Previewed at the 2010 Detroit Motor Show with a design sculpture, the F800 has been revealed in all of its details by Mercedes-Benz ahead of its official debut at the next Geneva Motor Show.
The 4.8 meters long sedangives the brand’s vision for the next generation premium vehicles, which will be focused on efficiency and technology, combined with an emotional look.
The F800 is characterized by a multi drive platform which allows to use two alternative drive systems — a Plug-in Hybrid or a fuel cell.
The car is powered by a V6 direct injection gasoline engine with an output of approximately 220 kW (300 hp) combined with 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.
The F800 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds, has a fuel consumption of 2.9 liters of gasoline per 100 km and emits just 68 grams of CO2 per km. When in pure electric mode the top speed is limited to 120 km/h and the range is 30 km.
The electric module is completely integrated into the housing of the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed transmission. The fuel cell is located in the front, while the compact electric motor is installed near the rear axle.
The lithium-ion battery is located underneath the rear seat, where it takes up little space, creates a low center of gravity.
According to the official information, many innovative technologies showcased on the F800 Style are "close to the series production stage." and some of them will be introduced on the
S 500 Plug-in Hybrid with the next-generation S-Class.
The mirror display of the innovative cam touchpad HMI eliminates the differences between close proximity visibility and visibility over longer distances.
Update: the F800 and the BMW CS Concept
As noted by our reader Chris, it can be noticed a clear similarity between the rear end of the F800 Style and the rear end of the 2007 BMW CS Concept.
One of the designers responsible for the exterior of the F800 is Karim Habib, who moved to Mercedes-Benz in March 2009 from BMW, where he designed the CS Concept.
This could explain the resemblance and could arise an interesting discussion about brand’s style vs designer’s style.
Its exterior appearance is marked by a long wheelbase, short body overhangs, and a sensually flowing roof line.
“The exciting coupe-like roof line, and in general the vehicle’s balanced proportions, lend it a stylish sporty look that reinterprets the Mercedes-Benz design idiom and emphasizes the sculptural character of the F 800 Style,” says Mercedes-Benz Head of Design Prof. Gorden Wagener. “The result is a harmonious blend of innovative form and function, which conveys a sense of great styling and authority.”
The vehicle’s front end features a variation of the radiator grille with the centrally placed brand star that is typical of Mercedes sports cars.
Along with the wide radiator grille and the generously curved air intake openings, the model’s unique bright LED headlights emphasize the dynamic nature of the research vehicle.
The headlights are divided into individual segments for daytime running lights, turn signal indicators, and primary headlights.
The F 800 Style’s taillights are also equipped with LED units that enable an exciting interplay of indirect illumination and direct beams.
The interior can accomodate five passengers and has a style characterized by wood surfaces and a sense of lightness, enhanced by the translucent roof and by functional elements such as the driver area and the door armrests which seem to float in space like sculptures.
The F 800 Style also has no B-pillar, making the entire space between the A and C-pillars completely accessible when the doors are opened.
The lightweight-construction seats consist of a magnesium shell and a carbon fiber laminate seatback across which a fine yet resistant netting is stretched.
The seat shell also features genuine wood veneer. The wood veneer process used a 3D surface coating procedure designed especially for the veneering of three-dimensional surfaces.
These wood finishing pieces are molded as 3D laminated components and are augmented by an aluminum core, which ensures that the components meet the crash safety standards.
The technological innovations include the operating and display concept and a human-machine interface (HMI) with a cam touchpad.
The display shows many additional functions not found in conventional instrument clusters.
The HMI unit 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 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 Range on Map function shows the remaining possible travel radius during electric vehicle operation as a 360° depiction on a map.
The new DISTRONIC PLUS Traffic Jam Assistant feature is capable of automatically following the vehicle in front of it into curves. The system recognizes the difference between driving along curving roads and turning, which means it does not “blindly” follow the vehicle up in front — for example, when it changes lanes in order to exit the highway. The system works at speeds of up to 40 km/h.
The PRE-SAFE 360° system monitors the area behind the vehicle and engages the brakes around 600 milliseconds before an anticipated rear-end collision occurs. helping in preventing secondary accidents such as when the car is catapulted into an intersection or a pedestrian crossing.
Below we report the design section from the official press release.
A synthesis of green technology and stylish-sporty design, the F 800 Style impressively demonstrates Mercedes-Benz’ ability to harmonize automobile fascination and emotion with the continually increasing demands of environmental compatibility.
Like its predecessor, the F 700 presented at the 2007 IAA motor show, the F800 offers a clear idea of what we can expect in the future from the brand’s premium automobiles.
Whereas the 5.18-meter F 700 provided a preview of the large touring sedan of the future, the much shorter F 800 Style (4.75 meters exterior length) points the way toward developments to come in the upper-range sedan segment.
“The F 800 Style combines the functionality of a groundbreaking upper-class sedan with the highly emotional formal idiom of the new Mercedes-Benz design,” says Mercedes-Benz Head of Design Gorden Wagener.
“The long wheelbase and the model’s intelligent interior design ensure a generous amount of space and great freedom of movement for five occupants. The result is a distinctive harmony of form and function, whereby the Mercedes brand value of ‘cultivated sportiness’ can be seen and felt in every detail.”
With a total length of 4.75 meters, the F 800 Style has both a longer wheelbase (2,924 millimeters) and a greater width (1,938 millimeters) than today’s upper-range sedans. All of the components of the vehicle’s extremely efficient and environmentally compatible alternative drive system (either Plug-in Hybrid or fuel cell drive) are installed in a space-saving manner in the engine compartment and in the gaps within the chassis. As a result, the entire interior space is preserved and offers plenty of room for up to five occupants.
Reinterpretation of the typical Mercedes-Benz design idiom
The exterior appearance of the F 800 Style is marked by its long wheelbase, short body overhangs, and a sensually flowing, coupe-like roof line. The dynamic side view and the vehicle’s balanced proportions lend it a sporty yet sensual look that conveys a feeling of style and superior performance. “The F 800 blends seamlessly into our design scheme,” says Wagener. “It’s immediately recognizable as a Mercedes, even though it embodies our reinterpretation and further development of the brand’s typical design idiom.”
Another important design feature in the F 800 Style is its organically stretched body surface elements. These flow into convex transition zones and are delineated by precisely curved lines. This creates characteristic lines which visually subdivide the vehicle body and generate emotional tension. The powerful front contoured line on the sidewall extends across the flank and then fades off as it moves downward. This line lends the F 800 Style — with its grey metallic ALU-BEAM color tone — a highly dynamic appearance, without making it seem aggressive. The sensually curved roof line underscores the exceptional aerodynamic quality of the coupe, which has a height of 1.43 meters.
The F 800 Style’s front end features a variation of the radiator grille with the centrally placed brand star that can be found in the new E-Class coupe as well as in other models. This grille extends prominently toward the front in the F 800 Style, while the bionically curving lamellae softly flow around the tube holding the Mercedes-Benz brand star. Other noticeable design features include the drop-shaped and thus aerodynamically designed exterior mirrors, whose housings, like those in the Concept BlueZERO model, are partially transparent and backlit.
A “shining” example of technological and design innovation at Mercedes-Benz is offered in the truest sense of the word by the powerful LED headlights in the F 800 Style. The combination of fiber optics and state-of-the-art LED technology lends the vehicle a striking appearance. Along with the wide radiator grille and the generously curved air intake openings, the LED headlights emphasize the dynamic nature of the research vehicle. The headlights are divided into individual segments for daytime running lights, turn signal indicators, and primary headlights.
The F 800 Style’s taillights are also equipped with state-of-the-art LED units that enable an exciting interplay of indirect illumination and direct beams, which further enhances the stylish appearance of the vehicle’s rear section at night. The result is an attractive, unmistakable, and memorable visual effect.
The F 800 Style’s translucent roof is divided into several segments. With flowing lines that dissolve and let more and more light through, the roof incorporates the wave styling elements of the air outlets. The F 800 Style’s 20-inch alloy wheels are equipped with plastic inserts whose bionically arranged air intake openings are shaped like filigree turbine blades.
Natural wood surfaces and a harmonious color gradient from light to dark make for an elegant and cozy interior in the F 800 Style. This interior was created at the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studio in Como, Italy, and its modern sense of lightness is immediately noticed by occupants. Functional elements such as the driver area and the door armrests seem to float in space like sculptures, while light-colored wood surfaces underscore the model’s elegant ambience. Side panels covered with alcantara form a visual contrast to the wood. The panels are light beige in the area of the A-pillar and grow darker in a smooth color gradient as they extend to the back, ending in a dark grey tone in the rear of the vehicle. Additional design details are provided by attractive engraved patterns in the rear door panels.
Wood veneering process
The innovative lightweight-construction seats in the F 800 Style consist of a magnesium shell and a carbon fiber laminate seatback across which a fine yet resistant netting is stretched. The seat shell is veneered with real wood. For the wood inlaying process, Mercedes-Benz engineers employed an innovative technology designed especially for the veneering of three-dimensional surfaces. The new 3D surface coating procedure developed by Mercedes-Benz was also used to install the wood finishing in the center console, on the doors, and in the driver area. These wood finishing pieces are molded as 3D laminated components and are augmented by an aluminum layer, a feature that significantly improves crash safety.
The single-section organically curved cockpit offers plenty of legroom for front-seat passengers. In a setup similar to the one used in the F 700 research vehicle from 2007, all important information for the driver is presented on the large and clearly arranged display unit in the instrument cluster. A key new feature of this improved display is that it focuses for the first time on data associated with electric vehicle operation. The unit thus puts important relevant information such as the battery charge state and remaining vehicle range at the center of attention.
The integrated display unit, which elegantly protrudes from the curved console, provides for a feeling of exceptional interior spaciousness. Outstanding ergonomic quality is guaranteed by the new HMI with cam touchpad integrated into the center console. The unit also boasts several technical innovations, including its ability to visually depict the current functions within the cam touchpad’s menu structure on the display above the center console.
Rear pivot-and-slide doors
The rear doors of the F 800 Style ideally embody the harmony of form and function that typifies the vehicle. Whereas the front doors are attached to the A-pillar in a conventional manner and open toward the front, the rear doors slide backward when opened. The innovative swivel arm construction of the rear doors allowed designers to forgo the use of visible door rails, giving the F 800 Style the appearance of being cast in one piece when its doors are closed. “We integrated the door technology into the vehicle in such a manner that it blends seamlessly into the overall design flow, thus perfectly harmonizing ergonomics and design,” says Wagener.
Form and function
The F 800 Style is both a technology package and a showcar. The latest Mercedes-Benz research vehicle was created through close international cooperation between the technical research and advanced engineering departments and the advanced design studios in Sindelfingen and Como, Italy. Form and function are equally important in the F 800 Style. For example, all of the air intake openings and outlets have an important technical function in addition to the bold design statement they make, and the organic, nature-based wave shape for the protective grille is a typical design feature that is present throughout the vehicle.
Mercedes-Benz F 800 Style – Technical data
Gasoline hybrid drive
- Length (mm):
- Width (mm):
- Height (mm):
- Wheelbase (mm):
- Trunk capacity (l):
- Inertia class (kg): 1,700
- Displacement (l):
- Rated output of gasoline engine (kW/hp):
- Rated output of electric motor (kW/hp):
- Total output (kW/hp): Approx. 300/409
- Acceleration 0–100 km/h (sec): 4.8
- Maximum speed (km/h):
- Electric maximum speed (km/h): 120 (Electronically limited)
- Fuel economy (liters/100 km):
- Electric range (km):
- Total range (km):
- CO2 emissions (g/km): 68
- Emissions rating:
- Energy content of lithium-ion battery (kWh): >10
Fuel cell drive
- Length (mm):
- Width (mm):
- Height (mm):
- Wheelbase (mm):
- Trunk capacity (l):
- Inertia class (kg):
- Rated output (kW/hp):
- Rated torque (Nm):
- Acceleration 0–100 km/h (sec):
- Maximum speed (km/h):
180 (Electronically limited)
- Hydrogen consumption :
- Total CO2 (g/km min–max):
- Range (km) NEDC:
- Energy content of lithium-ion battery (kWh)
- Battery (kWh/kW): 1.4