28.8.2018Mercedes Benz electrifies Pebble Beach
Mercedes Benz and Infiniti have both launched electric concepts at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, looking to classic designs of the past to inspire the next phase of car design, in the shape of the Vision EQ Silver Arrow and Prototype 10 respectively.
For an event that celebrates beautifully designed cars and has many of the world's most expensive classic models on display, Pebble Beach has certainly embraced the electric vehicle. Both Mercedes and Infiniti have unveiled new concepts that look to capture the imagination of car fans.
These models follow on from Audi's advanced PB18 e-tron concept, with Jaguar Classic's announcement that it will start building pure-electric E-Types tying both ends of the EV spectrum together nicely.
The Vision EQ Silver Arrow harks back to the Mercedes Benz Silver Arrows racing cars, the streamlined models that - alongside Auto Union's models - saw German machines dominated Grand Prix racing in the 1930s, and later 1950s.
Adding the EQ title to the name links the concept to Mercedes' forthcoming electric brand, with the first model - the EQC - due later this year. The design is very much looking at the record-breaking W 125 car from 1937 however, though with a rather more advanced take on aerodynamics than simply streamlining.
The 5.3 metre long model makes use of active aerodynamics and draws on modern developments in motorsport for downforce. Powering everything is a 550 kW system, with an electric motor on each axle, all driven by an 80 kWh battery for a range of more than 250 miles on the WLTP cycle.
Infiniti's showpiece follows on from the retro-themed Prototype 9 racer of last year's event, but decidedly more futuristic, and similar in theme to the Mercedes. Also featuring a one-person cabin, the Prototype 10 looks at future design cues, and gives a hint as to what some of the electric vehicles due to come from Infiniti will look like, with all new models from 2021 featuring electric powertrains.
Prototype 10 'evokes the spirit of early Californian speedsters' according to Infiniti, and acts to demonstrate the potential applications of the company's e-Power drivetrains. With the company developing a new modular platform with a flat floor, Infiniti will have greater freedom in terms of packaging vehicles, and also greater flexibility as to what electrified powertrains it can fit into its models.