Mercedes-Benz has unveiled a forward-looking take on the legendary streamliners of its past in California, pulling back the sheet on the stunning Vision EQ Silver Arrow.
Obviously this isn't a production teaser. It's a nostalgic look at our electric future, with 550kW on tap from two electric motors mated with an 80kWh battery. Claimed range is 400km on the WLTP test cycle, although that's an estimate. Once again, this isn't a production car.
Given its inspiration, the streamlined shape of the Vision EQ Silver Arrow should come as no surprise. The body is made of carbon-fibre, finished in a colour dubbed Alubeam Silver, designed to look like liquid metal over the base structure.
There are carbon aerodynamic elements scattered around, including the ankle-breaking front splitter and side skirts, while there are plenty of blue highlights in keeping with other concepts from the Mercedes-Benz EQ stable. That giant rear wing extends at speed, and acts as an airbrake when required.
We'd argue the most arresting element of the exterior are the 24-inch front and 26-inch rear wheels. Each consists of 168 individual aluminium spokes, partially obscured by streamliner-inspired wheel spats. Wrapped in 255/25 front and 305/25 rear tyres with a bespoke tread pattern, they're designed to offer "exceptional traction and correspondingly fast acceleration".
The retro-futuristic theme continues behind the wheel, where Mercedes-Benz has wrapped the single seat and steering wheel in saddle brown leather. It's offset by polished aluminium highlights and solid walnut (with dark coniferous pinstripes, no less) trim around the cockpit, chosen to draw comparison with the W125.
On the more modern side of things, the driver is faced with a dual-screen setup – one on the steering wheel, and another in place of a traditional instrument binnacle. There's a virtual racetrack option, where the driver can follow an AI take on classic Silver Arrows racers, complete with guidance from a Virtual Race Coach.
You're even able to customise the car's sound, with a range of potential 'engine' notes including a current Formula 1 car or a Mercedes-AMG V8. As for how that'll correlate with the motor's speed, or indeed the road speed, remains to be seen – but we've no doubt there's a market for electric cars that sound like V8s.
"Over 80 years ago, the historic Silver Arrows demonstrated that Mercedes-Benz was a pioneer when it came to speed thanks, among other things, to their streamlined shape," says Gorden Wagener, chief design officer at Daimler.
"The Vision EQ Silver Arrow draws on that legacy. Intended for acceleration and driving pleasure, it embodies progressive luxury and provides an insight into the future of our design. As a result, the show car drives the design idiom of our new EQ product and technology brand to the top."