Mercedes-Benz is gearing up for the car of tomorrow and has envisioned a very futuristic 2025 S-Class, with its F125 Concept that will be unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show a taste of what’s to come. The “F” stands for “Forschungsfahrzeug,” or experimental car, while the 125 refers to the 125th anniversary of the automobile (the 1886 Benz Patenwagen was the first Benz).
The F125 Concept features all the technology that Mercedes-Benz hopes to include in its future vehicles, imagining up an electrically driven, hydrogen-fuel-cell–powered, full-size luxury sedan with the range of a diesel. But it also indicates where the automaker would like to go in terms of design.
It features a carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic sandwich-platform structure that is designed especially to fit the concept’s integral hydrogen tank. Carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, aluminum and steel are all combined to cloth the exterior, while the traditional B-pillars are now non-existent. It opens via two giant gullwing doors that occupy almost 90 percent of the car’s wheelbase (18 inches cut out of the 131 inches between the axles). Thanks to its hybrid of materials, the concept is lightweight with the shell itself only weighing 551 pounds (total weight is just 3750 pounds). The lightweight chassis supports 23-inch wheels with 245/35 low-rolling-resistance tires.
To accompany the futuristic styling cues, the F125 features a state-of-the-art fuel-cell system that uses hydrogen to create electricity, which in turn powers a series of electric motors. At the heart of it all is the hydrogen tank that is integrated into the F125’s design, thus acting as a structural element so there’s not loss of interior space and higher ranges than current diesel models. Hydrogen is then converted into electricity via a fuel-cell stack that’s stored in a 10-kilowatt-hour lithium-sulfur battery mounted behind the rear seats. Its battery can also be recharged thanks to a plug-in feature.
The electricity then powers four brushless electric motors that are mounted low at each corner so to provide the concept with full-time four-wheel drive. The front motors each push out 68 hp and 55 lb.-ft. of torque, while the rear ones deliver 136 hp and 147 lb.-ft. of torque each. According to computer simulations by Mercedes-Benz, the F125 can go from 0-62 mph in 4.2 seconds with a target top speed limited to 137 mph to preserve the battery. Consumption figures put hydrogen use at 0.79 kilogram per 62 miles, which is about 87 mpg (diesel.)
For the interior, the cockpit includes 3D displays, a cloud-based telematics system, and an asymmetrical rear-seating concept. It seats only four, but when folding the front-passenger’s seat down into the footwell, the right-side rear seat can actually extend into a business class chaise. Voice-controlled features include navigations, e-mail, Internet access, while hand gestures can trigger the wipers, turn signals and temperature.
While all these cool features sound exciting, we’re sure that all might change once the price is released. But then again, all this might be dirt cheap come 2025!
Kristie Bertucci is an L.A.-based writer, who can't live without her MacBook Pro. When she's not writing, she's either reading or shopping (online, of course) and loves lazy days so she can catch up on her DVR-recorded shows and movies. She's definitely a Mac girl, she loves music and is currently on a mission to to have an insane and enviable iTunes library.