Thursday 26th March 2009


Young Merc designers build homage to 1886 Benz

No, this isnít the illegitimate love child of a penny farthing and a Mercedes-McLaren SLR. This is the F-CELL Roadster, a design study by a group of the Mercedes-Benz trainees.

The unusual styling is a nod to one of Mercedesí original car designs, the 1886 Benz Patent Motor Car, and combines the familiar modern-day face of Mercedes with cutting-edge 21st century technology. Power comes from a rear mounted 1.2kW fuel cell system, making the F-CELL completely emission-free.

Its young designers have replaced the conventional steering wheel with a joystick to control the F-Cellís drive-by-wire system, but it wonít be setting any blistering 0-60mph times, though, as its limited to a top speed of 16mph, well within the limit of the extremely narrow tyres. The company also claim itís good for a 220 mile range, although if youíre going that far you might want to consider something a bit faster.

As youíd expect on an cutting-edge, 21st century car there are plenty of modern materials, with carbon fibre bucket seats wrapped in hand-stitched leather and fibreglass bodywork based on Formula One racing parts.

It took a team of more than 150 junior employees over a year to complete the project, and although it will never see the light of day its good to know thereís an exciting crop of talent waiting in the wings over at Mercedes.

Author: George B
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