Geneva, Switzerland – Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the latest of its research cars, the F 800 Style, at the Geneva Motor Show. The large sedan features an all-new flexible multi-drive platform, which is suitable for electric drive with fuel cells, or as a plug-in hybrid.
“We are dedicated to reconciling our responsibility for the environment with practical customer benefit in an exciting car,” said Dr. Thomas Weber, 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.”
All of the components of the vehicle’s plug-in hybrid or fuel-cell drive system are installed in the engine compartment and in the gaps within the chassis to save space. As a result, all cabin space is retained, with plenty of room for five occupants.
The plug-in hybrid drive system consists of a 272-horsepower V6 gasoline engine with next-generation direct injection, a hybrid module developing around 109 horsepower, and a lithium-ion battery which can be recharged either at a charging station or a household power socket. It can run purely on electricity for up to 30 kilometres. Mercedes-Benz will begin series production of this technology when the next-generation S-Class is introduced.
The fuel-cell version uses an electric motor, powered by a fuel cell that produces water vapour as its only emission. The components are taken from the E-Drive modular system, which Mercedes-Benz has developed for a variety of different electric vehicles. These components, which are already being installed in the limited-edition B-Class F-Cell, are suitable for a variety of different drive configurations. The components are also installed in commercial vehicles, such as the new Citaro fuel-cell bus, which is equipped with two of the F-Cell systems used in passenger cars.
Other features in the F 800 Style include a new control and display concept, human-machine interface (HMI) with cam touchpad, “Range on Map” function which shows the remaining possible travel radius in electric mode as a view on a map, and Distronic Plus Traffic Jam Assist function, which is capable of following the vehicle in front of it into bends in the road. At speeds of up to about 40 km/h, the function takes care of both longitudinal and transverse movements, so that the driver does not actually have to steer the car.