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Frankfurt show: Benz unveils ‘2025 S-Class’

Revolutionary road: Chairman of the Daimler AG board of management and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Dieter Zetsche with the F125 research vehicle in Frankfurt.

Mercedes-Benz F125 fuel-cell limo concept gives car fans a look into future

14 Sep 2011

MERCEDES-BENZ has revealed its vision of luxury motoring in 2025, unveiling a hydrogen fuel-cell-powered four-seat limo that it describes as the S-class of the future.

Officially a research vehicle, the five-metre-long Mercedes F125 has a range of 1000km and is driven by four electric motors – one driving each wheel – in a system dubbed e4Matic.

The motors combine for a maximum power of 230kW and an unprecedented 3440Nm of torque at the wheels.

The composite hydrogen fuel tank is integrated into the floor, holding 7.5kg of hydrogen and taking up less space than conventional high-pressure tanks of today. The low-pressure tank does away with the need for a cylindrical shape, and can be moulded into structural shapes of the car.

The fuel-cell stack – tested in Mercedes’ 30,000km around-the-world B-Class F-Cell adventure earlier this year – is said to generate a continuous 170kW and a peak output of 230kW.

This is said to power the car from zero to 100km/h in 4.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 220km/h, while consuming just 0.79 litres of hydrogen per 100km – the equivalent of 2.7L/100km in diesel.

As well, Mercedes has unveiled a new “very powerful” lithium-sulphur battery with a storage capacity of 10kWh – capable of propelling the car 50km on battery power alone.

4 center imageBut Mercedes-Benz says it is assuming that by the time the F125 makes it into series production, this battery type will be capable of energy densities up to 350Wh per kg.

“This would represent roughly a doubling of current performance,” the company said.

“The real potentials of this technology are, however, the subject of basic research and are still difficult to assess at present.” Mercedes said the battery of the F125 would be capable of induction charging at “intelligent charging stations”, where the driver simply parks over a charging pad to recharge the batteries.

As well as the advanced propulsion system, Mercedes has used the F125 to explore a range of new cutting-edge safety systems, such as Advance Driving Assist that uses car-to-car communications to avoid potential collisions and allow overtaking on narrow country roads.

Inside, a 3D screen in the upper section of the centre console uses projector-beam technology, controlled via a touchpad with 3D finger tracking by the driver.

“A further, retractable 17-inch display is installed on the front passenger side, and this is fully controlled by hand gestures,” said Mercedes.

“In this way a rear passenger can select his personal film program with no physical contact.

“A high-resolution wide-image display allows the entire traffic situation behind the vehicle to be conveniently monitored, and makes exterior mirrors unnecessary.

“The image is adapted to human perceptive powers at all times, and once again provides a much clearer overview with more rapid and intuitive registration of the relevant traffic situation.”

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