We knew Mercedes was working on an electric car but this is ridiculous

If you’re a golfer or someone who lives in a senior suburban community, you’re well aware that golf carts, for the most part, have carried on practically unchanged for years. Sure, they have gained radios and more advanced electric drivetrains, but the general design and capabilities have been unaltered. All that could very well change in the near future and, if so, it will happen at the hands of none other than Mercedes-Benz and Garia. That’s right, the luxury manufacturer has gone out of its way to design a “golf car” prototype that will move into series production should it garner enough interest from the market and general public.

For those of you who don’t know, Garia is actually a well-known golf cart manufacturer, and will actually be in charge of production. The company is building two prototypes of this “golf car” now and will be responsible for the for the series production in the future. The golf car that you see here was penned by MB designers, Daimler’s Think & Act Tank Business Innovation, and Garia itself. It all started back in 2013 when MB asked the public to submit their own designs for a Mercedes-Benz golf cart. It took a few years for MB to come up with its own design, but here we are.

Dr. Jens Thiemer, the Vice President of Marketing for Mercedes Cars, said, “With the Mercedes-Benz Style Edition Garia Golf Car we are offering a high-end golf cart which is absolutely unique and was specifically developed for sporting golfers and the sport they enjoy."

With that said, let’s take a good look at what could be the next evolutionary stage of the golf cart and see just what Mercedes has in mind.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Benz Style Edition Garia Golf Car.

What makes the Mercedes-Benz Style Edition Garia Golf Car special

2016 Mercedes-Benz Style Edition Garia Golf Car High Resolution Exterior
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As in typical Mercedes fashion, the Golf Car is excessively different from other golf carts on the market. On the outside, you’ll notice some pretty standard Mercedes design cues. For instance, instead of a boring, flat windshield, the Golf Car has a curved windscreen. The roof is made from carbon fiber and is painted in black to stand out against the white finish of the body. Furthermore, the cart has clear-finished carbon fiber fenders that appear to hover over the top of the wheels and tires, and there are carbon fiber inserts around the LED headlights, along the bottom of the front body work, and along the top of the golf-ball-textured imitation grille. There is also, unsurprisingly, a small rear spoiler in the rear – I guess you really can put a spoiler on anything – that doubles as a golf bag holder. Down below, there is a carbon fiber diffuser that Mercedes says is a “lighthearted reference to the vehicles character as a real sports car.”

2016 Mercedes-Benz Style Edition Garia Golf Car High Resolution Interior
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The inside of the Golf Car is even more interesting. To start off, there is a refrigerator under the bench seat and a storage tray under the dash that can carry golf balls and tees. There are also bottle supports on each side of the dash to provide space for glasses and bottles. Down, below the dash, you’ll notice that the acceleration and brake pedals feature a “+” and a “-,“ respectively, which is a reference to Garia. There is an integrated touchscreen display perched on the dash that is 10.1-inches and oriented vertically, just like that of the Tesla Model S and the Renault Megane. It has a resolution of 2560x1600 and displays vital information for the Gold Car including battery power, remaining range, speed, and status of the parking brake. In addition to this vital information, riders can also view the layout of whatever golf course they are on, keep track of score with a digital scorecard, check the current weather situation, order refreshments, and control various functions like the windshield wipers and headlamps. The Golf Car comes complete with Bluetooth phone connectivity and a pair of hi-fi speakers that are built into the rear roof pillars.

2016 Mercedes-Benz Style Edition Garia Golf Car High Resolution Exterior
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Considering the Golf Car comes from a German company like Mercedes-Benz, it should come as no surprise that it is properly equipped so that it can be approved for road use in the U.S. As such, it has headlights, taillights, and turn indicators. It has a double wishbone suspension system that should offer comfortable and smooth driving. The Golf Car itself is just 92.5-inches long, 47.2-inches wide, and 67.7-inches tall. It tips the scale at 970 pounds and can carry up to 1,014 pounds. The cart has a nominal output of three kilowatts, or about 4.02 horsepower, but can offer boosted output of up to 11 kW or about 14.75 horsepower for short periods of time. Mercedes hasn’t disclosed any specifics of the battery itself, but it is lithium-ion in nature and can be fully charged in about six hours. It has a top speed that is governed to 19 mph and has a range of about 50 miles on a single charge. Braking duties are handled by a disc brake system.

2016 Mercedes-Benz Style Edition Garia Golf Car High Resolution Exterior
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As you can see, this is a pretty elegant looking golf cart, but without a price point to go by, I’m a little skeptical as to whether or not it will actually be affordable. Mercedes has a history of taking a little too much pride in their vehicles, which is why it has so many models that carry excessively high prices (think AMG.) Not that some of its models aren’t worth the price, I just don’t agree with a $30,000 difference between trim levels. That said, I have a feeling that anyone wanting a Golf Car is going to pay a pretty penny to get one. Now golfers and retired people everywhere can hit the links, or their local subdivision block is Mercedes style. I hope Mercedes has a little more up its sleeve for that “Model S” fighter we’ve been hearing so much about recently – a 14-horsepower golf cart just isn’t going to cut the mustard on that front.

Press Release

Vehicles with Mercedes-Benz design are already unmistakable on water, on land and in the air. Now, Mercedes-Benz design will also be available for the golf courses. As a "real sports car", the Mercedes-Benz Style Edition Garia Golf Car authentically transfers the unmistakable Mercedes-Benz automobile design idiom of sensual purity to a premium-class golf cart. The showcar is the result of a cooperation between Mercedes-Benz designers, Daimler’s Think & Act Tank Business Innovation and the well-known golf cart manufacturer Garia.

2016 Mercedes-Benz Style Edition Garia Golf Car High Resolution Exterior
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The Mercedes-Benz Style Edition Garia Golf Car defines a new class of transport
for the golf course. Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG: "We have reinvented the world of the golf cart with our Mercedes-Benz Golf Car.

Mercedes-Benz stands for modern luxury, and golf is an authentic part of that theme. Transferring our automotive design idiom to the Golf Car is therefore something quite natural, and in doing so we have created a product that is both sensual and pure."

Dr. Jens Thiemer, Vice President Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars: "With the Mercedes-Benz Style Edition Garia Golf Car we are offering a high-end golf cart which is absolutely unique and was specifically developed for sporting golfers and the sport they enjoy." Our communication bears the lighthearted slogan "a real sports car".

For decades there was no evolutionary process at all

In 2013, Mercedes-Benz called upon golf and automobile fans from around the world to submit their ideas for a Mercedes-Benz golf cart of the future. While golf has developed into a premium sport with a modern face, golf carts have remained almost unchanged for decades. The numerous submissions showed the need for an updated golf cart that reflects modern times. This in turn meant that the golf cart needed to go through a long overdue evolutionary stage spanning several decades. Using modern technology, it was to be tailored to the needs of golfers, accompany current developments in the golf scene with a modern and sophisticated interpretation of luxury, lifestyle and practicality, and feature a bold, intelligent avantgarde design as a clear sign of change.

The best submissions in the design competition were the starting signal for the development of the new Golf Car under the Mercedes-Benz Style label. This is the label under which Mercedes-Benz Style designers create products for aspects of life beyond the automobile. The technical basis for the development of the Golf Car was contributed by golf cart manufacturer Garia. The underlying business model was developed by Daimler’s Think & Act Tank Business Innovation. Susanne Hahn, head of Daimler Business Innovation, explains: "We brought all the relevant project partners around a table – our designers and the golf cart manufacturer Garia, who in a possible pilot stage to come will be responsible for sales, production and development. We ourselves will manage and coordinate the various pilot phases with the in-house and external partners."

Hot and cool – like the automobiles from Mercedes-Benz

2016 Mercedes-Benz Style Edition Garia Golf Car High Resolution Exterior
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The formal basis for the design of the Golf Car is the same unmistakable design idiom that makes Mercedes-Benz design stand out as a definition of modern luxury. The aim of this design idiom is to create beautiful and intelligent products that are hot and cool.

Unusual proportions

The first conceptual phase already took into account that golf carts need to have certain characteristic features in view of the available space on golf courses. They must be narrower and shorter, but also higher than conventional automobiles. The front and rear overhangs must be very short in the interests of interior spaciousness within a compact overall length. The unusual proportions that resulted are still harmonious thanks to the design expertise of Mercedes-Benz Style. The designers have also been able to blend the exterior and interior into a formal unit.

Sporty and well-balanced

As a showcar, the new Mercedes-Benz Style Edition Garia Golf Car immediately appears distinctly different from conventional golf carts. The driver and passenger have a view through a large, curved windscreen. The carbon-fibre roof is different in colour and form from the base vehicle. With its short front and rear overhangs, it somewhat resembles a sporty baseball cap. The effect is to make the vehicle look low and more sporty.

The sporty impression is heightened by a small rear spoiler that acts as a golf bag holder while being fully integrated into the overall design as a significant feature. It is constructed to accommodate two golf bags slanted rearwards. This slanted position allows golf clubs to be conveniently taken out and replaced. A carbon-fibre diffuser rounds out the lower rear end as a lighthearted reference to the vehicle’s character as a "real sports car". The bench seat has a sculptured, inviting look like a lounge chair, and blends in with the exterior design to provide a sensual experience.

Other examples of intelligent and useful details: There is a refrigerator under the bench seat, and a storage tray under the dashboard holds golf balls aligned in a row. Bottle holders on the instrument panel support and on the passenger side provide space for glasses and bottles.

The pedals are another attractive detail. The right pedal has a plus sign, the left a minus sign, a reference to Garia. In a both practical and charming way, they thereby indicate their functions as accelerator and brake in this electrically powered vehicle.

Perfectly networked from tee to green

2016 Mercedes-Benz Style Edition Garia Golf Car High Resolution Exterior
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An integrated onboard touchpad with a screen diagonal of 10.1 inches and a high resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels shows graphically enhanced vehicle information in the smaller, upper area – for example the remaining range, vehicle speed, current power consumption or parking brake status. Many functions can be controlled at the touch of a finger, including the driving mode ’sport’ or ’eco’, the headlamps, windscreen heater, wipers and many more.

On the large screen area beneath this, the occupants can display the layout of the golf course and their current position, or if desired activate an electronic score card. The sophisticated graphic design is derived from the latest Mercedes-Benz passenger cars.

A hands-free system with Bluetooth® connection and hi-fi speakers integrated into the rear roof frame strut ensure that also on the fairway, the occupants are connected and able to listen to music from their smartphone. Those who wish to can take a look at a weather app, or order refreshments for delivery to the green. There are also plans to make the contents of a personal smartphone transferable to the touchscreen of the Golf Car for internet access and additional functionality.

High-quality materials and color concept

Stimulating contrasts between soft and harder materials are also typical of Mercedes-Benz. For example, the instrument panel support has a painted upper section and is leather-lined in the lower section. The color and materials concept has stimulating and surprising highlights with sporty carbon-fibre, sensual wood decor and high-quality, light-colored leather. Carefully finished to a high standard, the choice of materials confirms the high-quality character of the Golf Car. Metallic features shimmer elegantly in modern silvershadow. The steering wheel literally makes dramatic material contrasts tangible: lined in white leather, its lower section features a metal clasp in silvershadow.

The grille with an air intake slot reinforces the intentional allusion to an automobile. It creates associations with familiar Mercedes-Benz radiator grille designs, and its golf ball structure makes the vehicle’s purpose clear. Below it, the front section ends in an underbody protection panel, which visually symbolizes suitability for use on the unmetalled surfaces of a golf course.

The 5-spoke wheels with high-sheen twin flanges and black-painted surfaces between them are also heavily reminiscent of the dynamism for which Mercedes-Benz passenger cars are known.

All or nothing

In addition to a sensual, purist design idiom, a holistic overall appearance is one of the major attributes of Mercedes-Benz design. In other words, all details must come together to form a harmonious whole at a high level when viewed from any angle. The designers intentionally created every small detail from scratch. This includes the rear lights and the modern headlamps, whose striking graphics provide a recognition factor for Mercedes-Benz. They lend a face and character to the Golf Car. The headlamps use LED technology, ensuring good visibility in the event of sudden inclement weather or darkness.

2016 Mercedes-Benz Style Edition Garia Golf Car High Resolution Interior
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Noble origin with a future

The Golf Car self-assuredly declares its origin with the label "Mercedes-Benz Style". This embellishes the side sill panels and the wide lounge chair on which the occupants sit. In addition, it is prominently engraved in the rear spoiler and takes the form of a badge on the arched trim section of the instrument panel support. The front section and steering wheel bear the Garia logo, and the rear end has prominent Garia lettering.

Range of up to 50 miles (80 kilometres)

In technical terms, the Golf Car has unique features that even make approval for on-road use possible in the USA. To this end, it is equipped with all the necessary features such as direction indicators, headlamps and rear lights.

A double wishbone suspension typical of sports cars ensures comfortable driving characteristics and light, precise handling on all surfaces. This also gives the compact Golf Car (length 92.5 inches, width of 47.2 inches and height 67.7 inches) a tight turning circle of 17 feet. The Golf Car drives extremely smoothly both on the golf course and on the road.

The electric motor of the Mercedes-Benz Style Edition Garia Golf Car has an output of three kilowatts, but can also make up to eleven kilowatts available for short periods. This is enough to provide the 970-pound (440-kilogram) vehicle with its permissible payload of up to 1014 pounds (460 kilograms) sporty acceleration, with a governed top speed of 19 mph (30 km/h) and a range of up to 50 miles (80 kilometres). The charging time for the lithium-ion battery is six hours. The vehicle is braked by front disc brakes.

Garia is initially building two driveable examples of the showcar. The reactions of the market and potential customers will be incorporated into any series production. This progressive Golf Car is to be mainly sold via digital channels. Susanne Hahn: "The vehicle can be experienced absolutely virtually. This means that wherever customers are in a dealership or on a golf course they can look at the vehicle on a tablet and order it with three clicks."

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