While it might not lower your handicap, Mercedes-Benz thinks it has found a way to improve your mental state while you're out on the links. At last weekend's British Open, the automaker showed off its take on the future of hole-to-hole hauling by unveiling the Mercedes-Benz Vision Golf Cart. Earlier in the year, Mercedes solicited suggestions for this project from both golfers and car fans from around the globe. These were then evaluated by a team at the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Center in Carlsbad, California, and ultimately factored into a process that led to the creation of the vehicle pictured here. Gorden Wagener, Vice President Design Daimler AG, notes the Vision Golf Cart "has a refined, simplified yet functional shape that fits well into our 'Sensual-Purity' design philosophy" and ultimately creates the feel of a sculpture on wheels. It's also configured to be fully street legal.
Beyond a rakish appearance anchored by its stylized Mercedes grille treatment and high-powered LED headlamp/floodlight forward illumination, the Vision Golf Cart concept also embodies an amazing amount of luxury and technology touches that Wagener freely admits came from treating it more like a "Golf Car" than a mere cart. It starts with typical M-B interior touches including ergonomically designed heated-ventilated power seats with Airscarf neck-level heating fans, as well as standard air conditioning. Steering is done via a center-mounted joystick, and in addition to conventional instrumentation, the Vision Golf Cart also features a head-up display that can show its speed as well as the course layout and current weather conditions. To ensure outstanding connectivity at all times, the center console incorporates a multimedia touchscreen panel with a USB port and Bluetooth plus iPad/iPhone docking stations. The well-finished cabin - which can be enclosed using optional lightweight doors -- also contains a small refrigerator and loads of stow spaces for smaller items, while the rear boasts a large closed storage area as well as open bins that can accommodate a pair of golf bags.
The Mercedes-Benz Vision Golf Cart gets its drive from electric hub motors mounted in each wheel and powered by a battery pack that can be charged on the fly using its roof-mounted solar panel array or by a conventional plug-in process when the vehicle is stationary. Unconventional active safety features include a "fore button" that provides an audible warning to others in potential danger from a misplayed shot and a top-mounted deployable lightning rod to protect those aboard against a sudden thunderstorm. While anything is possible, Mercedes currently has no plans to move the Vision Golf Cart beyond the design study stage.
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