Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mercedes VRC

In 1995 at the Geneva Motor Show Mercedes introduced the world to its VRC (versatile automotive concepts) concept. A car that could be anything and do everything for everyone. The 2 part car encompasses a standard base part that holds the running gear, seats, doors and windscreen, basically everything from the waist down. Added to the top of this was a variety of bodies from people carriers, pick-up to convertible and coupe. These were held in place with electric magnets and rear power connection which also lets the base know what car it is for each body. 

I suppose it was just an external vision of what’s below nearly all modern cars these days, ie 1 chassis fits all, just think of the VW Golf/Seat Leon/Audi A3/Skoda Octavia, all the same below just with a different body on and badge for different markets. Mercedes I suppose used the interchangeable body in the Smart cars with easily changeable body panels.

As a concept I like it (particularly the pick-up) but for me its beneath the Mercedes brand, people who buy these can generally afford a second practical car if they drive the sports version. But if VW had come up with it just wonder which lower brand may have had this as a production vehicle. I could easily have seen a Skoda version.

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