For the Tokyo motor show this year, Mercedes rolled out one of the strangest cars to wear the three pointed star since the half-track staff cars it built for Rommel’s desert campaign. Its Vision concept is more nightmare than sweet dreams.
Looking like a 1962 Chevy work van that got chopped and channelled by George Barris, the Mercedes Vision is a hybrid, but not in the usual sense. It has an electric motor and battery, but also features a hydrogen powered fuel cell to assist with forward progress. Does that sound weird? Wait till you step inside.
The Vision is intended to appeal to those citizens born since 1995 who can’t bear the thought of being separated from their cell phones and friends on social media for one nanosecond. The interior features an oval couch, where up to 5 Generation Z types can sit around and marvel at their collective wonderfulness. Once ensconced, apps, maps and displays emanating from the entertainment system are presented as three dimensional holograms within the interior space. How utterly way cool is that?
Outside, the gargoyle-like front fascia changes color to the beat of the music flooding the interior, so those poor souls excluded from the nonstop self-admiration going on inside can be envious. According to Ecomento, on those rare occasions when someone actually has to drive this thing, one section of the couch separates itself from the group and turns toward the front of the vehicle, where the steering wheel will be waiting after it undocks itself from its usual hiding place.
The rest of the time, the Vision will find its own way through urban congestion to whatever awesome destination the perennial partygoers prefer, then park itself autonomously. Presumably it will also be able to snap a couple hundred selfies for the denizens within to share with their coterie of close personal friends.
It is hard to imagine that Mercedes Benz would waste its time and resources to create this excrescence. The only way this vehicle can help meet the challenge of climate change is if it floats. Instead of calling it Vision, they should have called it Narcissus.