The Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR is the result of a partnership between the automaker and James Cameron’s “Avatar” films—the 2009 original (which went on to become the year’s highest-grossing film) and the planned sequels. “AVTR” is said to stand for Advanced Vehicle Transformation, although the fact that it could be an abbreviation for “Avatar” is surely no coincidence.
The AVTR is intended to enhance the driver’s connection with their surroundings and with the car itself. When the driver places their hand on the control in the center console, they can feel the car’s “pulse,” and the car can sense the driver’s heartbeat in return.
“It merges the car and driver into one living organism,” said Gordon Wagener, Mercedes-Benz chief design officer.
The Vision AVTR is a striking concept with an earthy design and flowing light patterns. A single light bar placed above an illuminated Mercedes logo gives it a unique face. There’s some exuberance in the form of 7-spoke wheels that light up in a brilliant blue, and full glass doors. Move to the rear and the Mercedes has dragon-like scales on its back! These are 33 body-coloured flat plates that sit flush with the roofline. They can rise off the surface and move in multiple directions for an unbelievable light display.
Heading inside and the cabin welcomes you with dainty strips of light. There is no steering wheel, pedals, or controls of any sort. You do get a pop up ‘multifunctional control element’ on the centre console that lets you control the car.
It’s unclear if the new concept vehicle will make an appearance in the long-awaited Avatar sequel film, the release date of which has been pushed back from later this year to December 2021.
Oscar-winning director James Cameron joined Kallenius on stage at MGM Park Theater to debut the vehicle during the Consumer Electronics Show, now called CES, in Las Vegas.