Drive out to the local country club and there's a good chance you'll see a number of Mercedes parked in the lot. But why should golfers have to leave their Benzes behind when they hit the fairway? That's what Mercedes-Benz itself is asking, and its answer is this golf cart design. Presented at the Open Championship this year, the Mercedes-Benz Vision Golf Cart is the result of an open competition that saw both automobile and golf enthusiasts from around the world submit various design proposals. The best ideas were taken by the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Center in Carlsbad, California, and turned into the concept vehicle you see here.
"The Mercedes-Benz Vision Golf Cart has a refined, simplified yet functional shape that fits well into our 'Sensual-Purity' design philosophy. The flow shapes create a 'sculpture on wheels' impression," said Mercedes design chief Gorden Wagener. "I was very inspired by the idea of designing a golf cart, giving it a new shape and new sorts of meaning. Why not treat a golf cart like a car, and make it a 'Golf Car'."
The electric cart includes a solar panel on the roof to keep its battery pack topped up, and its center console includes touchscreen panels, iPhone dock and a joystick to control the vehicle in place of a conventional steering wheel. It also features a head-up projection display for both vehicle and course information, Bluetooth connectivity, a full sound system, an onboard refrigerator, and air conditioning to keep golfers comfortable out on the course. In keeping with its reputation for safety features, Mercedes has even included a retractable lightning rod and a "fore button" that warns other players on the course through their own carts of a misplaced shot, and includes all the necessary lighting to make it suitable for use on local roads as well.
"It has the latest in modern technology. Using touch screen monitors, virtually all aspects of the cart can be controlled without extra buttons," said Margarete Wies, head of the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Center. "Simplicity is the key. Intuition and pure form can maybe best describe the cart."
Mercedes hasn't indicated any intentions to actually produce the Vision Golf Cart, but where there's demand, there will always be supply in one form or another.