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2011 Los Angeles Design Challenge – Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studios: smart 341 Parkour

Being that tinseltown is the host to the latest international auto show, the 2011 Los Angeles Design Challenges asked each of its participants to create cars worthy of a new Hollywood film. Taking on the proposition, engineers at Merceds-Benz Advanced Design Studio in Sindelfingen (Germany) conceived the …
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Being that tinseltown is the host to the latest international auto show, the 2011 Los Angeles Design Challenges asked each of its participants to create cars worthy of a new Hollywood film. Taking on the proposition, engineers at Merceds-Benz Advanced Design Studio in Sindelfingen (Germany) conceived the smart 341 Parkour.

As with the gravity-defying sport its named after, the smart 341 Parkour is a car up for any obstacles. Not just a simple road going vehicle, the passenger compartment, or “occupant cell”, turn upright along the chassis. Now, you can literally “slide-in” into the smallest parking space. With a another pull of a lever and the hub of each wheel becomes a giant suction cup, allowing the smart 341 Parkour to climb walls. It can even hover in midair. All these features are “must-haves” for the intrepid young reporter Annie Angle from Cantpark City.

As a continuation to their concept last year, Mercedes-Benz designers based the smart 341 Parkour on the make-believe film “Annie get the Grannies”. In it, Ms. Angle must find the missing”smart granny robots”, a purported carbon-fiber knitting robot that created the smart 454, winner to last year’s Los Angeles Design Challenge. Armed with her trusty long lens, camera, and the smart 341 Parkour, Angle is off to the hunt. But will she find what she’s looking for? Find out more at this year’s L.A. Auto Show.







Stars on four wheels for Hollywood – Three visionary film cars featuring in exciting stories

  • Mercedes-Benz to present futuristic Silver Arrow and 
dummies brought to life

  • smart develops the perfect reporter’s car, which can climb 
up the facades of high-rise buildings and take to the air

  • Maybach creates modern luxury carriage for a remake of 
the Cinderella fairytale

For the 2011 Los Angeles Design Challenge, which is seeking to find the most spectacular new film car for Hollywood, the designers from the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studios in Sindelfingen (Germany) and Carlsbad (USA), have joined the ranks of the screen-writers. Their efforts have borne fruit in the form of three visionary “hero cars” a Mercedes-Benz and a smart, each perfectly cast in an action thriller, and a Maybach luxury carriage starring in a modern-day fairytale. The futuristic Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow teams up with two crash test dummies to battle it out with the forces of evil. The smart 341 Parkour, which is able to climb sheer faces and take to the air, helps a young reporter to scoop the story of her life. The Maybach Berline brings a touch 
of magic into the life of a hapless Cinderella.

Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow and crash test dummies

The designers at the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studio in Carlsbad, California have created a Hollywood-style homage for Mercedes-Benz to 125 years of innovation in automotive technology and design. The leading 
roles are played by two high-tech characters which have been instrumental in reconciling safety and stylish design in automobiles: the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow cult racing car and crash test dummies.

The film “Silver Lightning” is set in the near future, in an age of artificial intelligence. Two crash test dummies by the names of Hans05 and Franz02 take on evil ruler Dr. Crash-Barrier to save their beloved Mercedes Silver Arrow. They engage in an action-packed, nerve-jangling duel with the ruthless battering ram before finally outfoxing him. The Silver Arrow is a low-lying sculpture on wheels. A feat of technical innovation is the diagonal, hubless roller which allows steering in all directions. The futuristic Silver Arrow’s proportions are reminiscent of the legendary sports car from the late 1930s and the Uhlenhaut SLR from the 1950s.

“Annie get the Grannies” with the smart 341 Parkour

For smart, the designers at the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studio in Sindelfingen have created a revolutionary all-rounder. The smart 341 Parkour is equally at home driving along the road, climbing up the facades of skyscrapers or even taking to the air. The occupant cell is completely transparent and offers the very best all-round visibility the perfect 
vehicle for a fast-paced reporter story.

For the plot of the film “Annie get the Grannies”, the designers have taken 
the visionary smart concept with which they won the Los Angeles Design Challenge last year as their starting point. Last year, the smart 454 was knitted from carbon fibres by so-called “smart granny robots”. These high-tech robots equipped with knitting needles have now been revived. On reading in a newspaper that the incredible robots have disappeared, the young reporter Annie Angle from Cantpark City scents the story of her life. Armed with a professional camera, she sets off to investigate in her smart 341 Parkour.

Cinderella and the Maybach Berline

For Maybach, Mercedes-Benz’s interior designers in Sindelfingen have created a modern reinterpretation of the classic “Berline” a luxury carriage with full suspension from the 17th century, for a remake of the Cinderella fairytale. Hapless Cindy toils day-in, day-out helping her father to develop the Maybach Berline, while her step-sister enjoys the party life. On her birthday her father allows her to travel into town in the prototype of the luxury carriage. She goes to a dance, where she meets an attractive man and loses all sense of time. As she has to be home by midnight, she suddenly dashes off, losing one of her 
red stilettos in the process. Her dancing partner runs after her with the shoe. Overjoyed, Cindy boards the Maybach Berline and is driven home by a virtual chauffeur.

The Maybach Berline is remote controlled via satellite like a drone, allowing the occupants maximum space and absolute privacy. The chauffeur is based 
at the Maybach Virtual Chauffeur Center and can be spoken to at any time 
by means of a glass screen suspended from the roof lining. Every conceivable entertainment feature can also be activated via this screen. Copiously appointed with wood, the interior is designed in the manner of a royal lounge in which the passengers face one another on two comfortable individual seats. Similarly to on a business jet, the passengers board and alight from the vehicle by means of a two-piece swing-wing door with a horizontal split, whereby the lower section folds out to form a step unit. The sides of the carriage have extra-large windows which can be set such that they can only be looked through from inside the vehicle. They can additionally be used as interfaces.

Los Angeles Design Challenge

The Los Angeles Design Challenge is part of the Los Angeles Design Conference, which is to take place from 16 to 17 November 2011 at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The winners of the competition will be announced 
on 17 November 2011.

Dates and facts at a glance

The film vehicles from Mercedes-Benz, 
smart and Maybach:

Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow

Design: Low-lying sculpture on wheels which is reminiscent of the legendary Silver Arrows from the 1930s and the Uhlenhaut SLR from 
the 1950s

Special feature:

– Steering in all directions by means of a diagonal, hubless roller

Film title: Silver Lightning

smart 341 Parkour

Design: Very large, transparent greenhouse

Special features:

– Driving, flying and climbing mode

– Retractable wheels with suction pads and hexagonal structure enabling transformation

– Transparent occupant cell

Film title: Annie get the Grannies

Maybach Berline

Design: Modern reinterpretation of the “Berline” luxury carriage from the 17th century with two-piece horizontal swing-doors which exploit the special proportions of a carriage: high body 
and maximum space for occupants

Special features:

– Autonomous driving via satellite controlled 
from the Maybach Virtual Chauffeur Center

– Royal lounge character inside, with two facing 
 individual seats

– Glass screen suspended from roof lining for communications and entertainment

– Extra-large windows, which can also be used as a screen and can be set to shield off the 
 interior from the outside world

Film title: Cinderella and the Maybach Berline