Wanted: the 2025 police car
The 2012 Los Angeles Design Challenge is looking far ahead in search of the “Highway Patrol Vehicle 2025”. Tomorrow’s guardians of the law will be faced with even fuller roads in use by electronically monitored and controlled traffic and a decidedly denser population. This new age will call for a new type of police car. Police cars will be required to reliably reach any conceivable location, on- or off-road, via the shortest route, while demonstrating extreme environment-friendliness thanks to alternative drives. Pronounced green car assets and off-road capabilities will thus be crucial attributes for a police car in 2025. The Vision Ener-G-Force which Mercedes-Benz is presenting as a design study in Los Angeles meets these requirements as an environment-friendly SUV and could support the police and other operational units in every corner of the world.
New off-road design idiom
“The Ener-G-Force is the vision of an off-roader that, while reflecting tomorrow’s adventures, also invokes the genes of the Mercedes-Benz off-road icon, the G model,” observes Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Mercedes-Benz Cars. “Modern and cool, it could also be a clue about a new beginning for the off-road design idiom of Mercedes-Benz”.
The small windows make the police car a safe cocoon for the law enforcers as they go about their dangerous daily work. Rotating beacons integrated into the roof make the car’s presence known, the striking front end commands respect, and the giant wheels guarantee the vehicle’s right of way, on or off the beaten track.
Pure, rendered science fiction
The Vision Ener-G-Force for the Los Angeles Design Challenge is pure, rendered science fiction, of course.
The idea of the all-terrain vehicle of the future nevertheless fascinated the designers at the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studio in Carlsbad, California to such an extent that they were prompted to develop the fiction of the police variant into a civil version, which they have even produced as a 1:1 model.
Radical new interpretation of the G-Class
Similarly to the “Highway Patrol Vehicle 2025”, the civil Vision Ener-G-Force also takes its essential design from the G-Class – the off-road icon whose uninterrupted success story extends back to the 1970s and reaches forward into the future with the present-day version of an SUV embodying contemporary design and technology. Like the police variant, the model representing the civil Vision Ener-G-Force is unmistakeably based on the G-Class, which has long been established as an automotive icon. It presents a radical new interpretation of this classic, however, looking far into the future. Key genes such as proportions and features have been adopted in their essence and refashioned in a new, high-tech guise as part of a clean concept for the future.
“Of course we wanted to take a clear step forward, but we also wanted the G’s characteristic features,” explains Vision Ener-G-Force designer Hubert Lee. The Vision Ener-G-Force displays a similar silhouette, but with a high shoulder line and smaller windows.
The child of a modern era
The clear design idiom of the G-Class has been retained while endowing the surfaces with a dynamic and exciting aura. The meticulously crafted details also clearly reveal the Vision Ener-G-Force to be the child of a modern era.
It comes with full green car credentials, too: the Vision Ener-G-Force carries recycled water in roof-mounted tanks, for example, supplying this water to the “hydro-tech converter”, where the natural, renewable resource is converted into hydrogen to power the fuel cells. The storage units for the obtained electrical energy are located in the striking side skirts, where they are readily accessible.