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 Mercedes-Benz F 700: Pioneering New Technologies

11/8/2009

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Frankfurt, Germany — If you didn't have an environmentally friendly car at the Frankfurt Motor Show, you just weren't trying. Mercedes-Benz developed a 'green' car especially for the IAA in Germany, called the F 700 research car.

Don't expect the Mercedes F-Class any time soon, as this is primarily a prototype vehicle, but it does showcase a number of innovative features, least of which is the'DIESOTTO' 1.8-litre turbo engine.

But first the design: it is oddly attractive. It shows off a curious style that blends both wagon and sedan with sporty design cues, such as the flared wheel arches. Mercedes has already termed this new design idiom as"Aqua Dynamic". It talks of translating the "flow dynamics of a fish into the design of an exceptional automobile". 

However, more important than the way it looks is the way the Mercedes-Benz F 700 uses energy.

Powered by a special 'DIESOTTO' 1.8-litre petrol engine, the hybrid car is backed up by an electric motor that reduces fuel economy to an average of 5.3L/100km. That's exceptional when you consider that is very heavy, weighing 1700kg.

The 'DIESOTTO' engine type is similar to systems being trialled by GM that remove the need for spark plugs in a conventional petrol engine, relying instead on intense pressure (like a diesel engine) to provoke combustion.

In the F 700 concept, Mercedes-Benz chose a four-cylinder with a displacement of 1.8 litres to showcase it's new Controlled Auto Ignition (CAI) technology. According to the company it combines the strong points of a low-emission gasoline engine with the consumption benefits of a diesel drive, emitting just 127 grams of CO2 per kilometre and using only 5.3 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers (44.3 mpg).

Using this so-called Controlled Auto Ignition (CAI), along with direct fuel injection and turbocharging, the new DIESOTTO engine type combines the high power of the spark-ignition engine with the high levels of torque and greater fuel economy of a diesel.

"Our goal is to make the gasoline-powered car just as economical in consumption as the diesel. The new DIESOTTO concept is a major step in that direction, combining the best properties of the spark-ignition engine and the diesel engine," said Dr. Thomas Weber, head of Group Research at Mercedes Car Group.

The maximum output from the 1.8-litre engine is 175kW, and the electric motor pitches in another 15 kW. Overall torque is impressive, 400 Newton metres, which gives the F 700 the ability to sprint from zero to 100km/h in 7.5 seconds. Top speed is limited to 200km/h.

As well as it's highly efficient 1.8-litre petrol and the electric motor that improves propulsion, the 5.17 metre long F 700 can anticipatively recognise the condition of the road ahead and level out the uneven spots with its active PRE-SCAN suspension, says Mercedes. It uses two laser sensors in the front headlamp units as it's 'eyes', which deliver a precise image of the condition of the roadway. This information is then used to automatically adjust the suspension at each wheel in anticipation of any major irregularities in the road.

This new system is likely to appear on the mid-life update for the S-Class in the near future, and will improve suspension comfort substantially.

In the words of Professor Dr. Herbert Kohler, who is in charge of advanced engineering (powertrain) at Mercedes, "With the F 700, Mercedes-Benz shows what the big touring sedan of the future will look like. It offers environmentally compatible mobility combined with utmost comfort and an effortlessly superior drive."

With that, explains Mercedes, the F 700 meets the growing demands on luxury-class automobiles. The focus is on conserving resources and protecting the environment: low consumption, low CO2 emissions, low pollution levels. For in future there will continue to be considerable demand for the comfortable mobility provided by large sedans.

"Sustainable mobility only can be realised by intensive research and development. Technological progress is decisive for creating suitable products for an increasingly more critical world," added Professor Kohler.

The interior of this aquatically designed concept car is all about comfortable travel and well-being in a completely new way. Mercedes says that its Reverse' seat breaks up the firmly established seat arrangement of conventional sedans and offers individual seating positions facing, or with one's back to, the direction of travel. 

We wonder what implications this would have in terms of collisions and crashes, but being a safety-conscious car maker Mercedes is probably already dealing with the issue of airbag deployments for cars with mobile seating.

Mercedes says the F 700 will deliver new features in production cars in the future, with significant innovations in drive and comfort technology.

Mercedes-Benz F 700 Specifications:

Length (mm)

5180

Width (mm)

1960

Height (mm)

1438

Wheelbase (mm)

3450

Inertia weight class (kg)

1700

Tyres

195/50 R21

Displacement

1.8-litre

Rated power DIESOTTO

175 kW

+ electric motor

+ 15 kW

Max. torque

400 Nm

Acceleration 0–100 km/h

7.5 sec

Top speed, governed

200 km/h

Consumption

5.3 l/100 km

CO2 emissions

127 g/km

Emission rating

EU6

 

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