The Research Cars of Mercedes-Benz
Stuttgart
Oct 17, 2011
From idea to finished research car
  • Engineers and designers come up with concepts for the mobility of the future
  • Two years of development from the visionary idea to the finished reseach car
  • Every research car has a different technological focus
Daimler research cars are fully operational because they are supposed to make new technology experienceable, drivable, and assessable. They then fulfill their purpose, which is to provide insights into the automobile of tomorrow. Each of these special cars follows the concept of holism. It is not single components which are being tested; rather the entire vehicle springs from an original idea. That this calls some conventions into question, that unusual solutions may cause astonishment or enthusiasm, is all part of the visionary brainwork for the automobile of the future.
As a result, the sometimes very unusual concepts stimulate public discussion of tomorrow’s mobility and provide important indications to the market researchers at Daimler as to what customers want and need. For the cars are oriented to customers, and research must be oriented to the future. Designers, engineers and marketing experts jointly draw up the technical specifications for a new research car. Each car is a reflection of a clear strategy – sometimes it stresses the technological competence of the company, sometimes ergonomics, sometimes driving safety. The designers and engineers then have their work cut out for them complying with all the specifications that result from the visionary ideas.
It requires thinking up something entirely new and unusual. The original ideas are constantly reviewed for feasibility, with information technology and its simulation tools being a great help. If it works on the screen, the approval for made-to-measure manufacture is given. Practically every part of a research car is manufactured to order, a costly procedure: electronic systems are drafted, the interior compartment is redesigned and set up, the bodywork formed. It is not simply a question of setting up a technical product. Every vehicle feature reflects great attention to detail and the striving for the highest possible quality of workmanship. It takes some two years before a research car is ready to drive.
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