Mercedes-Benz’s Insane ‘Avatar’-Inspired Concept

The futuristic Merc has no steering wheel and can drive diagonally.

By Rachel Cormack 29/09/2020

Mercedes-Benz just proved truth is stranger than fiction. The German marque has released actual driving footage of its Avatar-inspired electric vehicle and it’s even more insane than the initial renderings.

The Vision AVTR concept was unveiled at CES earlier this year, but most assumed the fantastical four-wheeler would never see the light of day. Roughly nine months on, the automaker has showcased a working prototype in a 13 minute YouTube video—and it’s futuristic, to say the very least.

Designed in partnership with Avatar creator James Cameron, the Vision AVTR utilises biometric controls to help the driver and vehicle merge into a “symbiotic organism.” Kind of like how the Na’vi merge with the flying mountain banshees in the 2009 sci-fi epic. But instead of forming a neural connection with the Vision AVTR, drivers will control it through a pulsating sensor in the centre console.


“Instead of a conventional steering wheel, the multifunctional control element in the center console allows human and machine to merge,” Mercedes said in a press release. “By placing the hand on the control unit, the interior comes to life and the vehicle recognizes the driver by his or her heartbeat and breathing.”

Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR Concept


The car is also fitted with “bionic flaps” that emulate the scales of a reptile and add to the striking techno-organic aesthetic. These flaps “communicate” with the outside world via subtle gestures, moving intuitively to signal when the driver is accelerating or slowing down, for example. This animal-like movement extends to the steering. The vehicle features “crab movement,” just like Hummer’s recently teased zero-emission utility truck, and can drive both sideways and diagonally.

Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR Concept


Since Cameron is a noted environmentalist, the car is suitably green. According to Mercedes, the EV powered by “a revolutionary battery technology based on graphene-based organic cell chemistry that is completely clean of rare earths and metals.” In short, the battery is completely recyclable. The car also features eco-friendly materials—think vegan leather and sustainably sourced wood—to guarantee environmental sustainability throughout the entire production process.

The timing couldn’t be more perfect, either. Cameron recently announced Avatar 2 is 100 percent complete and Avatar 3 is roughly 95 percent finished. Hopefully, that means there will also be some sequels to this design





Subscribe to the Newsletter

Stay Connected

You may also like.

Lotus And Renault Will Team Up To Develop A New Electric Sports Car

The new EV would replace the Alpine A110.

By Bryan Hood


This Meticulously Restored ’62 E-Type Is For Sale

The Jaguar took 18 months and over 3200 working hours to complete.

By Rachel Cormack


Own This 1980 Porsche 935 Le Mans Racer

Offered for private sale by RM Sotheby’s, this historic racer campaigned at Daytona and Sebring.

By Robert Ross


Japan’s First Hypercar Is Finally Here

The 1480kW all-electric Aspark Owl is ready to take off.

By Bryan Hood


The Arsenale’s Patrice Meignan

Strap in as we talk to the dream peddler behind The Arsenale – the ultimate in curated collecting.

By Richard Clune


Buy the Magazine

Subscribe to Robb Report today!

Subscribe today

Stay Connected