At the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show Mercedes-Benz has revealed the F 125! Concept, a visionary luxury vehicle that anticipates solutions expected for the year 2025 and beyond.
The car is powered by a Fuel Cell Plug-in hybrid system with a range of 1,000 km – 50 km in pure-electric mode.
The innovative bodyshell uses a lightweight hybrid construction with fiber-reinforced plastics and a mix of carbon-fiber, aluminum and high-strength steels.
The structure weights just 250 kg and integrates the innovative composite hydrogen storage unit. The tank is located in the floor assembly and contains up to 7.5 kg of hydrogen at 30 bar.
All in all the modular e4MATIC system, which also uses improved drive components from the SLS AMG E-CELL, generates a continuous output of 170 kW (231 hp) and a peak output of 230 kW (313 hp).
This accelerates the F 125! to 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds, with a top speed of 220 km/h, while NEDC fuel consumption is only 0.79 kilograms of hydrogen per 100 km (equivalent to 2.7 liters of diesel).
Among the innovative assistance systems is the Advanced Driving Assist which provides semi-autonomous driving.
The exterior design features distinctive proportions, with a length of 4,998 mm, a vey long wheelbase (3,333 mm), minimal overhangs, a passenger cell positioned forwards and large gull-wing doors that give access to both the front and the rear seat rows.
All the body contours are reduced to the essential which lowers the drag coefficient and enhances the sculpted look of the body, which appears to be cast from a single mould.
The front end is characterized by the uninterrupted, single-piece hood, the dynamic LED headlights and the distinctive grille, a reinterpretation of the trademark Mercedes-Benz grille, made possible by the reduced need for cooling air. At the bottom the floating, aerodynamic wings add visual width to the front section.
“The hood has a stretched look, and dips at the centre. The so-called dropping line extends from the radiator grille and over the front wheels, then descends dramatically towards the rear where it forms a precise edge.
“Thanks to the alternating concave and convex surface contours, the side wall below the dropping line has an organic, arched effect.
“This muscular arching increases towards the front, where it envelops the front wheel. The rear axle is spanned by a powerful shoulder, which emerges from the beltline and is aerodynamically and abruptly delineated by the tail lights.”
The rear end features inward-curving surfaces and C-shaped tail light clusters. The center section of the rear end extends out electrically to give access to the luggage compartment. The lower area at the rear is rounded off by two aerodynamic fins which delineate the visually floating diffuser.
“The roof structure emerges organically, the A-pillars growing from the front end like sinews to blend into the roof.
“The C-pillar supports the roof at the sporty rear end, tapering as it descends in the manner of Mercedes-Benz coupés. The dramatic entry line (E-line), which becomes visible when the doors are opened, forms an elegant curve.
“The E-line, beltline, dropping line and rising “counter line” of the sill panels are reminiscent of tensed sinews in a muscular body, producing a harmonious overall picture.
“The special night design with contour lights running just above the side sills optimizes visibility from the side. In the dark the “counter line” becomes a continuous, illuminated blue band for better side visibility.
Coming together at the front end, the lines accentuate the forward-thrusting, dynamic appearance.
“In this way we have created contrasts in the visual perception: calm and quiet, yet dynamic,” says Mercedes-Benz Head of Design Gorden Wagener.
“The real power lies in the elegant, muscular winds and the wheels: the wheels symbolise electric motors with terminals and coils, and make the drive concept visually tangible as well.”
Developed at the Mercedes-Benz Design Centre in Como, the lounge-like interior benefits from the long wheelbase and offers plenty of space for four passengers, with dimensions similar to those of a current long-wheelbase S-Class.
The futuristic design uses organic surfaces and textures which contributes to the original look of the cabin.
The advanced infotainment system provides full connectivity through the “@yourCOMAND” Cloud-based service and can be controlled via touch, gestures and voices.
Among the hi-tech equipment are LCD displays with autostereoscopic 3D and projector-beam technology, including a retractable 17-inch display installed on the front passenger side, which can be fully controlled by hand gestures.
“The lines and contours vary from taut and sinewy to wave-like and dynamic and are constantly in flux. Light-coloured wood plays a central role in the decor, and extends throughout the interior.
“The centre console formally emerges from the dashboard and curves around the driver.
“The large star in the steering wheel forms the central core from which three wide, wooden spokes extend.”
The layout is characterized by a pronounced asymmetry: the interior is not divided between front and rear, but between the left and right halves, which reflect the different uses.
“While the cockpit has a very sporty and driver-oriented design, the rear opens up as an extremely relaxing lounge area. These contrasts are visually underlined by a varied colour scheme: dark in the front left and light in the right rear.”
“Using switches in the centre console and rear door area, the rear seat backrest can be moved from upright to a chaise-longue position: the seat cushion extends forwards and a footrest folds out to provide a very comfortable resting position.”
“At the same time the front passenger seat is pushed forwards, which provides even more generous spaciousness in the rear and allows a clear view of the 17-inch display in the front passenger area. This is fully controlled by hand-gestures.”