The Mercedes-Benz ‘Vision One-Eleven’ Electrifies A 1970s Icon
This self-driving concept honors ’70s style while previewing an electrified automotive future.
While the Mercedes Vision EQXX and its sportier AMG-crafted counterpart are relatively grounded concepts for a very possible near-future, the latest project from the German marque’s forward-thinking Vision division is truly something else.
Mercedes disciples immediately recognized the Vision One-Eleven for what it is: a futurized version of the 70s-era Mercedes C111 series of rotary engine-powered concepts. Road & Track notes that the wedge shape, gullwing doors, and orange coloring hark back to the experimental C111 rides.
The front end is also a reinterpretation of the “shark nose” front end found on sports cars from a bygone era, which were marked by an aggressively forward lean. But elsewhere, the One-Eleven takes some drastic turns.
It’s autonomous, for one, hence the carefree Lounge mode that puts the seats in a laid-back position (a Race mode gives occupants a better view of the road).
The all-electric powertrain features a single, cutting-edge axial flux motor engineered by the Mercedes-owned British company YASA. While no specs were offered, axial-flux type motors are far-and-away superior in power-to-weight ratios than the radial-flux motors used in today’s EVs.
“In an axial-flux motor, the electromagnetic flow runs parallel to the motor’s rotational axis, which is highly efficient,” YASA CTO Tim Woolmer said in a statement.
“In a radial-flux motor, the flow runs perpendicular to the rotational axis. Compared to radial-flux motors, they have considerably higher and more enduring power reserves, which delivers a whole new level of performance.”
The original C111’s honeycomb grille has been replaced by a grid of tiny squares that sits in front of pixel-style headlights and is illuminated by a white LED bezel. Meanwhile, blue lighting along the rear wheels is visible from both interior and exterior.
The only piece of the Mercedes One-Eleven that will definitely carry over to production vehicles is the axial-flux motor. But it sure is fun to fancy.