The Research Cars of Mercedes-Benz
Stuttgart
Oct 17, 2011
Powerful, comfortable, non-pollutant – Mercedes-Benz F 600 HYGENIUS
Facts
  • Vehicle: Mercedes-Benz F 600 HYGENIUS
  • Introduced in: October 2005
  • Where: Tokyo Motor Show
  • Goals: Testing of the further developed fuel cell drive, interior compartment matched to the needs of families, innovative operating concept, expanded PRE-SAFE® system
  • Powertrain: Fuel cell with electric motor, peak output 85 kW (116 hp), continuous output 60 kW (82 hp)
Technical highlights
  • Further developed fuel cell hybrid drive
  • Interior appointments and seats matched to the needs of families
  • Driver’s seat with automatic adjustment to body contours and sophisticated support of the spinal discs
  • Two-part tailgate for maximum variability
  • Space-saving front doors which swivel obliquely upwards
  • High-performance light-emitting diodes for all light functions
  • Flashing brake lights in emergency braking manoeuvres
    Production launch in the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (2005, W 221 series)
  • Expanded PRE-SAFE® system with active knee protection and head restraints with automatically extending side bolsters for supporting the head
  • Video cameras for alighting without risk and safe lane changes
  • Innovative operating concept with virtual display
  • Revised COMAND system for even easier operation
The Mercedes-Benz F 600 HYGENIUS continues the series of fascinating and groundbreaking research cars. Powered by an 85 kW (116 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. Mercedes-Benz also significantly improved the performance characteristics and cold-start behaviour of this future-oriented drive system. The fuel cell of the F 600 HYGENIUS was further developed to a major extent: it is some 40 per cent smaller than before, operates even more efficiently and stands out 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, so the system operates similarly to hybrid drive and uses the source of energy which is best-suited in every given 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 600 HYGENIUS. 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 a normal voltage level. When required, the fuel cell also serves as a mobile power plant: its electric power output of 66 kW (90 hp) suffices to supply several one-family houses with electricity.
Compact car with the comfortable space of a luxury-class car
Despite the compact, 4.35 metre long body, the space inside the four-door F 600 HYGENIUS surpasses the dimensions of the luxury class. The distance between the front and rear seats is a generous 95 centimetres and can be increased by up to another 40 centimetres when the individual rear seats are moved further to the back.
With its host of well-thought-out detail features, the F 600 HYGENIUS is a perfect family car. The seats, for instance, were designed so as to match the needs of children and families. Thanks to a new design, both sides of the backrests of the front passenger seat and the individual seats in the rear can be used; they can be moved forward in such a way that rearward-facing ISOFIX child safety seats can be inserted into latches in the seat squabs. This vis-à-vis seat arrangement enhances the safety of children and makes it more convenient to look after them.
The driver’s seat features two-part backrest padding which can be precisely adjusted for height, width and angle to the body contours by means of electric motors to offer firm support especially in the area of the driver’s waist. The backrest is mounted so as to follow the movements of the upper body, thereby optimally reducing the strain on the spinal discs in every seating position.
Two-part tailgate and picnic site in the luggage compartment
The two-part tailgate of the F 600 HYGENIUS is extremely practical. It opens automatically at the push of a button and, under cramped conditions, the lower element folds inside to that the swivel range is substantially reduced. At the same time, the rear bumper moves downwards and pulls out the luggage compartment floor which is thus easier to load as well as serving as seating for picnics. The front doors of the F 600 HYGENIUS swivel obliquely upwards and thereby take up less space than conventional car doors – an advantage in narrow parking bays.
Video cameras for alighting without risk and safe lane changes
Cameras in the exterior-mirror housings monitor what’s happening alongside and behind the F 600 HYGENIUS also when the research car is 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 with the open door. At the same time, a warning signal is sounded inside, and a red danger symbol appears in the mirror glass. On the move, the cameras monitor the blind spots of the two exterior mirrors, and the driver is warned when he or she is about to change lane while another vehicle is approaching from behind.
The depictions on the two high-resolution colour displays in the dashboard are deflected by two mirrors and projected so that in visual terms, they appear at a distance of 1.40 metres in front of the driver. With this novel virtual display technology, Mercedes-Benz renders an important contribution to physiological safety as it shortens the adaptation time for the driver’s eyes changing from the more distant traffic in front of the car to the near-by display in the cockpit. 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 get tired so quickly.
High-performance light-emitting diodes for all light functions
The engineers also devoted themselves to light technology. Headlights with high-performance light-emitting diodes improve the driver’s vision in the dark and help prevent accidents. The LEDs are allocated to three projection modules which ensure the broad-range and even distribution of the driving lights. The middle light module is switched on in specific driving situations and additionally serves as high beam, cornering or active light. The individual light-emitting diodes are directly actuated for the different light functions; movable components such as those currently required for the active cornering light function are no longer necessary. Mercedes-Benz also uses LEDs for the tail and brake lights. In emergency braking manoeuvres, flashing brake lights warn drivers behind the car and reduce the risk of rear-end collisions.
Preventive PRE-SAFE® protection with knee bolster and new head restraints
The preventive PRE-SAFE® occupant protection system, which made its worldwide debut in the Mercedes-Benz S-Class in 2002, will continuously be further expanded by the engineers in the future. On board the F 600 HYGENIUS they show two additional protective features: active knee protection for supporting the front passenger and head restraints with automatically extending side bolsters which 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 crash. When the accident actually happens, seat belts and airbags are capable of providing maximum protection; when the accident is prevented at the last moment, the reversible PRE-SAFE® systems can be returned to their original settings.
The F 600 HYGENIUS continues the more than 120-year tradition of the world’s oldest motor manufacturer and carries it on far into the future.
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