Mercedes-Benz considers electric version of the S-Class

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 17, 2011

As you may know already, back in September at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, Mercedes-Benz introduced the F125 Concept, a vehicle that showed the Daimler’s direction with large cars. According to Thomas Weber, r&d chief for Mercedes' parent company Daimler AG, the F125 Concept shows that the S-Class will continue in the future.

Due to the fact that the average fuel economy for passenger cars in the United States is expected to be 54.5 mpg by 2025, Daimler believes that electric drive must be part of its lineup. For example, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz S550 has fuel economy ratings of 15 mpg city/25 highway/19 combined and this means that changes are to be made in order to make its cars even more fuel efficient.

"If zero emission mobility will be necessary, and that's what we believe, it's clear we have to change to electric mobility," Weber said. Still, satisfying S-Class customers will be a problem for Mercedes-Benz but the German manufacturer is planning to offer a range of up to 1,000 kilometers [621 miles] completely emissions free.

Weber believes that this will be necessary by in 2025. Apparently, the answer to these problems is a fuel cell vehicle. The F125 Concept fuel cell stack drives four electric wheel motors and Daimler decided to make the vehicle a hybrid in order to reproduce all the driving characteristics of the current S-Class.

Usually, a fuel cell vehicle needs 10 seconds to start but with the plug-in fuel cell hybrid drivers will get the same feeling they know from their cars today. Still, the F125 Concept was built around unproven technology, such as : lithium-sulfur battery for increased density and a Kevlar-like material for the hydrogen storage tank.

"These two technologies are advanced, next-generation technologies, but they are not in the heavens," Weber said. "It's clear what kinds of technologies we are looking for. We believe as a visionary forecast in 2020, 2025, these kinds of cars are possible."

In order to celebrate 125 years of being in the business of manufacturing automobiles, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the F125!, a research vehicle that the brand believes is the future of the luxury segment when it comes to technical developments.

With this vehicle, Mercedes-Benz expects to see this model in future trends and hopes it will lead the way for the luxury segment to have an innovative premium concept especially for the large and luxurious vehicles. Through the F125!, the brand hopes to prove that luxury vehicles can offer individual mobility with no emissions.

The reason why this model is considered ahead of its time is that developers and researchers managed to put into it concepts and technologies that are already well-proven but have yet to be made available even during the present. However, since the research into these technologies and concepts has exhibited great promise, it presents an excellent opportunity for these to be put into practice in series production cars in the future.

For the F125!, the brand made sure that it was in line with its goal of driving without emissions and utilize hydrogen power, which more than highlights the possibility of having hydrogen as a future energy source. Most of the brand’s research vehicle typically goes forward about a generation, which is seven, or even eight years. However for the F125!, the brand went an extra step forward, at least two generations into around 2025 and even beyond that.

According to Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, the company, through the F125!, wanted to show that safe, comfortable, and large saloon cars, have a good future ahead as they can be driven without any emissions.

Dr. Weber is currently Daimler AG’s member of the Board of Management and is tasked to lead Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. He added by saying that this new research vehicle not only shows this leadership claim but also highlights the advanced ideas as well as the traditional qualities of the brands as it relates to comfort, safety, design, and performance.

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