Mercedes EQ Silver Arrow concept unveiled

Retro-inspired racer makes global debut; gets 550kW and advanced pure-electric powertrain

Mercedes-Benz has pulled the drapes off a concept car that previews a performance flagship for its fledgling pure-electric EQ brand at the Pebble Beach Concours d-Elegance in California.

The new EQ Silver Arrow concept is claimed to be a futuristic take on the legendary Mercedes W125 Grand Prix racing car that competed back in 1937.

The famed W125 not only won the European Championship, but set a land speed record when it was clocked at an incredible 432.7km/h on public roads in November 1937.

Its spiritual successor swaps the old racer’s V12 for an advanced pure-electric powertrain that’s said to combine a thin 80kWh battery pack feeding power to electric motors that, in total, generates more than 550kW.

Despite the huge power output, the German car-maker claims the EQ Silver Arrow can cover around 400km between charges.

Recapturing the original’s streamlined shape, the concept pays homage to the W125 by sharing its bubble-shaped cockpit, long bonnet and a rear vertical tailfin with the pre-war racer.

The modern take on a streamliner is said to come with advanced air-bending that incorporates a nose with a carbon-fibre front splitter and a full-width LED light bar.

Featuring ‘EQ’ badges where the racer’s exhaust would have been placed, the EQ Silver Arrow gets a huge fixed rear diffuser and two active rear spoilers that can act to maximise downforce, minimise drag or work as an airbrake.

In typical concept car style, the Silver Arrow rides on large 24-inch rims up front and larger-still 26-inch wheels at the rear, each featuring 168 spokes and smooth aero blades.

It’s clothed in lightweight carbon-fibre, but Mercedes hasn’t revealed how light its flagship EQ is, although the single-seat cockpit hints at pure a motorsport pedigree with its four-point harness.

Some old-meets-new luxuries introduced to the interior include Mercedes Airscarf neck blowers, saddle-brown leather seats and a pinstripe wooden floor.

Ahead of the exposed driver, a larger infotainment panoramic screen is said to incorporate the most up-to-date augmented technology capable of projecting relevant information onto the screen.

Helping the driver access the driving modes, a central touch-screen has been mounted on the steering wheel.

According to the German car-maker, the driver can not only toggle through the different modes but also configure the Silver Arrow to sound like either one of its current F1 cars or the Mercedes-AMG GTR.

But for those in the market for a pure-electric retro racer prepare yourself for disappointment.

The EQ Silver Arrow isn’t expected to make it into production. Instead, it will influence the 10 EQ-branded models being readied by the Mercedes-Benz EV sub-brand, all of which will be on sale by 2022.

The first to arrive early next year will be the EQ C mid-size SUV, which is set to rival the Tesla Model X, BMW’s forthcoming iX3, Audi’s upcoming e-tron and the Jaguar I-PACE that arrives in November.

(motoring.com.au, http://bit.ly/2ocE5Is)

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