For this year's LA Auto Show Design Challenge, the organizers of the event asked automakers to dream up a patrol vehicle for the year 2025. Mercedes-Benz's North American arm and its Advanced Design Center California worked their magic and came up with the Ener-G-Force concept for an off-road patrol car.
Not content with the design drawings, Mercedes-Benz brought the Ener-G-Force study to life with a 1:1-scale model, albeit in civilian attire, with plans to present it to the public at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show from the end of the month.
The German carmaker makes no effort to hide the fact that the concept could preview a future design direction for its classic G-Class that has been in production since 1979, having been refined over the years.
"The Ener-G-Force is the vision of an off-roader that, while reflecting tomorrow’s adventures, also invokes the genes of the Mercedes-Benz off-road icon, the G model," explained Gorden Wagener, Director of Design at Mercedes-Benz Cars. "Modern and cool, it could also be a clue about a new beginning for the off-road design idiom of Mercedes-Benz."
Ener-G-Force Designer Hubert Lee says that the concept uses important genes such as proportions and design elements from the original G-Class adapted to the modern world: "Of course we wanted to take a clear step forward, but we also wanted the G’s characteristic features."
Designers came up with some innovative features for the SUV such as the slightly off-centre pull-out compartment that can hold a wide variety of equipment items, and which can be quickly reached without having to open the liftgate.
Under the hood, the Ener-G-Force Concept justifies its name with a futuristic fuel-cell powertrain that consumes recycled water stored in tanks on the roof to power four wheel-hub motors offering a completely theoretical operating range of about 800 kilometres or close to 500 miles.