Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the F 015 Luxury in Motion concept at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The F 015 Luxury in Motion is the visionary answer of Mercedes-Benz to a rapidly changing world.
With the self-driving luxury sedan F 015 Luxury in Motion, Mercedes-Benz shows how the automobile is changing from a means of transportation to a private retreating space. Offering maximum space in a lounge-like interior, the F 015 elevates comfort and luxury to a new level. One key aspect of the research vehicle is the continuous exchange of information between vehicle, passengers, and the outside world.
The task of the designers of the Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion was to come up with a completely new concept and design for a luxury saloon. The visionary research vehicle was born, a vehicle which raises comfort and luxury to a new level by offering a maximum of space and a lounge character on the inside. Every facet of the F 015 is the utmost reflection of the Mercedes way of interpreting the terms “modern luxury”, emotion and intelligence.
The F 015 represents the vision of a brand new vehicle concept just from its unusual proportions, with a length of 5220 millimetres, width of 2018 millimetres and height of 1524 millimetres, from its seamless, monolithic exterior and from its large LED light modules at the front and rear. A range of different lighting functions can be provided through these extensive LED fields. At the same time, the vehicle communicates and interacts with the outside world by means of these LED fields. The display signals to pedestrians that the F 015 has “seen” them. The number plate is replaced by a QR code, making information on the vehicle available to the outside world.
The low-slung front end, smooth and streamlined roof line, flat front windscreen and road-hugging rear end give the F 015 Luxury in Motion an extended and decidedly dynamic silhouette. The greenhouse is tapered sharply towards the rear, resulting in muscular shoulders which lend an eye-catching contour to the flanks. Together with the powerful-looking side skirt, this gives the sides of the vehicle additional visual structure. The extremely large 26-inch wheels appear to push down the side skirts, which in turn emphasises the unusually long wheelbase.
The F 015 Luxury in Motion does not have any B-pillars. This fact, together with the wide-opening “saloon doors” that open out the other way to conventional doors, makes getting into and out of the vehicle interior particularly convenient and comfortable. The doors open to a full 90 degrees. This allows a clear view of the generously dimensioned and intelligently laid out interior and ensures problem-free entry. The side impact protection features have been cleverly integrated into the door system.
In the interior of the F 015 Luxury in Motion the designers have created a lounge-like space with a feel-good ambience characterised by elegance, quality and lightness. Sensual, flowing transitions and warm, organic materials such as open-pore walnut wood, which has been shaped to a three-dimensional veneer, and extremely soft ice-white nappa leather contrast with clearly-defined metal and glass surfaces with a cool and technical feel. The transitions between organic, metal and synthetic materials have been designed using matrix graphics; and the flowing transitions deliver a new, unparalleled feeling of bounteous space. The light-coloured fine wood used for the floor, for example, flows almost imperceptibly into the cool Plexiglass of the side panels thanks to their unusual surface matrix. The pivotal feature of the innovative interior concept is the variable seating system, with four rotating lounge chairs that allow a face-to-face seat configuration. This enables the front passengers to turn around and talk directly to the other passengers while on the move – or to focus their attention towards the front as necessary for manual driving.
The high-strength body of the F 015 Luxury in Motion ensures optimum safety and supreme comfort for its passengers. At the same time, the bodyshell’s structure provides the ideal basis for impact-protected installation of an F-CELL PLUG-IN HYBRID drive system. It combines on-board generation of electricity with an exceptionally powerful and compact high-voltage battery. In order to store the hydrogen the concept offers pressurised tanks made from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic.
Whenever the driver wishes to summon maximum power or extend the overall range, the battery is used as an additional energy source. The battery can be recharged by using non-contact induction technology. This convenient, non-contact charging method can be monitored and controlled using a smartphone. The electric hybrid system has a total range of 1100 kilometres, including around 200 kilometres of battery-powered driving and around 900 kilometres on the electricity from the fuel cell. This enables the F 015 Luxury in Motion to cover distances similar to those of a comparable diesel-engined car, but purely on electric power with zero local emissions.
The fuel cell stack on the F 015 has been further optimised in terms of performance, efficiency and durability, and delivers the traction current for two electric motors, each with an output of 100 kW (136 hp). These are installed in a compact arrangement in the rear end of the vehicle and transmit their drive power to the rear wheels. The electrical drive system generates a total peak power output of 200 kW (272 hp). The maximum torque of 200 Nm per motor is available the instant the vehicle starts off, which results in impressive acceleration: the F 015 completes the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.7 seconds and goes on to reach a governed top speed of 200 km/h. Its consumption equates to just 0.60 kilograms of hydrogen per 100 kilometers, the equivalent of 2.0 liters of diesel.
“Anyone who focuses solely on the technology has not yet grasped how autonomous driving will change our society. The car is growing beyond its role as a mere means of transport and will ultimately become a mobile living space,” explains Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
Photos: ©Daimler AG