A decade ago, the most recent daring slate of sleek concept cars like the ones showcased at the Tokyo Motor Show would each stand out starkly in our memories. Lately, however, we’re having a harder and harder time looking at each glimpse forward into tomorrow and not asking ourselves, “Didn’t Tesla already roll out something just like this?”
The Mercedes Benz appears consumed with topping the rather strange F 015 the German automaker revealed at CES earlier in 2015, if the autonomous Vision Tokyo is any indication.
As of now, the Vision Tokyo is tangible speculative fiction, little more than the Daimler brand’s highly educated and not entirely impractical guess at the kind of autonomous transport experience geared to win over a younger set’s taste. From the oversized rims and sporty, rounded curves to TRON-like blue neon accents and spacious interior complete with a fold-out backrest in the frontmost seat and dash-concealed steering wheel for when the driver needs to take over, it exudes ease, convenience, and versatility.
You know something? It isn’t exactly impractical, either. The Vision Tokyo is electrically powered up to a 190 km battery range and can drag out another impressive 790 km from its hydrogen backup fuel cell. Whatever the length of the cruise, it also screams “style”. The entire rear window is basically one giant brake light. For just that extra splash of panache, the front grille and windshield can display some mighty decorative patterns and light shows tailored for late-night cruising.
There’s even an easy-to-appreciate consideration for intimacy found in the partially silvered-over windows. The interior, after all, is as much a lounge as a sedan cabin, what with the minimal tucked-away dash and upward-sliding side door that reveals a roomy booth-like seating arrangement focused on the door’s built-in display screen.
A holographic smartphone-compatible display sits in the middle of the floor. It seems to present a sea of physically interactive icons for quick access to all the comforts our devices will surely offer us in 2025 or so. If we’re being honest, the Vision Tokyo is a tease of the idea that every sedan could one day have the posh comfort of a limousine.