Mercedes-Benz Concept Style Coupe storms LA before Beijing
Mercedes-Benz teased the Concept Coupe a few days ago and promised an in the flesh debut at the Beijing Auto Show. What they didn't mention was that it would actually be seen first in Los Angeles at a special event hosted by Mike D of the Beastie Boys.
The event, called the Transmission LA: AV CLUB is a contemporary art festival that started on Friday and runs through May 6. Mercedes-Benz is there with the Concept Coupe in an attempt to appeal to a broader crowd and gain a new audience. They're aiming for an upscale, "rebellious" crowd and including the B-Boys obviously fits that Gen X image they want to portray.
The exhibition features the concept on display (see the gallery) in a specially-made booth which features light and sound (fitting the Audio-Visual theme of the festival) to showcase the car. Viewers can stand in "light pods" and don headphones to listen to the music that synchs with the LED lighting as well as the lighting on the car.
Speaking of which, the Concept Coupe features something really cool: kinetic headlights. Rather than the usual "blinking" turn signal or even the active LED light track that some cars sport to indicate a turn signal, the Mercedes instead has physically kinetic lights that "strobe" to indicate a turn thanks to robotic eyelash-like plates that move one after the other in a stadium-wave-like form, creating a "blinker" effect.
The video below shows how this innovative and cool idea works. The way the plates move is similar to the way you'd drum or tap your fingers on a table top, one after the other. The action is created by an actuator that powers each of the six fingers on the light using a camshaft-style rod that rotates to lift and drop each in turn.
To go with the eyelash looks of the turn signals are the headlights themselves, whose shape resemble that of an Egyptian statue's long eyes and which "open" like an iris when activated (turned on). Mercedes engineers have created these lights as a showcase of what might be in the future.