The Research Vehicles of Mercedes-Benz
F 700 (2007)
The Mercedes-Benz F 700 presents the future of the superior touring sedan. It demonstrates innovative approaches and technologies for using resources sparingly, protecting the environment and permitting the driver and passengers to travel in a completely relaxed style.
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Mercedes-Benz F 700 for traveling in all comfort
At the heart of the F 700 is a novel powertrain. DIESOTTO combines the advantages of the low-emission petrol engine with the diesel’s fuel economy. For the first time, the diesel’s principle of (controlled homogeneous) charge compression ignition is incorporated in a petrol engine. Also, thanks to homogeneous combustion at reduced reaction temperatures, nitrogen oxide emissions are minimized. Moreover, the reduction in displacement and the number of cylinders improves the degree of efficiency. The F 700 is powered by a compact four-cylinder engine with a displacement of 1.8 litres, which nonetheless delivers the superior performance typical of a luxury-class saloon. A two-stage turbocharger is responsible for the engine’s excellent response and high-torque accelerating power. In addition, on ignition, the hybrid module electric motor assists the internal combustion engine. The maximum engine output is 175 kW (238 hp); the electric motor develops another 15 kW (20 hp), and the system’s maximum torque is as high as 400 Newton metres. Acceleration from standstill to 100 km/h in 7.5 seconds is testament to the dynamism of the F 700, whose top speed is limited to 200 km/h. Despite this outstanding performance, the F 700 has a fuel consumption in the EU driving cycle of just 5.3 litres (44.3 mpg), which corresponds to carbon dioxide emissions of 127 grams – an extremely low level for a car of this size.
Facts
Goals
Combining outstanding ride comfort with a high standard of environmental compatibility, good performance and unusually low fuel consumption
Powertrain
Four-cylinder DIESOTTO engine (1.8-litre displacement, 175 kW/238 hp) combined with a hybrid module (15 kW/20 hp)
Technical Highlights
DIESOTTO engine, combining the strengths of the low-emission petrol engine with the diesel engine’s fuel economy
PRE-SCAN suspension: identification of road condition in advance and corresponding adjustment of the electro-hydraulically controlled active suspension
PRE-SCAN door: laser scanner in the base of the exterior mirror on the driver’s side to identify obstacles in the door opening range
Novel SERVO-HMI operating concept
Innovative, generously large and flexible interior concept including the REVERSE seat in the rear
LED driving lights and daytime driving lights
Contour illumination all round
Suspension with anticipatory intelligence
The research car is also taking a major step into the future as regards suspension engineering. With its active PRE-SCAN suspension, the car not only reacts highly sensitively to uneven patches of road surface, but also acts in an anticipatory manner. PRE-SCAN uses two laser sensors in the headlamps as “eyes” that produce a precise picture of the road’s condition. From this data, the control unit computes the´parameters for the active suspension settings in order to provide the highest level of comfort.
The eyes of the F 700
The headlamps of the F 700 are a futuristic version of the brand’s characteristic four-eye face. Two vertical rows of LED line arrays with a lens system in front serve as driving lights. A third vertical row of individual high-performance LEDs functions as daytime driving lights. Together with the all-round contour illumination, the lights give the F 700 an unmistakable appearance, including at night. Even the driver’s door “watches” its environment closely. A highly compact laser scanner is accommodated in the base of the wing mirror on the PRE-SCAN door. It checks for obstacles in the door opening range. If there is a  danger of the door hitting an obstacle, it is locked in position by a hydraulic cylinder.
“Aqua Dynamic” – a new design language
The designers refer to “Aqua Dynamic” when using this formal language to translate the flow dynamics of fish into the design of a special automobile. In addition, the design makes it immediately evident that the occupants have particularly generous space at their disposal. With its exterior length of 5.18 metres, the F 700 is slightly shorter than the long-wheelbase version of the S Class from the W 221 series. Its wheelbase of 3.45 metres, however, makes the research car longer than the production model by 28.5 centimetres. The side view of the F 700 is dominated by the dynamically arching roof contour and shoulder line.
Light and elegant interior
The generously large and flexible interior is visible from the outside, and not just because of the long wheelbase. The impression of ample space is also visually enhanced by two large glazed roof sections. The use of natural materials, such as leather and cork, and a harmonious colour scheme with shades of brown and beige give the interior a light and elegant appeal, and expresses high-grade quality. The rear door on the right-hand side (near side) is hinged at the rear. This “reversed” direction of movement facilitates access to the REVERSE seat – another innovation in the F 700. The REVERSE seat is the key element of a novel seating concept and newly developed design idea for the rear seat on the near side. It replaces the conventional, fixed arrangement of seats in a saloon, offering individual seating and rest positions both in and facing away from the direction of travel.
Relax position and cinematic atmosphere
The F 100 accommodates four people in the classic arrangement, with all of them facing in the direction of travel. If the front passenger’s seat is unoccupied, the rear seat on the right-hand side (near side) can be adjusted to a relax position at the push of a button. In addition, the REVERSE seat can be positioned so that the occupant faces away from the direction of travel – to talk to his or her neighbour seated opposite, to work, to rest or to enjoy audiovisual entertainment. A monitor with a screen size of 51 centimetres, 3D technology and surround sound system creates a cinematic atmosphere.
More convenient and easier operation
For the F 700 the Mercedes-Benz engineers have developed an entirely new display concept and further developed the proven COMAND control concept, incorporating a whole range of pioneering innovations. These include:
  • SERVO-HMI, which reduces eye fatigue by increasing the viewing distance.
  • Speech recognition via a virtual operating assistant (AVATAR) to facilitate the control of complex functions using spoken dialogue.
  • Reduced control functions through increased automation.
  • Rotary/pushbutton controller with added slide function.
  • Entertainment system with Roadview and three-dimensional cinema.
The research engineers developed SERVO-HMI to improve physiological safety. The driving and vehicle information displayed by the system appears at the lower edge of the windscreen, but seems to be further away from the driver.
As a result, the driver’s eyes no longer tire from the constant shifting of focus from near vision to far vision as they do in a conventional cockpit.
The navigation, communication, phone and audio/entertainment systems are operated by means of a rotary/pushbutton control on the centre console. A pleasant climate is crucial for comfort. The inconspicuous and draft-free automatic climate control system is operated by means of a separate rotary/pushbutton on the centre console.
The control panel automatically recognises whether it is being operated by the driver or passenger, and correspondingly activates the desired functions on the left or righthand side. For more complex input functions, innovative support is provided by an individual assistant, known as AVATAR in computer language. In the F 700, the AVATAR has the identity of a young woman. She engages in dialogue with the driver, asking for the destination in the navigation menu, for instance, and confirming the voice input. Looking for numbers in the telephone directory and tuning the desired radio station operate in much the same way.
This form of dialogue simplifies voice control for the driver and improves the speech recognition by the system. What’s more, the scope of dialogue assistance functions can be expanded almost infinitely. The AVATAR may for instance serve as a virtual assistant and access online databases via an internet link on board the car, make new entries in the driver’s appointment calendar or read out important emails. Through dialogue-controlled operation, distractions are reduced to a minimum – safety is, after all, writ large at Mercedes-Benz at all times
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