Mercedes-Benz VRC (1995)
Mercedes-Benz VRC (Vario Research Car) debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in 1995.
Whatever transforming cars we have seen in the past. However, the Mercedes version is perhaps the most logical: if a sedan, coupe and station wagon differ only in a few body panels, then why not make them interchangeable? So the buyer does not have to suffer from the choice: he snapped off the replaceable module – and put a completely different roof. And all this based on the usual C-class.
Removable modules are made of composite materials and weigh 30-50 kg each, so they can be changed without much effort by two or three people. Each element is securely fastened with eight electronic locks.
Of course, one can doubt that among motorists many want to buy all types of roofs at once because they need to be stored somewhere else. Mercedes offers a solution to this issue: you don’t need to buy several versions – one is enough, but take replaceable modules at the rental. They even promised to create a network of rental offices throughout Europe. However, as we already know, convertible bodies have not become mainstream. The masses want to get everything in one. Crossovers were recognized as cars for all occasions, and the Mercedes had no choice but to follow the lead of the market. A crossover based on the C-class – GLK – will appear in 2008, but traditional sedans, station wagons and convertibles continued to exist separately.