The Mercedes-Benz Silver Lightning, also known as the Mercedes-Benz Silver arrow, is an electric concept roadster car that was built for the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.
The Mercedes-Benz Silver Lightning was built for the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge, where it won the best animation award for their short film Silver Lightning. It was conceived by the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studio in Carlsbad, California, the same studio behind the Mercedes-Benz Biome concept car.
The Silver Lightning was heavily inspired by the 1930s Silver Arrow race cars, most notably the Mercedes-Benz W125 driven by Rudolf Caracciola that won the 1937 Grand Prix, as well as the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR designed by Rudolf Uhlenhaut. The design theme also took influences from sci-fi movies like Star Trek, TRON: Legacy, and Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones.
The Silver Lightning's futuristic and sleek appearance also comes with innovative features, such as a roof constructed out of small, lightweight magnetic squares that uses Mag-Tech technology allowing them to either combine to form a hardtop or retract to form a roadster. The omni-directional wheels allow the car to steer freely in any direction and are enclosed in rings integrated within the car's main body.
In compliance with the competition's theme of designing "Hollywood’s Hottest New Movie Car", it was accompanied by a short film called Silver Lightning, which features two crash test dummies called Hans05 and Franz02 attempting and eventually succeeding in the rescue of their prized stolen Silver Lightning from Dr. Crash-Barrier, the main antagonist of the movie.
The Mercedes-Benz Silver Lightning is one of seven original Class S cars in the game with the following rank statistics:
- Starting rank: 1542
- MAX rank: 1647 (+105)
- MAX+PRO rank: 1714 (+67)
- Tuning Kit bonus: +26
- Stock to MAX+PRO rank difference: 172
- Speed Modifier: 91.46%
- Nitro Efficiency: 7/13/17
The Mercedes-Benz Silver Lightning's acceleration and handling are below average. However, it has a better nitro efficiency rating than most of the other original Class S cars, and it drifts very well around corners, the latter being a common trait across the original Class S cars.
Due to it being a high-ranked electric vehicle, the Mercedes-Benz Silver Lightning is useful for the later stages of Career Mode, especially for Mercedes-only and electric car-only events, where in most cases, the Silver Lightning is preferred over the nanoFlowcell QUANT FE, a Class S Elite Car that has a higher rank but is infamous for its terrible handling and drifting abilities, as well as its Class B cousin, the Mercedes-Benz Biome, which has a lower rank but costs half the price of the Silver Lightning.
While it is possible for the Mercedes-Benz Silver Lightning to perform decently with a Multiplayer build, the Lamborghini Estoque, a high-end Class B car, performs very similarly to the Silver Lightning, with better acceleration and a slightly worse nitro efficiency rating of 8/13/18. At MAX+PRO, the Estoque has an actual speed of 285.7 mph/460.0 km/h compared to the Silver Lightning's 285.9 mph/460.4 km/h. Due to the Estoque's better acceleration, it is more competitive than the Silver Lightning both in Events and Multiplayer.
The Mercedes-Benz Silver Lightning counts towards the Ion Runners collection, which awards a total 77,000 when both versions are completed. Due to the Silver Lightning's high purchase price compared to other vehicles in this collection, it is usually the last car the player would purchase before completing this collection. Players should, therefore, avoid claiming the collection prize immediately after purchasing the Silver Lightning, as the prize would be obtained at loss.
The Mercedes-Benz Silver Lightning was one of the Enduro Cars in the Icona Vulcano V12 Hybrid's Enduro Double Down event, appearing only in the third part of the event onwards (when the player has banked at least 21,000).