Is this Mercedes’ interpretation of Back to the Future? Mercedes let 150 of its trainees and students go wild for a year and create a concept car that represents their outlook on motoring. What resulted was the F-Cell Roadster, a car the encompasses the past, present and future of the automobile.
The skinny wire wheels are an obvious nob to the 1886 Benz Patent Motor Car, which is recognized as the first automobile. From there everything get much more modern. The body and interior are made of fiberglass and carbon fiber. The front section is styled after F1 racers.
The back of the car is where most of the future technology comes into play. The F-Cell is powered by the emission-free fuel cell system located at the rear. With a power rating of 1.2 kW the F-CELL Roadster reaches a top speed of 15 mph and has an operating range of up to 217 miles. This is controlled with drive-by-wire technology, and a joystick takes the place of a conventional steering wheel.
Press release and more pics after the jump.
In a hitherto unique project bridging various fields of profession, the trainees of Daimler AG at the Sindelfingen Mercedes-Benz plant have built a Roadster with fuel cell drive. For about a year, more than 150 trainees and dual education system students worked on the overall concept, development, assembly, and completion of the F-CELL Roadster.
This project involved junior employees from the fields of automotive mechatronics, model-building, electronics, coating technology, manufacturing mechanics, product design, and interior appointments. The prime objective of the project was to integrate the topic of alternative drive systems into training with hands-on experience.
"This project impressively demonstrates that the topic of sustainable mobility has become an integral part of our vocational training," said Human Resources Board member and Labor Relations Manager Günther Fleig. "I am delighted to see how much initiative and creativity the young people have put into this project."
Tradition meets the future
The F-CELL Roadster uniquely combines state-of-the-art technologies with the history of vehicle construction. As an allusion to the Benz Patent Motor Car from 1886, the vehicle is fitted with large spoked wheels. Moreover, the F-CELL Roadster incorporates stylistic elements from diverse eras of automotive history, such as the carbon-fiber bucket seats with hand-stitched leather covers and the distinctively styled fiberglass front section, based on the component from the Formula One racing bolides.
The F-CELL Roadster is controlled with drive-by-wire technology, and a joystick takes the place of a conventional steering wheel. The vehicle is powered by the emission-free fuel cell system located at the rear. With a power rating of 1.2 kW the F-CELL Roadster reaches a top speed of 25 km/h and has an operating range of up to 350 km.