Updated 1/4/15 by Nick Jaynes: Mercedes released more teaser photos, which have been added to the gallery.
Teaser images are a great way for auto manufacturers to build up excitement for upcoming announcements, but they cause us to plummet deep into a speculation rabbit hole. Mercedes-Benz released such an image on the automaker’s Facebook page simply stating “ the future will be bolder than you’ve ever imagined.”
Down the hole we go.
First off, from what we can tell from the image, it seems to be a concept car of some kind with a very unconventional, swooping silhouette from the back of its narrow taillights to the front tip. It’s difficult to get a sense of scale, but from what we can see from the wheel well, the mystery vehicle looks very low slung to the ground.
Beyond that, there isn’t much to go on from the image alone. The biggest clue is the “#mbCES” hashtag that accompanied the Facebook post, which tells us all will be revealed at next week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Dr. Dieter Zetsche is set to be a keynote speaker at CES, whereupon he will discuss autonomous vehicle technology as well as speak about Daimler Intelligence Drive, which is how the German luxury automaker refers to the network of safety sensors, driving assists, and comfort related functions found in its automobiles. The CES website also reaffirms that Dr. Z will indeed be presenting a concept vehicle.
So what could the focus of this concept car? Considering Zetche’s topic of choice, it’s a safe bet that this is Mercedes-Benz’s self-driving car concept, particularly if Intelligence Drive is also going to be a topic of discussion. Intelligence Drive already boasts a slew of “eyes and ears” for vehicles like the S-Class, connected to things like steering assists to keep drivers in their own lanes, Pre-safe braking systems to avoid pedestrian collisions, and dynamic cruise control that follows the car ahead.
So automated steering, braking and driving. Sounds like a self-driving car to us. We’ll only have to wait less than a week to see what Dr. Z unveils at the 2015 CES show on January 5th.