We joined Mercedes-Benz at the 145th Open Championship of golf at Royal Troon which was the perfect setting for the world premiere of the Mercedes-Benz Style Edition Garia Golf Car.
Tradition meets modern. The world’s oldest golf championship has evolved just like golf itself into a premium sport with a modern face while golf carts have remained almost unchanged for decades.
Mercedes-Benz Style, the lifestyle design division responsible for collaborative projects like the Arrow460-Granturismo yacht, a luxury plane cabin and the interior design of Airbus Helicopter 145, came up with its idea of a better golf cart. In 2013 Mercedes-Benz showed the world what a golf cart of the future might look like with the Vision Golf Cart which was a result of an ideas competition of golf and automobile enthusiasts from around the globe.
The Mercedes-Benz Style Edition Garia Golf Car immediately appears distinctly different from conventional golf carts. While restrained to measurement specifications the Mercedes Golf Car gives a sporty and very stylish impression. The carbon-fiber roof with LED applications on the inside, the 14” alloy wheels with carbon fiber deflectors as well as a spoiler that serves as a golf bag holder and positions two bags at an angle to allow for easy club access, altogether form a well-balanced look of the vehicle. To round it off there is even a carbon fiber rear diffuser for extra flair.
The Mercedes-Benz Golf Car also has all the equipment needed to drive on the road, including turn signals and LED headlights and taillights. On-road use with the mentioned equipment would be possible in the USA and is desirable for the rest of the world. It measures 235 x 120 x 172 cm, (L x W x H) and has a turning radius of 5.2 m.
The Golf Car is said to drive smoothly both on the golf course and on roads due to its double-wishbone suspension – an experience we would like to make in the near future.
With the user interface presented in the Mercedes-Benz Golf Car a big step into present-day automotive design is made. 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, e.g. 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, e.g. for internet access.
In terms of power, the Mercedes Golf Car relies on a motor with up to 3 kW of regular output and short bursts up to 11 kW with the governed top speed coming in at 30 km/h. The lithium-ion battery provides up to 80 km of range and charges in about six hours. The car weighs 440 kg and has a payload of 460 kg.
Mercedes-Benz Style has brought to life a golf cart that truly distinguishes itself from any competitor and seems prepared for success on and off the world’s golf courses. For now there are two working examples that are being shown to the public at different locations – right now at The Open Championship, at the end of September at the Monaco Yacht Show and the Mercedes Trophy early October this year.
If the reaction to the Mercedes-Benz Style Edition Garia Golf Car is positive the executives at Mercedes-Benz will rely on a largely digital retail model. Director of Business Innovation Daimler AG 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.”
On water, on land and in the air – hopefully soon vehicles with Mercedes-Benz design will also be seen on golf courses throughout the world.