LOS ANGELES -- The new sequel, "Avatar: The Way of Water" should wow audiences with another visually immersive storytelling treat, just as the original "Avatar" did more than a dozen years ago.
Mercedes-Benz is looking to bring its own wow factor with this concept car, VISION AVTR. It's a sleek, futuristic pod-type vehicle that immerses occupants in visual treats inspired by the films via an enormous curved screen at the front of the passenger compartment.
"Where the focus is on this connection between man, creature, nature, all these beautiful amazing worlds," said Zane Amiralis, a member of the Mercedes-Benz design team.
No, the car is not in the new movie, but Mercedes-Benz's design team worked hand-in-hand with director James Cameron's creative team for inspiration about what an environmentally-conscious form of transportation might be like.
"We're looking to the future of sustainable mobility. And we're therefore looking for a sustainable partner, and who better than Lightstorm Entertainment, who produces the movies of 'Avatar' to inspire us as to what that future could possibly look like," Amiralis said.
It's not only fully-electric, but it takes interesting forms, somewhat inspired by elements of the films. Blue light represents the bioluminescence on the fictional planet Pandora, and scale-like flaps on the sloped rear were inspired by the planet's flying banshees. The power system also promises organic battery cell technology, which gets away from toxic elements.
Driving it brings a human-machine interface via a central control that fits organically under one's palm. It can be driven from either one of the two lounge-like seats. After a short low-speed stint as the passenger, I was given the control without having to switch seats with a Mercedes engineer. This concept is also, in theory, able to drive itself completely. That's one of those "someday" things.
The front end may already look familiar to you by now, because it has similar styling to the front of Mercedes-Benz's new EQ line of electric cars -- vehicles for a promised carbon-free future.
Since the first of multiple "Avatar" sequels continues a theme of planetary survival in a changing eco-system, Mercedes-Benz's designers and engineers see this concept, and their battery-powered production cars, in the same light.
"We do have our design language, 'Sensual Purity,' and that's where we took our cues. And this gave us an opportunity to see what would something look like in another 80 years' time," Amiralis said.
"Avatar: the Way of Water" is set very far in the future, the middle of the next century. Mercedes-Benz sees this collaboration as a glimpse of what moving around much later in this century might look like as a coming attraction, if you will. Stay tuned for this vehicle's sequels.