Top-of-the-line golf car manufacturer Garia is introducing what it calls the “coolest golf car ever,” the Mercedes-Benz Style Edition Garia Golf Cart. The innovative Scandinavian company had initially planned to produce the new golf car in partnership with Mercedes-Benz. After Mercedes-Benz cancelled the project, Garia went on with development. Garia will release a limited edition of its new product at the Geneva Motor show in March 2018.
Luxury Car in a Golf Cart
Complete with refrigerator and touchpad screen, the new golf car is inspired by luxury car style. Already respected for its fleet of high-end golf and utility cars, Garia designed the model to appeal to golfers who are looking for a new golf cart with the amenities of a luxury car. Mercedes Benz initiated the project in 2013 when it realised that golf cart design had not changed in decades and needed to evolve. After asking the public for ideas, the company gave the design responsibility to Garia. Mercedes-Benz eventually cancelled the project, but Garia followed through with its new luxury golf car model.
Garia continued the high-end golf car project, even after Mercedes-Benz questioned whether there was enough demand for the product among the coveted young professional demographic. Wouldn’t young golfers prefer to walk, and leave the golf car to the older generation? Marketing its new product as a “real sports car” and the “coolest golf car ever” with plenty of “bling,” however, Garia appears to have faith in demand from the younger generation.
Garia calls the new model a golf “car” rather than a golf “cart” because of its sleek style that resembles a sports car as much as a golf cart. Stylish design features include a curved windscreen, and carbon fibre roof and supports in a contrasting colour from the rest of the cart. The front grille adds a sports car touch, with a golf ball design that matches its golf course function. The Mercedes-Benz Style Golf Car retains the shorter, narrower shape and greater height of a golf cart, but appears to sit as low like a sports car.
A Golf Car with “Bling”
Some of the items on the Mercedes-Benz Style Golf Car’s “bling” list include LED front and tail lamps, and 14-inch aluminium rims with diamond-cut elements in a black five-spoke design. The Garia website notes that the LED lights give the golf car an athletic look, setting it apart from the standard sports car or golf cart. Other high-end features include handmade stitched “lounge” seats and a carbon fibre roof with handmade black leather lining and grab handles. On a practical note, genuine leather is waterproof.
A 10.1-inch integrated touch screen on the dashboard gives the new golf car a modern feel. With a resolution of 2,560 pixels x 1,600 pixels, the touchscreen lets passengers control headlights, windshield wipers and other functions, order food and beverages from the clubhouse, and surf the Internet. It displays scores, golf course layout, and weather conditions. Passengers can even use the Bluetooth-enabled screen to listen to music through integrated hi-fi speakers.
The Mercedes-Benz Style Golf Car design offers practicality and convenience as well as luxury. It includes dual-size cup holders on both sides as well as another standout feature: an under-seat refrigerator. The rear spoiler holds the golf bags in an outward slanted position, making it easy to remove golf clubs from their bags. Passengers can store golf balls in a tray below the dashboard.
Street Legal in Some Countries
Garia’s new golf car has so many sports car features that it can be driven on the open road in the United States and the EU. It can reach 43 miles per hour and has a 50-mile range. It runs on the largest lithium battery pack of any golf cart, with a 10,24 kWh (200-amp hours) capacity. The white leather-lined steering wheel, front disc brakes and double wishbone suspensions add to the vehicle’s smooth handling. Garia even marked the foot-brake with a minus sign and the accelerator with a plus sign. Although the Mercedes-Benz Style Golf Car handles well and has decent range and speed, United States federal law will limit this golf car to 25 mph.
An Environmentally-Friendly Company
With headquarters in Denmark, Garia has a United States subsidiary as well as the UK and Asia Pacific offices. The company was founded in 2005, and has gained a reputation as a cutting-edge manufacturer of golf carts, or “golf cars.” Garia states in its website company bio that its golf cars have “completely reimagined the traditional golf cart.” The Mercedes-Benz Style Golf Car is a result of the company’s desire to consider the needs of the pro golfer when designing a vehicle.
Garia has an impressive track record as an environmentally friendly company. It produces zero-emission electric vehicles, including the Mercedes-Benz Style Golf Car. Vehicle production follows the strict health and environmental protection laws of Denmark. Its workplace adheres to EU and national standards for hazardous waste removal, and its production facility receives 40 to 60 per cent of its power from wind and other sustainable sources. Even the vehicles Garia produces can be factory reconditioned and recycled.
Anders Lynge, the co-founder of Garia, approached Mercedes-Benz with design proposals for a new golf car. During the partnership between the two companies, Mercedes-Benz focused on the business model and gave Garia responsibility for the vehicle design. Garia was thus able to retain its environmentally friendly design and production standards as it worked on the new golf car design.
A New Standard
Garia has undoubtedly reinvented the traditional golf cart. As its website states, the Mercedes-Benz Style Golf Car “ends the age of plastic buggies” for the high-end golfer. The new model has “Mercedes-Benz Style” labels on the side of the golf car, the dashboard, and a touch screen – an unmistakable stamp of luxury. The steering wheel, seat, rear bumper, and front of the vehicle all display the Garia logo.
Time will tell if young professionals will buy this new golf car, or if Mercedes-Benz was right in its doubts about its appeal to this age group. Whatever the outcome, this “golf car to end all golf cars” has set a standard for the future.
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