Mercedes F800 Style: A Glance Into the Future

6 Apr 2010 | 4,546 views | No Comment
mercedes benz f800 Keeping a constant eye on future trends and their impact is a handy quality these days, given the fast-changing market, new laws and restrictions around the world, and an ever-present concern about fuel economy and efficiency. Mercedes-Benz is certainly as good as just about anyone--and better than most when it comes to anticipating future needs. Their latest look at the future is the F800 Style research vehicle some say gives strong hints of future design direction for Mercedes for everything from its C-Class to its S-Class lineup. Mercedes officials say in a press release that the F800 Style research vehicle is a “five seat premium sedan (that) 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 refined performance. The F800 Style has a spacious interior full of intelligent seating, operating, and display concepts.” mercedes benz f800 Flexibility, particularly being able to use platforms for more than one purpose, is key to any auto company’s survival, and to that end, the F800 Style research vehicle platform can be used for electric drives with fuel cells that enable ranges of almost 375 miles, along with plug-in hybrids that can drive up to 18 miles on electricity alone. A key aim with the F800 Style research vehicle was space efficiency, and as a result, plug-in hybrid or fuel cell drive systems are installed in a way that saves space, while still having plenty of room for five passengers. The electric module for the plug-in hybrid, for instance, is completely integrated into the housing of the 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. "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 F700," says Prof. Herbert Kohler, Head of E-Drive & Future Mobility and Chief Environmental Officer at Daimler. "Characteristic features of the F800 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." The F800 Style research  vehicle includes a 300 horsepower V-6 gasoline engine along with a hybrid module that can produce 109 horsepower, making for a hybrid system totaling 409 horsepower. Mercedes says that the components of the fuel cell drive are taken from the range of available e-drive modules, which the company developed for a variety of different electric vehicles. The components, which are already installed in the limited edition B-Class F-CELL, can be used flexibly and are suited for a variety of different drive configurations. The F800 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. mercedes benz f800 interior In addition to a multi-drive platform,, the F800 Style features other technological innovations, such as a new multi-function display concept and a human-machine interface (HMI) with a cam touchpad. The display shows many additional functions not typically found in conventional instrument clusters. The F800 Style's display concept focuses for the first time primarily on electric driving functions. “The new cam touchpad HMI is an intelligent expansion of the COMAND system. For many years now, Mercedes-Benz has been forging ahead with the development of innovative operating and display systems,” the news release says. “A particularly user-friendly innovation is being presented in the F800 Style. The HMI unit here consists of a touchpad on the center console and a camera that records video images of the user's hand as it works the pad. The live image of the hand is presented in transparent form in the central display above the console. The user sees the contours of his or her fingers glide across the image without covering anything, thus ensuring that all of the functions of the currently used menu remain visible so that they can be easily operated by applying slight pressure to the touchpad. Pressing the display with one's fingers generates a feeling similar to that of touching laptop keys so that users know when they are carrying out specific actions.” The cam touchpad HMI unit recognizes finger movements on the pad surface such as wiping, pushing, turning, and zooming, thus enabling intuitive regulation of the climate control system, telephone, stereo and navigation systems, and Internet access. Another interesting feature is something that Mercedes engineers call the "Range on Map" function, which shows the remaining possible travel radius during electric vehicle operation as a 360° depiction on a map. “Should municipalities only permit purely electric automobile traffic in the future, the driver can determine whether the electric range of his or her vehicle is sufficient for the journey into and out of the urban area by means of the Range on Map function. The system provides this function by combining information on the current battery charge level with data from the navigation system,” the news release adds.

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