – like the connection between man, machine, and nature, as well as the dream of a society where the trio lives together in perfect symbiosis – the German manufacturer today pulled the cover off of the Vision AVTR concept at CES.
The Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR concept (short for, Advanced Vehicle Transformation) draws heavy influence from the original Avatar film. Similar to the Na'vi people and their connection to the flying Banshee (remember?), the Vision AVTR acts as a "living organism" that connects with its users and allows them to feel the world around them.
Place your hand on the central controller and the vehicle reads your pulse. The massive central screen, meanwhile, lets you virtually travel to a distant land – be it the world of Pandora or somewhere here on Earth. Lighting and styling elements inside mimic the Na'vi homes and the leaf hammocks where they sleep. And the seats, dash, and floorboard all come from new recycled materials like "Dinamca" faux leather and "Karoon," which is wood sustainably harvested from roots found in the Amazon rainforest. And as you might have noticed, there is no steering wheel.
The exterior of the Vision AVTR concept uses a low-slung, four-door sports car design. But it also attempts to mimic the breathing and movement of creatures native to Pandora, like the Banshee. A display of 33 multi-functional flaps in the rear of the car move in synchronisation, aiding with aerodynamics while on road. Pulsing lights adorn the front fascia and rear, and even the illuminated, lightweight wheels look like Wood Sprites, says Mercedes exterior designers.
Gallery: Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR Concept
Mercedes-Benz envisions a world of organic battery technology made of recyclable material. The Vision AVTR concept's 110 kilowatt-hour battery pack uses a graphene-based organic cell chemistry, which is completely free of rare Earth metals. Granted, this is a far-flung, futuristic concept – but Mercedes says the Vision AVTR produces 470 bhp (350 kilowatts) and offers an estimated driving range of up to 435 miles (700 kilometres). It also offers sideways up to 30 degrees in a so-called "crab movement" for maximum mobility.