Traditionally one step ahead.
The future of the beginning.
What the designers and engineers achieve in research vehicles reaches far into the future – but some features soon end up in series production vehicles. At Mercedes-Benz, we work on the basis that: new technologies should be made accessible, drivable and appraisable. In this way, they fulfil their purpose of providing findings on the car of tomorrow. This is also the purpose of the research vehicles. They are designed and developed in order to bring into motion automotive visions and to test new vehicle concepts and technologies. They also serve to intensify the dialogue with customers and to analyse the reactions of the general public to such automotive ideas.
The aim is, of course, to later integrate these visionary ideas into series production vehicles. Here you can take a look at the series of Mercedes-Benz research vehicles.
The timeline of
For the 125th birthday – the F125!
The F125! from 2011. This is the youngest of the research vehicles and it really demonstrates how emissions-free mobility will be possible in the future thanks to hydrogen. A vehicle generation equates to between seven and eight years, but with its innovative ideas and traditional Mercedes-Benz strengths from the fields of design, safety, comfort and performance, the F125! doesn't just look one vehicle generation into the future.
The newest technological visionary goes quite a way further: more than two vehicle generations, right up to and past the year 2025!
Future drive technologies – Mercedes-Benz F800 Style.
The Style of the future? The F800 Style lays the foundations. A long wheelbase, short body overhangs and a flowing roofline lend the future Saloon a Coupé-like appearance. From now on, the face of this new research vehicle will symbolise the newly interpreted design idiom of the brand with the star.
What's more, the technology is equally fascinating: the new multi-drive platform is suited just as well to a plug-in HYBRID as it is to a fuel-cell electric drive. A new operation and display concept, Cam-Touch-Pad HMI (Human Machine Interface) and further innovations also help increase both comfort and safety. Traffic Jam Vehicle Follow Assist ensures additional relief for the driver, whilst the PRE-SAFE® 360° system ensures better protection in the event of a rear impact.
Saloon – Mercedes-Benz F700.
In 2007, the Mercedes-Benz F700 showed the future of the superior long-distance Saloon. At the heart of the F700 is the DIESOTTO engine. It combines the advantages of low-emissions combustion engines with the consumption benefits of a diesel engine.
The design of the F700 is distinguished by soft, flowing shapes. The designers refer to this design idiom as "Aqua Dynamic".
F600 HYGENIUS and F500 Mind.
The Mercedes-Benz F600 Hygenius continues the line-up of fascinating and forward-looking research vehicles. With its fuel cell, the compact car with families in mind demonstrates consumption figures which equate to a mere 2.9 litres per 100 kilometres and on a full tank of hydrogen, the vehicle has a range of more than 400 kilometres.
The Hybrid F500 Mind from 2003 is powered by a V8 diesel engine with 184 kW (250 hp). This simultaneously charges the batteries which provide the electric drive with 50 kW (68 hp). There are two possibilities for opening the doors: in the conventional way or in the opposite direction, making use of the so-called butterfly principle.
F400 Carving and F300 Life Jet.
In 2001, the F400 Carving Roadster brought gullwing doors back to life – a distinctive feature of sporty Mercedes-Benz vehicles. The most noticeable characteristic of the F400 Carving – whose name actually comes from the sporty skiing style known as "Carving" – is the inclination of the outer wheels by up to 20 degrees when cornering. This considerably increases driving stability.
On its predecessor, the F300 Life Jet research vehicle, Mercedes-Benz gathered extensive findings for the active camber of the vehicle's wheels.
With it, Mercedes-Benz was able to combine the driving sensation and cornering dynamics of a motorbike with the safety and comfort of a car.
F200 Imagination and F100.
Does the car of the future still have a steering wheel and pedals? The Mercedes-Benz F200 Imagination from 1996 goes against the grain in all things ergonomics: sidesticks – small joysticks in the doors and in the centre console with which the vehicle is steered and braked – replace the steering wheel. As a large and modern Coupé, the F200 Imagination can be seen as the forerunner of a number of design traits in the Mercedes-Benz CL, which made its debut in 1999. Unusually, in the F100 research vehicle from 1991, the driver's seat is in the middle of the vehicle. A plethora of electronic components such as DISTRONIC PLUS adaptive cruise control offer the driver improved safety.
Thanks to all of these characteristics, the Mercedes-Benz F100 is not just to be viewed as a test vehicle for engineers. It represents a new type of vehicle.
The spirit of visionary pioneers.
Curiosity is the starting point of all progress. Even in 1886, as Carl Benz created the famous Patent-Motorwagen, he constructed a vehicle which shared only one common feature with its predecessors: the wheels. For many years now, the creative heads at Mercedes-Benz have been carrying forward the legacy of this inventive genius. Technological leadership is part of the brand's philosophy. The fact that traditional values are sometimes questioned and that unusual solutions are often the cause of amazement and fascination is all part of the visionary way of thinking at Mercedes-Benz.
The designers and engineers at Mercedes-Benz are already working on the next research vehicle. The future of the car begins today – and every day it begins anew.