Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow lets fly the arrow of time at Pebble Beach

Electric concept links past and future

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For Mercedes-Benz, the term "Silver Arrow" refers to its race cars, starting in the 1930s, that sported a bare aluminum look. It all started with the W25 Grand Prix car from 1934. The story — which may or may not be apocryphal, but is still told at the automaker's museum in Stuttgart — goes as such: That car, painted in white, exceeded the 750-kilogram weight limit by a single kilogram. In order to be eligible to race, Mercedes removed the paint to get it under the weight limit to pass scrutineering. The car went on to win the race, and the look stuck. The bare metal Mercedes Grand Prix cars where then dubbed Silver Arrows.

Fast forward to the current decade, and Mercedes-Benz is launching its electric sub-brand called EQ. So at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, in the perfect forum to blend the history with the future of driving, Mercedes has unveiled its EQ Silver Arrow concept. It's an electric homage to Mercedes' W 125 car from 1937, which won the European Championship that year.

The sleek single-seater features a body made of carbon fiber, with Alubeam Silver paint to mimic the metallic look. We're not sure if this show car actually has a working powertrain, but Mercedes-Benz says the EQ Silver Arrow is "conceived as an electric vehicle with an output of 738 hp," which is quite different than the W 125's gasoline engine — and more powerful. Its 80-kWh battery would provide a driving range of over 250 miles.

An interesting feature in this Silver Arrow is its panoramic double screen. This can display images projected from behind, providing an augmented-reality view of the surroundings. It could, for instance, mark which lane of the roadway offered inductive charging to recharge the car while driving. It could also allow for virtual racing, using artificial intelligence to project a "ghost" of current or historical racing cars, much like the ghost pace-keepers in many racing video games. A "Virtual Race Coach" could also help give pointers to the pilot to help improve their driving.

So while the EQ Silver Arrow honors the company's past, it also looks toward the future. "Over 80 years ago, the historic Silver Arrows demonstrated that Mercedes-Benz was a pioneer when it came to speed, thanks, among other things, to their streamlined shape," said Daimler design boss Gorden Wagener. "The EQ Silver Arrow show car draws on that legacy. Intended for acceleration and driving pleasure, it embodies progressive luxury and provides an insight into the future of our design. As a result, the show car drives the design idiom of our new EQ product and technology brand to the top."

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