Stealing the show at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance—where the most passionate (and wealthiest) car aficionados and collectors from around the world converge every year to judge, sell and generally talk all things automotive—takes something truly special. Mercedes-Benz delivered exactly that in the shape of the out-of-this-world Vision EQ Silver Arrow.
The German firm had teased this new concept car with a sculpture a few weeks back, but the actual vehicle has only now been allowed to face the public. And boy, is it a stunner! Measuring 5.3m long and only a meter tall, this modern Silver Arrow looks like a futuristic fighter jet with wheels. Just like most combat aircraft, it is also a single-seater, but that’s where the similarities end. The beautiful machine you see pictured here takes its inspiration not from the air but from a very fast ground vehicle, the 1937 W125 race car.
Back in the day, the W125 Rekordwagen managed to accelerate up to 432.7km/h, a public-road speed record that lasted for a long, long time. And now, its grandson in spirit and color is taking up the torch to carry it into the future. Instead of using a supercharged straight-eight, however, the Vision EQ Silver Arrow makes use of an electric drivetrain that features an 80kWh battery and produces up to 750hp. The range has been given as 400km, and the top speed is estimated to be somewhere around the 400km/h mark.
Much about this showpiece vehicle revolves around the design language used to pen it, which Mercedes refers to as progressive luxury and sensual purity. We could throw all the worn-out PR clichés at you, but the car really does speak for itself. You don’t need a marketing person to tell you that it combines elements from the past and the future, with flowing lines and smooth curves capturing the eye like few recent concept cars have managed to do. And the cutting-edge design doesn’t stop there.
In the cockpit, which is open to the elements and has a forward-folding top section to allow for easy entry and exit, the lone driver is surrounded by technology that starts with a touchscreen in the center of the steering wheel, on which various driving programs and even different sounds can be selected. Anyone bored with the spaceship-like EV silence can make the car sound like an AMG V8 or a Formula 1 racer at the press of a button. The real kicker is the panoramic screen that wraps around the driver. On it, a 3D image of the surrounding area can be projected, and the driver can even take part in a “race” against other Silver Arrows by having a virtual raceway superimposed over the real road—with ghost cars placed on it for him to chase. It’s like real-life Gran Turismo.
While being able to race virtual opponents from the cockpit of a real car is a bit gimmicky, the underlying message of the Vision EQ Silver Arrow is quite real. This gorgeous automobile that rolls on giant 24- and 26-inch wheels is a glimpse into the future of Mercedes-Benz. We seriously hope that the next supercar from the brand will look very much like this—or, at the very least, that many elements and ideas from it will find their way into production cars eventually. The future is not only electric, it’s also bloody dazzling.