The F 600 Hygenius is the latest research vehicle from Mercedes-Benz and is powered by a zero-emission drive train. Using fuel cell technology, the F600 has an output of 85 kW/115 hp and efficiently consumes the equivalent of 81 mpg (2.9l/100km). Mercedes-Benz says that they plan to reach market with fuel cell engines between 2012 and 2015.
The F 600 Hygenius achieves a maximum power output of 85 kW/115 hp combined with a peak torque of 350 Newton metres. Any surplus energy is stored in a lithium-ion battery and the system acts in a similar fashion to a hybrid drive, selecting the best power source to use depending on the driving situation. When parking for instance, the electric motor draws its power from the battery alone, while both fuel cell and battery feed it with energy in unison when the vehicle is accelerating. The electric motor doubles as a generator that charges the battery during vehicle braking by recuperating drive energy.
In addition to the fuel cell technology, the Mercedes-Benz research vehicle also showcases an operating concept with virtual displays, new-style seats and other pioneering technologies designed to enhance safety and passenger comfort. These include heated cup holders, revolutionary seats with maneuverable two-piece backrest cushions, cameras to watch for obstacles, upward swinging doors and new gauges that focus 1.4 meters away from the driver so that the driver’s eyes do not have to constantly adjust between close and long range.