The Research Vehicles of Mercedes-Benz
F 600 HYGenius (2005)
The Mercedes-Benz F 600 HYGENIUS continues the series of fascinating and groundbreaking research cars. Powered by an 85 kW (115 hp) zero-emission fuel cell drive, the compact family car consumes the equivalent of just 2.9 litres per 100 kilometres (81 mpg) and has a range of over 400 kilometres on one tank filling of hydrogen.
Powerful, comfortable, non-pollutant – Mercedes-Benz F 600 HYGenius
Mercedes-Benz has also significantly improved performance characteristics and cold-start behaviour with this forward-looking drive system. The extensively reworked fuel cell of the F 600 HYGENIUS is some 40 per cent smaller than before, operates even more efficiently, and is exceptional for its good cold-start ability. The continuous output of the fuel cell drive is 60 kW (82 hp). Energy not required for driving the car is stored in a high-performance lithium-ion battery. The system therefore operates rather like a hybrid drive and selects the source of energy best-suited to the driving situation. The generous amount of energy made available by the fuel cell can also be used for the well-being of the passengers in the F 600HYGENIUS. The cup holders, for instance, cool or heat beverages with electricity generated by the environment friendly unit. Via a conventional power outlet, electrical appliances can be operated at normal voltage. If required, the fuel cell can also function as a mobile power plant: its electric power output of 66 kW is enough to supply several one-family houses with electricity.
fuel cell drive, interior compartment
matched to the needs of families,
innovative operating concept,
expanded PRE-SAFE® system
Fuel cell with electric motor, peak
output 85 kW (115 hp), continuous
output 60 kW (82 hp)
Technical Highlights
Further developed fuel cell hybrid drive
  • Start-of-production at the end of 2009 in
    the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL
Interior appointments and seats matched to the needs of families
Driver’s seat with automatic adjustment to body contours and sophisticated support of spinal discs
Two-part boot-lid for maximum variability
Space-saving front doors which swivel upwards
High-performance light-emitting diodes for all light functions
Novel sensors for steering, clutch, brakes, doors, seat and mirror adjustment
  •  Production launch under the name kneebag in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class (2009, W 212 series)
Video cameras for risk-free alighting and safe lane changes
Innovative operating concept with virtual display
 Revised COMAND system for even easier operation
Preventive PRE-SAFE® protection with knee
The preventive PRE-SAFE® occupant protection system, which made its worldwide debut in the Mercedes-Benz S-Class in 2002, is to be the subject of further engineering refinement. The F 600 HYGENIUS offers two additional protection systems, namely active knee protection for supporting the front passenger, and automatically extending side bolsters to restrain the head. These and other PRE SAFE® features are activated before an imminent accident to prepare the occupants and the car itself for the impact. When the accident actually occurs, seat belts and airbags provide maximum protection. If the accident is prevented at the last minute, the reversible PRE-SAFE® systems return to their original settings.
High-performance light-emitting diodes for all light functions
The engineers also concerned themselves with light technology. Headlights with high-performance lightemitting diodes improve the driver’s vision in the dark and help prevent accidents. The LEDs are allocated to three projection modules which ensure wide and even distribution. The middle light module is activated in specific driving situations and also functions as the full beam, cornering light and turning indicator. The individual light-emitting diodes are activated to perform different light functions; the conventional moving parts required for cornering lights are no longer necessary. Mercedes-Benz also uses LEDs for the rear and brake lights. In case of emergency braking manoeuvres, flashing brake lights warn drivers behind and reduce the risk of rear-end collisions.
Video cameras for risk-free alighting and safe lane changes
Cameras in the wing-mirror housings monitor the area alongside and behind the car, including when the F 600 HYGENIUS research car is being parked. When another car or a cyclist approaches from behind, the system automatically locks the relevant door for a short while to prevent a collision. An audible alarm sounds and a red danger symbol appears in the mirror glass. While the vehicle is moving, cameras monitor the two wing-mirrors’ blind spots and, on changing lanes, the driver is warned if another vehicle is too close behind. Images appearing on the two high-resolution colour displays in the dashboard are deflected by two mirrors and projected in such a way that they appear to be 1.40 metres in front of the driver. With this novel virtual display technology, Mercedes-Benz renders an important contribution to physiological safety because the driver needs less time to refocus from the more distant traffic situation to the cockpit display. Scientific studies confirm that, with this technology, the driver’s eyes do not have to adapt from short-range to long range vision and therefore  do not tire as quickly.
Two-part boot lid, and picnic site in the luggage
 The two-part boot lid of the F 600 HYGENIUS is extremely practical. It opens automatically at the push of a button and, in cramped conditions, the lower element folds inside, so that the swivel range is substantially reduced. At the same time, the rear bumper moves downwards and pulls out the luggage compartment floor, making it easier to load and providing a seat for picnics. The front doors of the F 600 HYGENIUS swivel upwards, thereby taking up less space than conventional car doors – an advantage in narrow parking bays.
Compact car with the comfortable space of a luxury
Despite its compact 4.35-metre-long body, the space inside the four-door F 600 HYGENIUS surpasses the dimensions conventionally found in the luxury class. The distance between the front and rear seats is a generous 95 centimetres and can be increased by up to 40 centimetres by moving the individual rear seats further back. With its host of well-thought-out details, the F 600 HYGENIUS is a perfect family car. The seats, for instance, are designed to match the needs of children and families. Thanks to a new design, both sides of the back of the front passenger and single rear seats can be used. Moving the seat forward allows a rear-facing ISOFIX child’s seat to be engaged. This face-to-face seating arrangement enhances children’s safety and makes it easier to keep an eye on them. The driver’s seat features two-part backrest padding, whose height, width and angle can be precisely adjusted to the driver’s body shape by means of electric motors. It therefore offers firm support, especially at waist height. The backrest is mounted to follow the movements of the upper body, thereby reducing the strain on the spinal discs in every seating position.
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