Every year, the Los Angeles Auto Show hosts a challenge among automotive designers to concoct far-flung ideas about the future of transportation. This year's theme asked what the law enforcement rides of 2025 might look like, and the sketchers at Mercedes-Benz were so enamored with their design they built a life-size version, creating a Gelandewagon for the end of the world.
Dubbed the Ener-G-Force, the truck is in Mercedes' own words "pure science fiction," but it does provide a few hints as to where Mercedes designers see SUV styles heading. Based on the military-grade G-Class SUVs, the Ener-G-Force features built-in police lights, a bull bar integrated into the grille and 20-inch off-road wheels "guarantee the right-of-way even where no way exists." Since this is 2025, power comes from a hydrogen fuel cell sending electricity to motors in each wheel hub.
As part of the design competition, Mercedes filled the Ener-G-Force with a few less realistic, imaginary tools. The hydrogen from the fuel cell comes from a more up-to-date take on Mr. Fusion that pulls hydrogen from any given source, and stores the water produced by the cells in roof tanks. The space where a spare tire goes on the modern G-Class is filled with tools. And the roof rack includes a "terrascan" topography sensor that adjusts the suspension for different terrain. Given that Mercedes already sells technology that attempts to sense the road and even the wakefulness of the driver, some of this sounds like it could be on a options list well before 2025.