This is a massive press release, so I cut it in to three parts.
First of all, the sexy vehicle you see here is the future (near-future) look of Mercedes Benz. They have proved that passion and German engineering can coexist, just take a peek at the CLS for proof. Now, after hinting at a new design language, Mercedes Benz sends out what is a damn sexy hybrid/fuel cell concept.
Now, I know what you’re saying, “It’s JUST a concept!” and you would be right. This Mercedes Benz F800 concept is nothing but a drool-inducing dream… or is it? This is a working concept that runs and drives, it is known as a “research car” and is being put through its paces.
Sure, the hyper modern interior and slick, sliding doors are eye candy – but there might be some crossover into production. Remember: many of the Mercedes Benz you see on the road came from a research vehicle.
I wouldn’t be surprised if they used this style with a high efficiency diesel or (god forbid) a diesel hybrid.
Regardless of what they do with the technology just look at it! It’s gorgeous!
Here’s the press release (Part I):
Efficiency paired with elegance: Pioneering upper-range sedan with “green” technology and avant-garde design
• A reinterpretation of the concept of “fascination and responsibility”
• Multi drive platform enables use of two alternative drive systems – either Plug-in Hybrid or fuel cell
• Intelligent display concept focusing on “electric driving”
• HMI with cam touchpad for intuitive and precise operation
• Traffic Jam Assistant for increased comfort and safety
Mercedes-Benz’ F 800 Style research vehicle is showing the future of premium automobiles from a new perspective, as the five-seat upper-range sedan combines highly efficient drive technologies with unparalleled safety and convenience features and an emotive design idiom, which interprets current Mercedes-Benz styling in line with the brand’s hallmark attribute of cultivated sportiness.
The F 800 Style has a spacious interior full of intelligent seating, operating, and display concepts. Another unparalleled feature for a large sedan worldwide is an all-new multi drive platform, which is suited for electric drives with fuel cells (enabling ranges of almost 600 kilometers) as well as the use of Plug-in Hybrids that can drive for up to 30 kilometers solely on electricity. Both variants of the F 800 Style therefore make locally emission-free mobility possible at the level of a premium-class automobile, while at the same time being fully suited for everyday driving and providing a dynamic driving experience.
“We are dedicated to reconciling our responsibility for the environment with practical customer utility in a fascinating automobile,” says Dr. Thomas Weber, the Daimler Board of Management member responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “The new F 800 Style research vehicle combines this commitment to providing the leading innovative drive concepts with our traditional Mercedes strengths in the areas of design, safety, comfort, and outstanding performance.”
A glance into the future of pioneering upper-range sedans
Within the 4.75-meter external length of the F 800 Style, all of the components of the vehicle’s especially efficient and environmentally compatible alternative drives (Plug-in Hybrid or fuel cell drive system) are installed in a space-saving manner in the engine compartment and the gaps within the chassis. Each of the drive systems takes up comparatively little space for the installation. This applies in particular to the electric drive with fuel cell, which has been enhanced by Mercedes-Benz to be compact and powerful. The front end’s compact package was made possible through the consistent downsizing of all F-CELL components. As a result, the entire interior space is preserved and offers lots of room for five occupants.
“For many decades now, our research vehicles have been turning pioneering concepts into reality and thereby setting future trends. We set a course on the large touring sedan segment in 2007, when we presented the F 700,” says Prof. Herbert Kohler, Head of E-Drive & Future Mobility and Chief Environmental Officer at Daimler.
“Characteristic features of the F 800 Style are its innovations, whose development is already close to the series production stage. This is true not only of the electric drive with fuel cells but also of the Plug-in Hybrid, whose components were taken from our modular system for electric and hybrid vehicles.”
F 800 Style with Plug-in Hybrid: Outstanding performance despite emissions of only 68 grams CO2 per kilometer
In combination with the very powerful Plug-in Hybrid drive system, the F 800 Style is a very dynamic expression of the concept of “fascination and responsibility.” Its drive unit consists of a V6 gasoline engine with an output of approximately 220 kW (300 hp) with next-generation direct injection and a hybrid module with an output of about 80 kW (109 hp) so that it delivers a total power of around 300 kW (409 hp). The lithium-ion battery with a storage capacity of >10 kWh can be recharged either at a charging station or a household power socket. Thanks to its powerful and high-torque hybrid module, in the city the F 800 Style can run exclusively on electricity and therefore without generating any local emissions. Because it also has a high torque right from the moment it starts, the vehicle has the same driving performance as a car with a V6 gasoline engine even when operating in electric mode. The F 800 Style with the Plug-in Hybrid can run purely on electricity for up to 30 kilometers. The F 800 Style research vehicle therefore marks a further important step in the creation of a market-ready Plug-in Hybrid. Mercedes-Benz will begin series production of the S 500 Plug-in Hybrid with the introduction of the next-generation S-Class.
Due to its efficient drive system and a CO2 bonus for the battery-electric driving mode, the vehicle has a certified fuel consumption of only 2.9 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers. This corresponds to extremely low CO2 emissions of only 68 grams per kilometer. However, thanks to its outstanding efficiency, the F 800 Style equipped with a Plug-in Hybrid nevertheless has a driving performance comparable to a sports car (0-100 km/h in 4.8 s, top speed of 250 km/h). When in electric mode, the F 800 Style has a top speed of 120 km/h, and can thus also meet the needs associated with long-distance driving.
As is the case with the Mercedes-Benz S 400 HYBRID introduced in the summer of 2009 and the Vision S 500 Plug-in Hybrid, the especially powerful electric module (approx. 80 kW) of the F 800 Style is completely integrated into the housing of the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed transmission. The lithium-ion battery in the new research vehicle is located underneath the rear seat, where it takes up little space, creates a low center of gravity, and ensures maximum safety in the event of a crash.
The electric drive components in the F 800 Style with the Plug-in Hybrid once again demonstrate the versatility of Mercedes-Benz’ extensively scalable modular hybrid system. The hybrid system can be expanded in various ways, depending on performance needs and the area of application. On this basis, it is possible to combine hybrid modules and batteries of different performance ratings with fuel-efficient, high-torque gasoline and diesel engines. Examples range from the current mild hybrids all the way to Plug-in Hybrids that enable exclusively electric driving over long distances. In developing the F 800 Style with Plug-in Hybrid, the Mercedes engineers particularly focused on improving the possibilities of driving exclusively with electricity in urban traffic.
Thanks to high power reserves, the F 800 Style in e-mode easily masters all kinds of city traffic while producing no local emissions. With the new hybrid module, the top speed of the F 800 Style with Plug-in Hybrid has been increased to 120 km/h in electric mode compared to the Vision S 500 Plug-in Hybrid. At the same time, it emits only 68 grams of CO2 per kilometer, compared to the latter vehicle’s 74 grams per kilometer.
Flexible, secure, and fully suited to everyday use: The F 800 Style with electric drive and fuel cell technology
The F 800 Style also offers clean driving pleasure in the variant equipped with an electric drive based on fuel cell technology. The vehicle’s electric motor develops around 100 kW (136 hp) as well as a strong torque of approximately 290 Nm. The fuel cell generates the traction current by chemically reacting hydrogen with oxygen onboard the vehicle, producing water vapor in the process as the only emission.
The components of the fuel cell drive are taken from the range of e-drive modules, which Mercedes-Benz developed for a variety of different electric vehicles. These components, which are already being installed in the limited edition B-Class F-CELL, can be flexibly used and are suited for a variety of different drive configurations. The F 800 Style is an example of this, as it uses rear-wheel drive, in contrast to the B-Class F-CELL. The same components are also installed in commercial vehicles, with developments here being spearheaded by the new Citaro fuel cell bus, which is equipped with two of the F-CELL systems used in passenger cars.
The new Mercedes-Benz research vehicle has the fuel cell located in the front, while the compact electric motor is installed near the rear axle. The lithium-ion battery is located behind the rear seats and is protected as well as possible against the effects of accidents, as are the four hydrogen tanks. Two of the tanks are located in the transmission tunnel between the passengers, while the other two are underneath the rear seat.
Stay tuned for ‘Part II’ tomorrow!