Mercedes-Benz are already to be seen on water, on land and in the air. Now they will also be seen on golf courses. The Mercedes-Benz Style Edition Garia Golf Car showcar is the result of cooperation between Mercedes-Benz designers, Daimler's Think & Act Tank Business Innovation and the well-known golf cart manufacturer Garia.
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."
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."
In technical terms the Golf Car has unique features which 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 2350 millimetres, width 1200 millimetres and height 1720 millimetres) a tight turning circle of 5.2 metres. The Golf Car drives extremely smoothly both on the golf course and on metalled roads.
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 give the 440-kilogram vehicle with its permissible payload of up to 460 kilograms sporty acceleration, with a governed top speed of 30 km/h with a range of up to 80 kilometres. The charging time for the lithium-ion battery is six hours. The vehicle is braked by front disc brakes.
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.
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 sporty impression is heightened by a small rear spoiler which acts as a golf bag holder while being fully integrated into the overall design as a significant feature. It is so constructed that it can accommodate two golf bags slanted rearwards. This slanted position allows golf clubs to be conveniently taken out and replaced. A carbon-fibre diffuser rounds off 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 stowage 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 nice 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.