It’s not entirely clear why, but Mercedes-Benz—“the official patron of the PGA tour” and sponsor of pro golfer Adam Scott’s right breast—recently held a global contest that involved its fans submitting ideas for the ultimate golf cart. The results came in, were compiled, and apparently the overwhelming consensus among the entries was that Mercedes-leaning golfers yearn for a cart that rivals their car in terms of luxury. The three-pointed star guys presented the criteria to its designers in Carlsbad, California, who churned out the Vision Golf Cart concept you see here. It debuted it at this year’s British Open championship.
Loaded to the gills with luxury features, the Vision cart is less “the Mercedes-Benz of golf carts” and more a Benz car that happens to look like a golf cart from Tron. As Gordon Wagoner, Benz’s VP of design, puts it, “Why not [treat] a golf cart like a car, and [make] it a ‘golf car?’ ” Well, for starters, Volkswagen already makes a ‘Golf car,’ but we suppose that integrating carlike attributes into the ultimate golf cart makes some sense. Still, we’re struggling to see why Benz needed to design the Vision at all when a GLK-class can hold some clubs and seems capable of tackling a grass field.
Silly design brief aside, the all-electric Vision Golf Cart is an impressive bit of fantasy. Users can plug the Vision in to charge it, or it can be juiced up via the roof-mounted solar array—likely at a much slower, cloud-dependent pace. Electric hub motors mounted provide power. Inside, you won’t find a steering wheel or pedals; instead, a central joystick controls the vehicle. This is both bad and good, because it allows either front passenger to control the Vision. A series of touch-screen displays controls the air-conditioning and infotainment systems—for staying cool while streaming Caddyshack, natch—and the vehicle also packs heated and ventilated seats and Benz’s Airscarf neck-warmer technology. A head-up display is integrated into the windshield and can show golf course layouts, scores, and weather info.
A USB iPod/iPad dock lets occupants use their devices to play music through the Vision’s speakers, while a Bluetooth connection ensures captains of industry can still bark orders at their subordinates while away from the office. Golf-specific touches include a cooler—the beer is up to you—as well as cooled or heated cup holders. For golfers who aren’t so good at golfing, there’s an emergency “fore” button that, when pressed, sends a warning signal “to golf carts within the danger zone.” It isn’t clear how that zone is determined, or how Mercedes expects folks to override their instinctual pride and dignity to press that button. Since sometimes it rains on golf courses, rain-sensing automatic windshield wipers are included, as is a retractable lightning rod that is intended to be better at attracting electricity than nearby golfers’ clubs. Snap-on, lightweight doors can be deployed to further battle the elements.