|To hint at the upcoming M-Class, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (the maker of the M-Class) asked Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design to create the All-Activity Vehicle Concept in 1995.
The design team headed by Gerhard Steinle exaggerated the exterior design of the M-Class and developed a new interior with integrated telecommunication and entertainment features.
The AAV was shown and very well received at the 1996 LA Auto Show and at the Detroit Auto Show, where it was awarded Best in Show.
Gerhard Steinle won the prestigious IDEA Gold Award of the Industrial Designers Society of America for the creation of the All Activity Vehicle Concept.
Actually, two vehicles were built: One, fully functional vehicle, for media activities and the North American International Auto Show in Detroit- a second AAV, a so called see-through model was built for the LA Auto Show, because both shows happened at the same time.
The AAV stayed a focus of attraction after the 1997 introduction of the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, which did not display the same bold look with giant tires and big fender flares.
Using already the existing M-Class body designer Gerhard Steinle of Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design of North America gave the AAV showcar it's unforgettable look. For the tune of 2.5 millon the AAV was built by Metalcrafters in Fountain Valley, California.
The AAV found it's "retirement home" at the MBUSI facilities in Vance, Alabama. It's fiberglass clone resides still at Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design of North America in Irvine, California.
Does the M-Class have VW Beetle genes ?
| early AAV sighting story | |early AAV sighting pictures| | official AAV pictures |