The Mercedes F200 Imagination concept had side cameras instead of mirrors even nearly three decades ago.
Mercedes-Benz is renowned for its inventions and high-end luxury vehicles that feature cutting-edge technologies. A 1996 Mercedes F200 Imagination concept car that was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show was shown in a video to be way ahead of its time. The touchscreen infotainment system wasn’t even a thought when the car was built, which was 26 years ago. The concept car, however, had these attributes. Even though it was nearly three decades ago, Mercedes surprisingly chose to include side cameras in the concept car rather than mirrors.
What’s more surprising is the joystick for driving. Tesla has garnered a lot of attention with its yoke in the Model S Plaid. But this Mercedes-Benz F200 Imagination concept had a joystick for manoeuvring the vehicle, which makes its cabin look like an aeroplane cockpit. One was mounted on the driver’s door, while the other was in the centre console. The concept car was built as part of the F-Series of research vehicles.
The multiple digital displays on the dashboard were meant to show the car’s outside through the camera it had instead of side view mirrors. Clearly, Mercedes-Benz never actually forgot this design idea while developing the current Hyperscreen.
The F200 Imagination had many more advanced technological bits. These include windows and knee airbags, bi-xenon headlamps, active body control, and voice recognition. Many of these goodies finally made into production cars.
The power source for the F200 was a mammoth V12 engine that is good to churn out 394 hp of peak power and 570 Nm of peak torque, channelled to the rear wheels through a five-speed automatic transmission.