TechThought: Silver Lightning Concept Car
Back in 1932, Mercedes Benz had came out with their Motor and Formula One racing car, The Silver Arrow. The Silver Arrow was very successful, and the most popular car for german racers in the 1930s. The trademark white for Germany decorating the car, the Silver Arrow won many competitions. It even won the French Grand Prix 1-2-3. This type of car was a source of pride to the company and country, and it only made sense to preserve it’s greatness.
79 years later, at the 2011 LA Design Challenge, Mercedes Benz were showing off their concept car, Silver Lighting. Silver Lightning, as you may have guessed, was inspired by Silver Arrow, reintroducing the pride of Mercedes prowess in the racing sport.
As part of their presentation, they made a short film about the car:
Silver Lightning was not only inspired by Silver Arrow, it was also inspired by classic sci-fi movies, as is a lot of technology today. Think about it. The flip-up communicators from Star Trek. In the Silver Lighning’s case, the futuristic lights on the wheels were inspired by Tron: Legacy, and the shape was inspired by Star Wars: Episode II.
Silver Lightning is still not coming out any time soon. It uses a lot of future technologies, like Mag-Tech. Mag-Tech is a retractable roof system, a lot like nowadays convertible roofs. But instead of having to take the whole roof off, Mag-Tech would make it easier. Mag-Tech uses small lightweight magnetic squares. They can be quickly put together to make a roof, or easily contracted to make a convertible.
When you look at Silver Lightning, you may be wondering, “Where are the wheels? All I see are rings where the wheels should be!” Those rings ARE actually the wheels, which is another future technology that might postpone the release of Silver Lightning. The technology is called Omni-Directional Wheels. Inside the rings, there are rollers that are all placed in a different direction, making the car able to move in all directions. The way they will actually manufacture it (if they even do) has not been released and is very vague, but I think of it like there are a lot of semi-individual, stabilized football-like rollers inside the rings. They would have to be able to turn inside the rings, and be somewhat grippy to be able to actually move.
Silver Lightning is designed for speed. The sleek design is perfect for zooming down the freeway or track. But just like Lamborghinis and Maseratis, it will probably become a fancy sports car that like to show off. But for now, it is still a futuristic concept, yet to be built.