AVTR is text-speak for Avatar, but it’s also short for Advanced Vehicle Transformation. This is the name of the six metre-long super-luxe future limo Mercedes debuted at CES in Vegas in January, a bygone era before phrases such as “the new normal”, “lockdown” or Matt Hancock corrupted the vernacular.
The pandemic also explains why rather than a test track somewhere in Germany, I’m now piloting the AVTR from a room in my house 900 miles away. It’s a shame, because Mercedes doesn’t mess around when it comes to creating concept cars, executing them with meticulous attention to detail. This one goes even further, because it convenes the fine minds not just at Merc’s advanced design studio, but also the freethinkers at Lightstorm Entertainment, the production company behind James Cameron’s monster hit Avatar and its upcoming sequels. An unusual collaboration.
On the other hand, given the premise of the film – man occupies the form of tall blue being; enjoys eerily rendered ecological epiphany – not actually being in the same country as the car I’m meant to be test driving while test driving is film-appropriate, as well as being very 2020.