Just before the Geneva Motor Show, Mercedes Benz have unveiled images of their latest concept car, F800 Style. Announced to be the sedan of the future, the F800 Style research vehicle has rear doors with a sliding mechanism. And thanks to a swivel arm design, the car does not spot any door rails on the outside, giving it a clan look when the doors are shut.
The F800 Style features a bold front-end with new radiator grille with the centrally placed brand star, generously curved air intake openings, LED lights and grey metallic ALU-BEAM color tone. Plug-in hybrids and fuel cells. Mercedes calls it a multi-drive platform, and the F800 Style is built to take both hydrogen fuel-cell and plug-in hybrid powertrains, with the former offering a range of 375 miles and the latter allowing for 19 zero-emissions miles. Because Mercedes has managed to shrink the size of its F-Cell (fuel cell) componentry, the F800 can squeeze the fuel cell or plug-in hybrid powertrains into the engine compartment and (says Mercedes) the gaps within the chassis. And there’s still room inside for five.
The plug-in version of the F800 Style has a next-generation, direct-injection 299bhp 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine, mated to an 80kW hybrid module that’s integrated into the seven-speed gearbox. There’s also a lithium-ion battery with over 10kWh of storage capacity, and the F800 can reach 75mph in electric mode – it manages 155mph with petrol power – and return 68g/km.
The all-electric version features a 100kW motor that develops 214lb ft and is powered by a hydrogen full cell and lithium-ion batteries. The technology is a development of the system found in the B-class F-Cell, though adapted for the F800’s rear-drive layout.
The F800 concept also introduces two new technologies that will doubtless appear in upcoming models. Distronic Plus Traffic Jam Assistant is an enhanced version of Mercedes’ active cruise control system, which can now steer the car through curves as long as it’s traveling under 25 mph. Neat. Also new is the Pre-Safe 360-degree system, which expands the existing Pre-Safe collision detection/mitigation system to the rear of the car. Now, if Pre-Safe senses that a rear-end impact is imminent, it’ll apply the brakes in a bid to keep the car from getting into an additional chain-reaction accident involving other cars or pedestrians.
Inside there’s leather and wood trim, magnesium and aluminum seats, and a three-piece sunroof that floods the cabin with light, but much more important are the new gadgets. Top of the list is the latest version of Mercedes’ COMAND multimedia system, with a touchpad similar to that found on the new A8, but with a camera that records the driver’s hand and projects the image onto the screen so he or she can see what they’re about to press.
The Mercedes-Benz F800 Style concept car will debut at the Geneva Motor Show, March 4th trough 14th.