As automakers contemplate diminishing energy supplies, downsizing their vehicles appropriately, Mercedes-Benz prepares for a different possible future, one where flesh-eating zombies roam the earth, and small bands of humans survive anyway they can. Mercedes-Benz released renderings of what its go-anywheremight look like if it has reason to continue building the model in 2025.
The Ener-G-Force, sporting a name that sounds like a futuristic zombie fighting organization, smoothes out the boxy angles of the current G-wagon, lowers the center of gravity, and replaces its internal combustion engine with an electric power train. That latter feature comes in handy for quietly prowling the deserted urban landscape in search of canned food supplies, and not attracting zombie attention.
Mercedes-Benz describes a vehicle with in-wheel electric motors, giving it completely torque-adjustable four-wheel drive. Battery packs in the side skirts show their state of charge on the outside of the car with different colors. Inside the Ener-G-Force, an electrolyzer converts water, collected in a roof pan, to hydrogen, which gets converted into electricity through a fuel cell.
Windows were purposely narrower than on the current G-wagon, which should make it more difficult for zombies to break in when they have swarmed around the vehicle. If you get caught outside, what was formerly the rear spare-tire cover opens up, revealing a tool or gun locker.
Mercedes-Benz's Advance Design Center in Carlsbad, Calif., initially came up with the Ener-G-Force as its entrant for Los Angeles Design Challenge 2012, a yearly automotive design competition hosted by the Los Angeles auto show. This year's challenge focuses on law-enforcement vehicles for the year 2025. In police guise, the Mercedes-Benz envisions the Ener-G-Force as able to carry out law-enforcement duties in any corner of the world.
CNET's coverage of the 2012 Los Angeles auto show begins on November 28.