Concept Vehicles

Mercedes-Benz F-Cell Roadster Retraces the Path of Bertha Benz

Words Thomas Philips | April 29, 2009
The F-CELL Roadster built at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Sindelfingen covered a section of the historic route taken by Bertha Benz
Words Thomas Philips April 29, 2009

As you may remember, about a month ago we brought you the details of a special concept vehicle known simply as the F-Cell Roadster. Inspired by the legendary Benz patent motor car and featuring design traits of modern F1 race cars, the F-Cell’s 1.2 kW hybrid drive allows the model to reach a top speed of 15 mph and achieve an operating range of 217 miles.

Over the weekend, the F-Cell Roadster took to the road, completing a portion of the historic route once traveled by Bertha Benz – a journey that has since been recognized as the first long distance journey in an automobile.  Specifically, the F-Cell Roadster started in Manheim, where it was then driven via Ladenburg and Heidelberg before passing its symbolic finish line at the chemist’s shop in Wiesloch – the location where Bertha Benz stopped to refuel in 1888.

Commenting on the F-Cell Roadster’s journey, Dr. Thomas Weber, the member of the Daimler AG Executive Board responsible for corporate research and development at Mercedes-Benz Cars, notes:  “This trip by the F-CELL Roadster is symbolic of the current change taking place in automobile engineering.  At that time Bertha Benz was not yet able to purchase the petrol she needed at a filling station, and for emission-free mobility we are also dependent on the widespread distribution of fuels for the future – electric power and hydrogen. But just as Bertha Benz refused to be discouraged by inconveniences in her day, we are just as determined to help ensure that these technologies achieve their breakthrough.”

To see photos from the Mercedes F-Cell’s trip, keep scrolling for the full photo gallery highlighting the event (click any picture to enlarge).  You can also read more about the F-Cell Roadster as well as Bertha Benz’ historic route in the official press release, also included below.