The German automaker Mercedes-Benz, renowned for its innovative design and engineering prowess, has unveiled a striking new concept car: the Vision One Eleven. This vehicle takes inspiration from the revolutionary C111 concept car introduced in 1969 and makes a strong nod to its lineage with a modern twist.
Back in 1969, the C111 served as a platform for the exploration of various cutting-edge technologies, from Wankel rotary engines to diesel and turbocharging, marking a revolutionary shift in Mercedes-Benz’s automotive engineering approach. Five decades later, the Vision One Eleven recaptures the spirit of the C111 while embodying the technological advancements of the 21st century.
The Vision One Eleven features a sleek bodywork that marries Mercedes’ “One-Bow” design language with the iconic gullwing doors of its predecessor, creating a futuristic sculptured silhouette. The dynamic design allows the windows to seamlessly blend into the doors while a similar 3D pixel-themed rear light design mimics the front light panels, which are capable of transforming from standard head and brake lights to almost any form of design or text.
Like its inspirational predecessor, which debuted at the 1970 Geneva Motor Show boasting a 345-hp quad-rotor Wankel engine, the Vision One Eleven carries a high-performance powertrain. But instead of a traditional internal combustion engine, the new concept features axial-flux motors provided by British firm YASA, now owned by Mercedes. These motors, popular in some of the world’s fastest electric super and hypercars, promise to deliver impressive performance figures.
The vehicle’s cutting-edge design elements extend into the cabin as well. The interior houses diamond-stitched silver upholstery and a full-length digital display that spans the width of the cabin, replacing conventional instrument panels. This unique feature complements the yoke-style steering wheel and space-age-inspired bucket seats fitted with custom four-point harnesses. An accompanying bespoke travel bag, crafted from the same diamond-quilted material used on the seats, adds a touch of elegance and practicality.
Mercedes-Benz has adopted a forward-thinking approach to the powertrain, drawing upon technologies derived from the Mercedes-AMG’s Formula 1 program. The vehicle’s battery system is comprised of a liquid-cooled cylindrical-cell battery integrated into a pallet-like structure at the car’s base, ensuring a low center of gravity for enhanced handling and stability.
The Vision One Eleven’s exterior showcases an aggressive aero kit featuring a bespoke front splitter, side skirts, and a large rear diffuser. At the back, a digital display bordered by a red LED light serves as the taillight, a design choice that reaffirms the car’s futuristic appeal.
While Mercedes-Benz has not indicated any plans for production of the Vision One Eleven, the concept car continues the tradition started by the C111, providing a glimpse into the future of high-performance electric sports cars. Elements from this concept are likely to inspire and influence the design and engineering of upcoming production models from the German automaker.