For those unfamiliar with Mercedes-Benz's extensive history, it's worth noting that the C111 holds a special place in their extensive retinue of cars. These experimental vehicles produced in the 1960s and 70s captivated the world with their futuristic design, cutting-edge technologies, and remarkable performance capabilities.
Mercedes' latest concept, the Vision One-Eleven, is a modern interpretation of the C111's iconic design. With its sporty exterior, futuristic interior, and powerful electric drive, the Vision One-Eleven pays tribute to this design icon while simultaneously pushing the boundaries of performance.
Engine and Performance
At the heart of Vision One-Eleven is an innovative axial-flux motor developed by Oxford-based electric motor specialists YASA. Lighter, more compact, and more powerful than traditional radial-flux motors, YASA designed the axial-flux motor to provide a 'motorsport-like' power output in a narrow package.
With higher power reserves, this technology delivers a whole new level of performance and efficiency. Mercedes envisions these motors to be a critical part of their future powertrains, and they unquestionably promise to be an exciting development in the automotive world.
A liquid-cooled cylindrical cell battery further complements these motors, whose new cell chemistries found inspiration from technologies developed for Formula 1 by Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains. Through developing this cutting-edge battery technology, the German manufacturer has designed an efficient and performance-oriented powertrain concept that has the potential to elevate driving experiences to a whole new level.
Like many of Mercedes' modern cars, Vision One-Eleven features the brand's signature One-Bow design – albeit with a sporty twist. A seamless bow-like shape runs throughout the concept, creating a striking athletic silhouette that will leave an impression on passers-by.
Its deep orange paintwork harkens back to the C111, which itself was painted in a similarly bold shade. If that wasn't enough, the sculpted aerodynamic blade profiles at the front and rear ends of the car feature backlit blue piercings that add an extra touch of performance and luxury.
The extensive use of digital displays in Vision One-Eleven blends its retro feel with a futuristic outlook for a unique style. Mercedes replaced the traditional headlights with a flexible external display spanning the entire length of the front end. The lights digitize the C111's iconic fog lamps with a 3D pixelated look and can convey messages to other road users. With similar displays replacing the red taillights on the car's rear end, Mercedes has made a bold statement about Vision One-Eleven's futuristic, high-tech identity.
Step inside the Vision One-Eleven and a sophisticated interior will greet you, characterized by sleek lines, premium materials, and thoughtful details – all underpinned by Mercedes' minimalist design language. The car uniquely enables drivers to switch from a sportier interior to a lounge-like cabin.
With an upright backrest and a compact driver-oriented touchscreen when the car is in race mode, the interior becomes streamlined. Conversely, lounge mode creates a more spacious environment, placing emphasis on driver and passenger comfort.
Following on from the pixelated displays found on the front and rear of the car, Mercedes has incorporated a retro-futuristic 3D pixel display that spans the entire breadth of the dashboard – providing a mesmerizing visual experience that seamlessly blends technology and artistry.
Mercedes has also experimented with cutting-edge augmented reality technology, integrating it into a virtual test model of the Vision One-Eleven's interior for the concept's world premiere in June 2023. These developments have the potential to take the automotive world by storm in the coming years, so it's certainly worth keeping an eye on them!
Whether you're behind the wheel or enjoying the ride as a passenger, there's no doubt that Vision One-Eleven's stunning interior promises great things for the future of automotive design. Expect to see many innovations pioneered on this concept in Mercedes' next generation of cars.