The futuristic Mercedes-Benz Biome concept previews a full-sized design model of a mid-engined eco supercar to battle the BMW Vision ED around 2015, Autocar has learned.
Created at Merc’s Californian design studio, the ground-hugging four-seat coupé explores the future of sustained mobility to a brief set by the Los Angeles Design Challenge.
Although the eco-friendly ‘grown from a seed’ body construction and organic drive system are fictional, the ground-hugging stance, exaggerated proportions and striking design lay the foundation for a new ecological supercar.
“There are elements within the design that could easily be progressed and developed for production. We were conscious during its development to ensure it wasn’t too limited or edgy. It had to be do-able without any significant changes,” says Hubert Lee, head of the California design studio.
The production powertrain would incorporate all of Mercedes-Benz’s extensive alternative drive know-how, just as BMW is doing with its Vision EfficientDynamics supercar, recently confirmed for production in 2013.
At 4040mm in length, 2500mm in width and 1200mm in height, the latest Merc concept is shorter than a C-class, much wider than the GL-class and lower than the SLK.
For production, however, the width will have to be considerably reduced to fit through traffic-calming pinch points, usually set at 2.2m.
Mercedes may also adopt one of the concept’s interesting features: a central driving position flanked by two passengers. But the fourth seat, positioned behind the second row and rear-facing, is unlikely to have a production future.