No, this isn’t 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 Mercedes’ 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-Cell’s drive-by-wire system, but it won’t 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 it’s good for a 220 mile range, although if you’re going that far you might want to consider something a bit faster.
As you’d 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 there’s an exciting crop of talent waiting in the wings over at Mercedes.