Brand New Electric Mercedes Supercar Concept
June 17, 2023 / By Zunair Tahir / Automotive News
A “progressive interpretation of a ’70s brand icon,” the stunning new Mercedes-Benz Vision One-Eleven concept is a remarkable vehicle.
The new two-seat hypercar pays one-off homage to the company’s experimental C111, of which 16 examples were produced over two generations for various test and development programs during the late 1960s and early 1970s. It features a dramatic monolithic exterior design, gullwing doors, and a flamboyant cockpit with silver upholstery.
The Vision One-Eleven also offers hints to the EV drivetrain developments that Mercedes has earmarked for its upcoming electric sports cars. It uses two rear-mounted axial-flux electric motors from British company Yasa and a battery with liquid-cooled cylindrical cells and novel cell chemistry developed for use by Mercedes-AMG’s UK-based Formula 1 division.
The German manufacturer says its most recent design-driven idea has the potential to “take electric mobility to a new level of performance and efficiency” despite without making any specific power or range claims.
“The Mercedes-Benz Vision One-Eleven explores new paths for the future of performance,” stated chief technology officer Markus Schäfer. It has a powerful output akin to that in motorsport.
One-Eleven’s style mixes sleek body shapes with a flush-fitting glass canopy and a number of cutting-edge aerodynamic features and accents that strongly borrow from the C111 series.
The low-set front end is designed to resemble the earlier prototypes. It has a bluff nose section with two spherical driving lamps integrated inside of it, as well as a pixelated grille that is highlighted by a sizable black carbon fibre splitter.
The One-Eleven’s explicit focus on aerodynamic efficiency is further evidenced at the rear by the three air vents that are located in each of the front corners and the twin vents that are located in front of the windscreen, which is sharply slanted at an angle of 70 degrees and continues back to form the front portion of the roof.
Wide carbon fibre sills incorporated into the wheelbase, along with wind-cheating ‘blade’ components, direct cooling air in the direction of the engines towards the back. Behind the doors, there are additional vents as well as a large back window.
The prominently curved side panels, which are integrated into the long gullwing doors and lift high to provide easy access to the interior, contrast sharply with the smooth surface of the car’s body. These forms also include heavily swollen wheel arches, which house 275/35-profile front and 315/30-profile 22-inch wheels.
Gorden Wagener, chief design officer of Mercedes, compared the 4600mm-long supercar’s arching shape to the one-bow styling of the EQE and EQS electric saloons that are now on the road.
“The element of surprise comes from its clean, purist and, at the same time, extremely muscular proportions,” the man stated. The two chairs’ squabs are built into the floor within. The seatbacks, leather-bound steering wheel, and pedals can all be adjusted so that the driver may choose a comfortable driving position akin to that of the Mercedes-AMG One hypercar, which is powered by an F1 engine.
The dashboard’s brushed aluminium rim incorporates the pixelated design from the front and rear, and a central touchscreen display that runs Mercedes’ most recent MBUX software and can be expanded with augmented reality features houses the driver information.
The small electric motor compartment in the back of the vehicle also makes room for a sizable baggage shelf, suggesting the possible duality of future AMG EV flagships.
Mercedes and Yasa are developing axial-flux motors for mass manufacturing. Because of their thin shape, they not only offer more power and torque density than current radial-flux motors but also significant packing advantages.
According to Yasa, the radial-flux motors used by Mercedes in its current range of EQ EVs weigh barely one-third as much as the axial-flux motors.
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