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Mercedes Silver Arrow, designed by Hubert Lee for the 2011 LA Design Challenge

The classic 1930s and 1950s Silver Arrows from Mercedes count as some of the most beautiful racing cars ever designed. Hubert Lee - the creative director of Mercedes' LA design operation - created a new Mercedes Silver Arrow for the 2011 LA auto show design competition, the LA Design Challenge.

The theme for 2011 was cars for a futuristic Hollywood movie. 'We looked at many influences, but Syd Mead was definitely one,' Lee explains. Beneath the silver wheel shells are omni-directional diagonal rubber sections on a roller that allow steering in all directions. To enable access for passengers, 'the whole dashboard, bonnet and front grille slides forward as one section into the scooped area between the front wheels to create the space for the doors to open up, scissor-style'

Interview with Hubert Lee, Creative Director, Mercedes-Benz

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‘This epic adventure has it all, including a surprise ending that will have audiences cheering as our reluctant heroes save the day with a little old-school subterfuge and help from the great tradition of the mercedes-benz automobiles.‘

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In a futuristic society of increased artificial intelligence, two enlightened crash test mannequins, Hans05 and Franz02, show that they’re no dummies when it comes to recognizing a potential catastrophe and decide to take matters into their own hands. As the evil battering ram Dr. Crash-Barrier seeks to continue his reign of terror and mayhem, the two heroes take action to save their beloved Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow. They lead the relentless ‘Dr. Barrier’ on an action packed thrill ride through the past and future of transportation.

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The designers at the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studio in Carlsbad, California have created a Hollywood-style homage for Mercedes-Benz to 125 years of innovation in automotive technology and design.

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The leading roles are played by two high-tech characters which have been instrumental in reconciling safety and stylish design in automobiles: the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow cult racing car and crash test dummies.

The film "Silver Lightning" is set in the near future, in an age of artificial intelligence. Two crash test dummies by the names of Hans05 and Franz02 take on evil ruler Dr. Crash-Barrier to save their beloved Mercedes Silver Arrow. They engage in an action-packed, nerve-jangling duel with the ruthless battering ram before finally outfoxing him. The Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow Concept is a low-lying sculpture on wheels.

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