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Mercedes Developing Eco-Supercar To Compete With 918 and Vision EfficientDynamics

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On: Thu, Dec 2, 2010 at 10:30AM | By: Chris Weiss

Mercedes Developing Eco-Supercar To Compete With 918 and Vision EfficientDynamics

It appears there was a good reason the Mercedes Biome concept was a little more flirty with the media than its competitors in the LA Design Challenge: Mercedes is actually working on a production car that will be loosely based on the Biome design. The Biome-inspired car will be Mercedes' answer to eco-supercars offered by German competitors, including the Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid and BMW Vision EfficientDynamics.

The lead designer behind the Biome concept, Hubert Lee, said of the concept: “There are elements within the design that could easily be progressed and developed for production. We were conscious during its development to ensure it wasn’t too limited or edgy. It had to be do-able without any significant changes."

Outside of that, there's little detail on what type of powertrain Mercedes will be using in the production car or what aspects of the concept will make their way into production. In fact, in the Biome's Design Challenge description, Mercedes didn't even get into the powertrain, opting instead to focus on the green, organic build that its design team imagined.

I think it's safe to say that the production car will be built, as opposed to grown out of seeds, though. It also seems pretty safe to assume that the production model will be built with more traditional materials rather than the "BioFibre" cited in the Biome's design, and will thus weigh more than 1,000 lbs. And I'd expect it to come from a Mercedes assembly plant, as opposed to the "Mercedes-Benz Nursery."

Interestingly, Autocar's report states that one unlikely aspect of the Biome may actually make it over to the final version: the unique interior layout. The Biome had a total of four seats, as was required by the Design Challenge, but instead of inserting them in your typical 2 + 2 layout, the design team made a diamond-shaped seating arrangement with a single seat in front, a rear-facing seat in back and two seats on the sides. Mercedes will likely eliminate the rear-facing seat, but may keep the 1 + 2 layout.

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