Could we have imagined what our off-roaders would look like today, 13 years ago? Well, it might look overly futuristic to us now, but the Los Angeles Design Challenge of 2012 revealed a possible concept for the 4×4 of the future.
This design study demonstrated how the lines and character of the legendary Geländewagen may be interpreted in the year 2025. The Ener-G-Force is purely a concept, but it was designed by the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studio themselves in California. A 1:1 scale model was built to illustrate what the iconic G-Wagon could possibly look like in years to come. It’s hard to imagine that the 1970s design will ever change, and there’s no arguing the rendering by the California studio is as striking as it is polarizing.
According to Mercedes-Benz:
“all surfaces are designed to express intesity and tension … Like the G-Class, the Ener-G-Force sports a front with an expressive radiator grille that incorporates the headlamps … LEDs in the headlamps form lamp units in the shape of a G … The mounted roof distinctive to the G-Class and the tripartite glass area also cite the fundamental genes of the classic off-roader … but represent a clear step forward.”
Back to basics … with some futuristic tech
The wheels are turned by four wheel-hub motors – much like the first hybrid, a Porsche, was – and the output for each wheel is adapted to the terrain it’s on. A system called “Terra-Scan” assists with this by scanning 360 degrees around the vehicle with a topographical scanner. Results are used to adjust the suspension for the best traction on the surface the vehicle “sees” around itself.
The Los Angeles Design Challenge
A vehicle design challenge, the quest is for the “Highway Patrol Vehicle” of 2025 – a futuristic design with practical considerations suited to the job of monitoring crowded roads, cuiding traffic in what will be an even more densely populated city and being able to reach all destinations.
Anticipating times ahead
It’s an environmentally friendly design on top of that, with green-car characteristics a large part of the mandate for a concept vehicle of this caliber. it stores recylced water in tanks on the roof and can, according to Mercedes-Benz, transfer this water to a “hydro-tech converter” which converts natural resources into hydrogen for operating the fuel cells. It emits water only, and has an impressive 800 kilometre range. The side of the vehicle is lit up, and this illumination changes in colour to indicate the operating and charge status of the energy packs.