If you’re tired of driving around in one of those metro-sexual SUVs produced by Volvo and Lexus, then Mercedes-Benz might have the concept you’ve been yearning for. And just to make sure those Friends-of-the-Earth neighbours recognise you for the Baby-Seal-slaughtering, planet-destroying villain that you are, they’ve got straight to the point with its name – the Ener-G-Force.
The Ener-G-Force design study was penned by Mercedes’ Advanced Design Studio in Carlsbad, California as part of a quest to imagine the “Highway Patrol Vehicle of 2025.”
The design goals set by the team were for a car which must be able to reach anywhere quickly and reliably (both on and off-road) and to do so in an environmentally friendly way using alternative energy sources. Mercedes believe that green-car characteristics and off-road capabilities will be among the fundamental virtues of a police car in 2025.
Gorden Wagener, Director of Design at Mercedes-Benz Cars: “The Ener-G-Force is the vision of an off-roader that, while reflecting tomorrow’s adventures, also invokes the genes of the Mercedes-Benz off-road icon, the G model. Modern and cool, it could also be a clue about a new beginning for the off-road design idiom of Mercedes-Benz.”
Even though, for the moment, the Ener-G-Force is pure science fiction, the designers have built a full-scale civilian version to show just how the G-Class might look far into the future, albeit with a higher shoulder line and scaled-down glass areas.
You’ll be pleased to hear that the Ener-G-Force is just as practical to use as it’s terrifying to look at, with a pull-out tool box disguised as the spare wheel carrier, and a “hydro-tech converter” which converts recycled water stored in tanks on the roof into hydrogen, for use in its fuel cells.
The storage units for the electricity generated in this process are housed in the car’s side skirts, providing an operating range of around 500 miles (800 km) with the only emissions being pure water.
Four wheel-hub motors are used to transmit power to the ground, with each wheel’s torque adapted precisely to the terrain by high-performance electronic control units.
A “Terra-Scan” 360-degree topography scanner on the roof permanently scans the surroundings and uses the results to adjust the spring and damping rates as well as other suspension parameters for maximum traction on the respective surface – regardless of the surface.
It’s an energy efficient, practical and futuristic vehicle which Mercedes say can be linked directly with the DNA of its classic 1979 off-roader. Look out for this on the streets of Mega-City One towards the end of the next decade.