When I first saw the autonomous Mercedes-Benz F 015 reveal earlier this year I immediately thought of the Citroen Tubik concept. To me that was a more appealing proposal — from an exterior design perspective at least — than the monolithic silver form of the F 015. Apparently Mercedes-Benz designers were already thinking about the MPV typology as well.
The Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo is a further exploration of the autonomous, electric, connected vehicle concept for the future urban landscape. Billed as an MPV for Generation Z, for which the “vehicle is no longer simply a means of getting around, but a digital, automobile companion”, the concept employs innovative algorithms to allow it to become more and more familiar with its occupants over time.
The interior offers cosseting accommodations, laid out in an oval-shaped lounge. The steering wheel and ‘driver’s seat’ are nothing more than secondary elements designed for occasional use. It really points towards an autonomous future where people will no longer be actively piloting their vehicles but either socializing with their friends, watching the large wraparound LED screens encircling the cabin, or interacting with apps, maps and displays presented as three-dimensional holograms within the interior space.
Riding on 26-inch wheels illuminated in blue, the exterior design of the vehicle (which measures 4803mm long, 2100mm wide and 1600mm tall) is characterized by elements previously seen on other recent Mercedes-Benz concepts: The alubeam exterior color and ‘screen printed’ DLO are identical to those of the F 015 Luxury in Motion concept; the headlamps reference the 2013 AMG Vision Gran Turismo; and the grille and colorways point towards the G-Code concept from 2014.
“The Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo embodies the concept of an automotive lounge for a future generation of megacities,” says Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG. “The purity and sensuality of the Vision Tokyo’s styling defines a new interpretation of modern luxury from Mercedes-Benz.”
The brainchild of designers working within a global network of advanced design studios, the conceptual message of the Vision Tokyo reflects Mercedes-Benz’s increasing attempt to cater to a more youthful demographic and enhance the brand’s perception a design influencer.