The 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show beginning September 15 will not only be used to introduce next generation models, it will also offer us all a glimpse into the future of the automobile.
At this year’s motor show, Mercedes-Benz is showing us what the future may hold for the 2025 S-Class, and they’ve named it the F125!.
The sweeping roofline has transformed the three-box S-Class into a model more closely resembling a coupe. Gorden Wagener, Mercedes-Benz Design Chief, is quick to point out that “it’s a further developed sedan shape” – with seating for four and a 470-liter boot.
A six-bar grille at the front and sharply defined creases that are clearly reminiscent of the current Mercedes CLS are the only clues that the F125 Concept is a Mercedes-Benz. Unlike the current model’s conventional four-door set-up, access to the front and rear seats is through a pair of elongated gullwing doors.
On the inside, the design stays true to Mercedes-Benz – luxurious and spacious while still being modern and simple. The front passenger seat can be folded away into the footwell to allow one of the rear seats to recline and lie flat. Most of the major controls are activated through gestures so drivers can point a thumb to the left or right for the indicators or swipe a hand to the right to activate the windscreen wipers.
Lightweight construction, using carbon fiber reinforced plastic and aluminium, means the F125 only weighs 1,700kg (3,747 lbs). That’s around 300kg less than the current model.
The F 125! is driven by F-CELL plug-in HYBRID technology, consisting of a further-developed fuel cell and a high-performance lithium-sulfur high-voltage battery. Energy storage is provided by a completely new kind of hydrogen tank that is integrated directly into the bodyshell structure. Using this set-up, 7.5kg of hydrogen can be stored – enough for a range of around 620 miles. Fuel economy is estimated at 105 mpg with a speedy sprint from 0-62 mph in under five seconds.
“When it comes to the drive, there is one figure to note – one thousand. That is the distance in kilometers that you can drive on electricity alone without stopping to refuel,” says Dr. Dieter Zetsche. “And with four electric motors close to the wheels and a peak output of 313 hp, there’s no shortage of fun.” Thanks to intelligent lightweight design with a high proportion of carbon-fiber, the four-seater offers refined performance coupled with exceptional comfort. The display, control and communication concepts are also completely new developments. Dr. Dieter Zetsche once more, “You could say that the F 125! is a smartphone you can sit in.”