Exclusive: Mercedes-Benz Bione

Mercedes-Benz is sure to set tongues waging at this year’s Los Angeles auto show. But it won’t all be down to the world debut of the new CLS63 AMG.
No, the talk of the show, which opens to the public this Thursday, is likely to be centred around this spectacular looking concept car revealed by Mercedes-Benz to a selected group of journalists called the Biome.
Created at Mercedes-Benz’s advanced design studio in Carlsbad, California, the sleek four seater hails from the fertile mind of studio head Hubert Lee – the man behind the styling of the second-generation CLS unveiled at the Paris auto show and the F700 Style concept car wheeled out at the Geneva auto show.
Don’t expect the Biome to feature on the Mercedes-Benz stand in Los Angeles, though. Word is new concept, a full sized 1:1 model built at MetalCrafters in California, will be revealed to the public for the first time at the prize giving ceremony for the Los Angeles Design Challenge, the competition for which it was originally conceived but for which the German car maker ultimately decided to enter two other concepts, the Smart 454 Weight Watch Technology from its Sindelfingen-based studio in Germany and the Maybach eRikscha from its Yokahama-based studio in Japan.

Further info and images on the Biome after the jump
The 2010 Los Angeles Design Challenge called for the creation a safe and comfortable two-plus-two configured compact car that weighs no more than 1,000 lbs (454 kg). The Biome, which is clearly more fiction than production reality, has been built to these parameters, with what Lee describes as a biofibre body that he says grows in a completely organic environment from seeds sown in a nursery and sees it tip the scales at just 875.5 lbs (394 kg).
Drawing on tradition, occupants enter the new car through a full length gullwing style doors that hinge along the centre line of the car. The 4040mm long and 2500mm wide concept also boasts a diamond shaped seating arrangement that sites the driver in the middle up front, two passengers slightly further back on either side and third passenger in the middle up back facing in the rear.
37-year-old Lee denies the styling of the Biome is related to any upcoming Mercedes-Benz model, describing it as “pure fantasy”. But with rumours already circulating about the prospect of an upcoming mid-engined model from Mercedes-Benz, its unveiling is likely to increase speculation of a possible Ferrari 456 Italia rivalling supercar out of Stuttgart.
As one senior Mercedes-Benz designer pointed out: “The proportions, detailing and stance could be translated to a production car application. It's really a matter of where our board wants our sportscar program to go. Mercedes-Benz has limited history with mid-engine, but that's not to say we will never do a production car with such a layout.”

1 comment:

  1. Mind Blowing!
    Looking like a glorious model. Really this is stunning one. I always want to see such dramatic model for my own use.