When Henrik Stenson returned the Claret Jug to The Open on Monday, the defending champ arrived in a Mercedes-Benz Concept Car that turned a lot of heads at Royal Birkdale.
Thomas Pieters came over to film the car on his phone. China’s Haotong Li had his picture taken with it and you can understand why. It was as if the car had travelled back from the future to be at Birkdale.
Mercedes-Benz is a Patron of The Open and the Official Car, and the company shipped over its one-of-a-kind F015 concept car to mark the occasion. The company describes the F015 as a “shared space in tomorrow’s world”, as it is an electric-powered, autonomous vehicle with an interior designed to be a luxurious living space.
“Autonomous driving will change our society,” explains Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Head of Mercedes-Benz. “The car is growing beyond its role as a mere means of transport and will ultimately become a mobile living space.”
So while the F015 takes care of all the driving, its passengers can make use of their time in the car as they wish.
The F015 is a four seater, but rather than containing two rows of conventional seats facing the front of the car, four rotating lounge chairs enable a face-to-face configuration. Touch-screen, multi-media panels are installed on the inside of the four doors.
The interior is finished with and open-pore walnut floor, soft ice-white nappa leather seats and trims in chrome and glass.
Underneath, the car is powered by an all-electric F-Cell Plug-in Hybrid system with a total driving range of 1,100 km and achieving zero local emissions.
The F015 is not a prototype scheduled for production – not yet anyway – but it provides a striking insight to where motoring is heading.