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Smart 341 Parkour concept

You may be familiar with the term, “Parkour” due to it becoming more widely well-known by the online community, via videos on YouTube or through television shows that use the term often, like the character Schmidt, in the “New Girl”. However, if you have never attempted to parkour before, than you may not know its meaning, the history behind it, or that there is an award-winning concept car derived from it.

Parkour, or its original name, “Le parcours”, is a training discipline developed by Raymond Belle, David Belle and Sébastien Foucan, as well as, other members of the original parkour group of practitioners, known as, Yamakasi. It was developed out of military obstacle course training and is aimed to help those who do it to overcome blockages both mentally and physically. It is non-competitive and requires no contact with others. There is no equipment needed since objects found in everyday life are used as the barriers in which to overcome. The goal is to move from one object to another, negotiating the obstacles in between.

Now that you have a better understanding of parkour, just imagine instead of a person leaping from object to object, it is a car that is doing it. Almost mind-blowing right! Well, in 2011 the participants of The Los Angeles Design Challenge were required to develop a futuristic Hollywood car, as well as, invent a movie script about the car they created. The winners of this design challenge were the Mercedes-Benz designers Sylvain Wehnert, Emiel Burki and Phillipp Haban with their development of the Smart 341 Parkour concept car.

Smart 341 Parkour car

Definitely a vehicle ahead of its time, the Smart 341 Parkour concept is certainly futuristic looking with its 360 degrees transparent cell that provides complete visibility to its driver. The wheels are retractable, have impulse pads and vacuum cups. The adjustable hexagon skin surrounding the wheelbase allows for the wheels to be released if and when necessary.

The Smart 341 Parkour concept car also includes several different futuristic modes; there is a normal drive mode, a climb mode that enables the vehicle to climb buildings, a park mode that allows it to park on its nose, as well as a fly mode where the vehicle can soar above the streets. These impressive features allow for the vehicle to move from one object to another, while overcoming obstacles that may get in its way, which, as you may recall is the meaning of parkour and makes the name chosen for this vehicle extremely fitting.

Here is a look at the award-winning movie script and concept car designed by Mercedes-Benz .

[Image Sources: MotorAuthority, Mercedes-Benz]


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