Mercedes and Disney unveil concept car inspired by ‘Avatar’

Disney and Mercedes have teamed up at this year's CES tech fair in Las Vegas to showcase a concept car inspired by the blockbuster Avatar.

(dpa) – Disney and Mercedes have formed a somewhat unusual alliance to create an even more unusual vehicle that can also drive sideways.

At this year’s CES tech fair in Las Vegas the car and entertainment giants are showcasing a concept car inspired by the blockbuster “Avatar”.

Just as the fictional Na’vi people live in harmony with nature on the planet of Pandora, the futuristic electric car Vision AVTR emphasises the ethical treatment of our resources and the harmony between humanity and nature, Mercedes head of design Gorden Wagener explains.

With a smooth arch silhouette spanning more than 5 metres in length, many of the four-seater AVTR’s details have been inspired by nature, Wagener says.

The balloon-shaped tyres recall the alien flowers in the film, while the 33 movable flaps in the rear were modelled after the back of a reptile.

Alongside almost 20,000 LEDS distributed all over the car, including the wheels, the flaps and flower-shaped tyres are supposed to communicate with the car’s surroundings.

The movement of the vehicle is also very different from conventional cars, as the four wheels can be powered individually and can be driven in opposite directions. This means that in addition to moving forwards and backwards, the AVTR can even move sideways like a crab.

Behind the transparent doors, which open upwards like the wings of some strange insect, a cosy lounge awaits.

Of course, there’s no steering wheel, just a mass of displays. Only when you put your hand onto the control panel located in the centre console does the vehicle spring to life.

Besides letting you set your destination, the controls also let you choose among a large selection of entertainment options that can be displayed on the dashboard.

But beyond all its high-tech capabilities, the AVTR is also supposed to be sustainable. The floor of the vehicle is lined with rattan and the battery uses a cell technology devoid of metals and rare-earth materials and is therefore not only recyclable but biodegradable, too.

If you think this sounds too good to be true, it is. This battery – and basically the entire vehicle – still only exists in the minds of AVTR’s designers.