At some point, every vehicle begins as a fantasy. In the old days, this process started with paper and pencil. Now, computers can create illusions with incredible realism, and over the past several years we’ve seen many automakers create digital vehicles for video games such as Gran Turismo. However, the car featured here is not for a game. In fact, it doesn’t even have an official name.
Mercedes-Benz simply calls it a virtual show car, and as the name suggests, it exists only in the digital world. It’s the first all-virtual car from the automaker, built as part of the digital trifecta surrounding the 2022 League of Legends World Championship. It also ties in with the ongoing partnership between Mercedes-Benz and Riot Games, the company behind the popular League of Legends game series.
At this point, Gran Turismo Fans might be scratching their heads about this being the first virtual show car. Lest we forget, the Mercedes-AMG Vision Gran Turismo was conceptualized almost 10 years ago as something that could be driven digitally. Gran Turismo 6. However, Mercedes actually built a real-world version of the vehicle, while there are no such plans for a digital show car.
They can do Due to the lack of traditional show car wheels. A digital representation of the wheels at the corners flows into the body, with a bubble in the middle for the passengers. Mercedes-Benz Chief Design Officer Gordon Wagner calls it a fusion of “real automotive design and animated design”, explaining that boundaries can be pushed, without limitations in virtual space.
The partnership with Mercedes-Benz and Riot Games does not depend on this curious concept. Beginning at the Worlds Finals in San Francisco on November 3, design elements from League of Legends will be featured on display in the Mercedes EQS digital vehicle. This will eventually transition to an in-car game experience available through Merc’s digital MBUX system, accessible worldwide.
Meanwhile, a Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV has been tasked with transporting the real-world Summoners Cup trophy across the country, which will be awarded at the conclusion of the League of Legends Championship in early November.