Mercedes's iconic Silver Arrow racer gets an electric makeover for Monterey
The original Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow was a remarkable feat of technological prowess, with its lightweight chassis and supercharged 595 bhp (444 kW) W125 making it a formidable opponent on the Grand Prix circuit in 1937. Eighty years on, the automaker is again looking to push the envelope by giving its iconic racer a stunning conceptual makeover for the EV era.
The W125 was a indeed a powerful presence in the 1937 Grand Prix, but it was to be a presence short-lived as it was replaced it with the W154 in 1938 to adhere to a new 3000-cc formula for Grand Prix cars.
It was on the autobahn where it really flexed its muscles, however, with a 736 bhp (541 kW), aerodynamic reworking of the W125 clocking the fastest speed ever on a public road at 432.7 km/h (268.9 mph), a record that stood until November last year.
The freshly unveiled Vision EQ Silver Arrow concept is a tip of the hat to this record-breaking machine, with an output of 550 kW (750 hp) and a slender 80 kWh battery said to provide a 400 km (248 mi) range.
The body structure is made from carbon fiber, as are the front splitter, front trim and side skirts. The concept car is designed to appear like liquid metal, and we'd say it fares pretty well in that regard with layers of "alubeam silver" coating its 5.3-meter (17.3 ft) long body, while lighting strips built into the front and side skirts add a dash of color.
Each wheel contains 168 lightweight aluminum spokes painted in rose gold, dressed in 255/25 R 24 tires at the front and 305/25 R 26 at the rear, with customized treads. The forward-folding cockpit is fitted out with a beautifully presented combination of saddle brown leather, polished aluminum and solid walnut. A screen built into the steering wheel is shadowed by another serving as the instrument panel, which can also be used to play with Mercedes' virtual racing software.
The carmaker showed off the Vision EQ Silver Arrow at Pebble Beach as part of Monterey Car Week. We'd hazard a guess that this particular concept car is not intended for production, but more a way of imagining the future for Mercedes' EQ stable while honoring one of its most celebrated symbols of speed. Want a closer look? There are plenty of images in the gallery showing it from all angles.