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The Research Cars Of Mercedes-Benz
Posted November 26, 2007 At 5:30 PM CST

Exterior view of the Mercedes-Benz F400 Carving

1. Preface
2. The Future of the Original: The Research Cars of Mercedes-Benz
3. From idea to finished research car
4. The research cars of Mercedes-Benz
5. The Benz patent motorcar
6. Mercedes-Benz C 111
7. Auto 2000
8. NAFA
9. Mercedes-Benz F 100
10. Mercedes-Benz C 112
11. Mercedes-Benz Vario Research Car
12. Mercedes-Benz F 200 Imagination
13. Mercedes-Benz F 300 Life Jet
14. Mercedes-Benz F 400 Carving
15. Mercedes-Benz F 500 Mind
16. Mercedes-Benz bionic car
17. Mercedes-Benz F 600 HYGENIUS
18. Mercedes-Benz F 700

 

Performance at its best – Mercedes-Benz C 112

Facts

  • Vehicle: Mercedes-Benz C 112
  • Introduced in: 1991
  • Where: Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA)
  • Goals: High-performance sports car for testing active dynamic handling systems
  • Powertrain: Four-stroke spark-ignition engine, 12 cylinders, 6.0 liters displacement, 300 kW (408 hp), rear-wheel drive, six-speed manual transmission

Technical highlights

  • Active Body Control (ABC) - Production launch in the Mercedes-Benz CL (1999, C 215 series)
  • Active rear-wheel steering
  • Active aerodynamics
  • Actively controlled rear airfoil for increasing downforce at the rear axle and for acting as air brake
  • Production launch in the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren (2003, C 199 series)
  • Electronic tire pressure control system - Production launch in the Mercedes-Benz CL (1999, C 215 series)
  • Autonomous intelligent cruise control Production launch under the name DISTRONIC in the
    Mercedes-Benz S-Class (1998, W 220 series)
  • Electro-hydraulically operated gullwing doors
  • Novel sensors for steering, clutch, brakes, doors, seat and mirror adjustment


For the 1990 racing season in Group C, Mercedes-Benz in cooperation with the Swiss Sauber team fielded the C 11. Quite successfully: the team was world champion at the end of the season. This spurred on the engineers at Mercedes-Benz. They were looking for a way to test active dynamic handling systems for large-scale production cars and came up with the high-performance sports car C 112. It was powered by a six-liter V12 engine which developed 300 kW (408 hp) and put 580 Newton meters of torque on the crankshaft. The idea was to transfer this performance optimally to the road at the physical limits with the highest level of active safety.

Active Body Control

The C 112 was the first car to afford active suspension named Active Body Control (ABC). Each wheel is equipped with a combination of spring and hydraulic servo cylinder. Sensors detect all vehicle motions – vertical displacement, roll and pitch. To eliminate the motion, computers evaluate the data and control the active suspension elements accordingly. The result: an unprecedented level of stable roadholding.

The sports car features active rear-wheel steering. It corrects directional deviation which can be caused, for instance, by ruts and side wind or by road surfaces with changing tire-to-road adhesion. Even in critical situations, for example load changes during cornering, it maintains the handling and traction behavior to which the driver is accustomed. An anti-lock braking system (ABS) and acceleration skid control (ASR) of the latest generation complement the technology.

Equipped with all these features, the C 112 offers neutral handling irrespective of load and roadway condition, even during high-speed cornering. Its safety reserves were thus higher than those of previous sports cars – a result from which volume-built Mercedes-Benz cars also benefited.

Active aerodynamics


And the C 112 has even more to offer. One of its highlights is active aerodynamics. Fully adjustable, the front spoiler and the rear airfoil are adapted to the particular driving situation to ensure the optimum compromise between low air resistance on the one hand and high downforce on the other.

During normal operation the rear airfoil is inactive and forms an integral part of the rear body structure; in this inactive state the car has the optimum Cd, and lift forces tend toward zero. But it’s quite a different story during high-speed cornering at the critical limit: here, appreciably larger wheel contact forces permit decidedly greater lateral acceleration and more stable handling.

In such a situation, the rear airfoil extends to the rear and upward within a tenth of a second and, in extreme instances, also changes the angle of incidence. The lip of the front spoiler, changing its height, works together with the rear airfoil. The system enables higher cornering forces and immediately extends the critical limits for the driver.

The rear spoiler is also used to improve the emergency stopping properties: with lightning speed it is raised into the wind when required and helps slow the vehicle down. In addition, the brake system intelligently distributes the brake pressure between front and rear wheels to achieve optimum deceleration. Other components tested in the C 112 are tire pressure monitoring, which warns the driver of sudden pressure loss, a distance warning radar for vehicles traveling ahead, and partly new and different sensor systems for steering, clutch, brakes, doors, seat and mirror adjustment.

The return of the gullwing doors

As the first vehicle since the C 111, the C 112 again featured gullwing doors. Since the 1950s they have been a symbol of the sports cars from Mercedes-Benz: the 300 SL coupe (W 194/198 series, 1952 and 1954, respectively) was the first to have them – and a car whose excellent technical qualities made it a standout in its day. The C 112 with its streamlined body takes that up again.

 

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The inventor and his creation: Karl Benz (in front) at the wheel of his patent motor car model III, together with Friedrich von Fischer, equally a member of the Board of Management of Benz & Cie.
   
Benz Patent Motor Car – The world’s first automobile
   
Benz Patent Motor Car – The world’s first automobile
   
Benz Patent Motor Car – The world’s first automobile
   
Mercedes-Benz C 111/I with a three-rotor Wankel-engine, 1969.
   
Mercedes-Benz C 111/I with a three-rotor Wankel-engine, on the test track at Untertürkheim, 1969.
   
Mercedes-Benz C 111/I with a three-rotor Wankel-engine, 1969.
   
Test drive on the Hockenheim race track: Mercedes-Benz C 111/I with a three-rotor Wankel-engine, 1969.
   
Mercedes-Benz C 111/I with a three-rotor Wankel-engine, 1969.
   
Three generations of the C 111:
-on the right: C 111/II, 1970.
-in the middle: C 111/I, 1969.
-on the left (background): the first prototype version of the C 111/I.
   
Prototype C 111-1 and C 111-2
   
C 111-II
   
Tomorrow’s car on the move: The Auto 2000 research car, shown here in operation in 1982. Among other things, it served the purpose of testing different propulsion technologies.
   
Auto 2000 – testing of different drive systems
   
Auto 2000 – testing of different drive systems
   
Auto 2000 – testing of different drive systems
   
From autumn 1981 the “Auto 2000” research car was used to test new engine and aerodynamic concepts.
   
From autumn 1981 the “Auto 2000” research car was used to test new engine and aerodynamic concepts.
   
From autumn 1981 the “Auto 2000” research car was used to test new engine and aerodynamic concepts.
   
From autumn 1981 the “Auto 2000” research car was used to test new engine and aerodynamic concepts.
   
Outlining the future of the urban car: Mercedes-Benz NAFA (1982).
   
NAFA – the short-distance vehicle
   
NAFA – the short-distance vehicle
   
Innovative from its powertrain through to its sliding doors: NAFA study of 1982.
   
Made for two: As early as 1982, the NAFA model presented a practical automotive solution to problems of urban mobility.
   
Technology pure – the F 100
   
Technology pure – the F 100
   
Technology pure – the F 100
   
Technology pure – the F 100
   
The C 112 research vehicle, Active Body Control (ABC)
   
Four cars in one - the Vario Research Car
   
The Vario Research Car of 1995 combines four vehicle concepts in one. The car can be fitted with different body types.
   
The Vario Research Car of 1995 combines four vehicle concepts in one. The car can be fitted with different body types.
   
The Vario Research Car of 1995 combines four vehicle concepts in one. The car can be fitted with different body types.
   
Four cars in one – the Vario Research Car
   
Four cars in one – the Vario Research Car
   
Four cars in one – the Vario Research Car
   
Four cars in one – the Vario Research Car
   
Highlights of the F 200 Imagination include an innovative operating and display system. It was first presented in Paris in 1996.
   
Highlights of the F 200 Imagination include an innovative operating and display system. It was first presented in Paris in 1996.
   
F 200, studio shot, 3/4 view from in front, driver's door open
   
Highlights of the F 200 Imagination include an innovative operating and display system. It was first presented in Paris in 1996.
   
Pioneering drive-by-wire technology allows the car to be steered by a sidestick in the centre console.
   
Pioneering drive-by-wire technology allows the car to be steered by a sidestick in the centre console.
   
Pioneering drive-by-wire technology allows the car to be steered by a sidestick in the centre console.
   
The F 300 Life-Jet was presented at the Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA) in 1997 as a new vehicle concept which combines the cornering dynamics of a motorcycle with the safety of a passenger car.
   
The F 300 Life-Jet was presented at the Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA) in 1997 as a new vehicle concept which combines the cornering dynamics of a motorcycle with the safety of a passenger car.
   
The F 300 Life-Jet was presented at the Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA) in 1997 as a new vehicle concept which combines the cornering dynamics of a motorcycle with the safety of a passenger car.
   
The F 300 Life-Jet was presented at the Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA) in 1997 as a new vehicle concept which combines the cornering dynamics of a motorcycle with the safety of a passenger car.
   
F 300, concept vehicle, Life-Jet, driving shot, from behind, rear view
   
F 300, concept vehicle, Life-Jet, driving shot, rear view
   
F 300, concept vehicle, Life-Jet, detail: rear-wheel swinging fork. The drive consists of a toothed belt. The swinging fork is made of cast aluminium
   
F 300, concept vehicle, Life-Jet, engine compartment. The Mercedes-Benz A-class'es compact 1.6-l engine is situated between the passenger compartment and the rear wheel
   
F 300, concept vehicle, Life-Jet, detail: front-wheel suspension, steering. Sophisticated construction: The F 300 Life-Jet front axle is equipped with a hydraulic system that inclines the wheels and body sideways when going around a corner. The front axle
   
F 400 Carving research vehicle with dynamic chassis technology, driving shot, 3/4 view from in front
   
F 400 Carving research vehicle with dynamic chassis technology, driving shot, rear view
   
F 400 Carving research vehicle with dynamic chassis technology, passenger compartment, interior
   
F 400 Carving, engine compartment
   
The F 400 Carving research vehicle was one of the attractions at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2001.
   
The F 400 Carving research vehicle was one of the attractions at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2001.
   
F 400 Carving research vehicle with dynamic chassis technology, studio shot, 3/4 view from behind
   
F 400 Carving research vehicle with dynamic chassis technology, driving shot, front view
   
The F 500 Mind research vehicle: a research laboratory on wheels for the technology of the future
   
The F 500 Mind research vehicle: a research laboratory on wheels for the technology of the future
   
The F 500 Mind research vehicle: a research laboratory on wheels for the technology of the future
   
The F 500 Mind research vehicle: a research laboratory on wheels for the technology of the future
   
The F 500 Mind research vehicle: a research laboratory on wheels for the technology of the future
   
The F 500 Mind research vehicle: a research laboratory on wheels for the technology of the future
   
The F 500 Mind research vehicle: a research laboratory on wheels for the technology of the future
   
The F 500 Mind research vehicle: a research laboratory on wheels for the technology of the future
   
The F 500 Mind research vehicle: a research laboratory on wheels for the technology of the future
   
The F 500 Mind research vehicle: a research laboratory on wheels for the technology of the future
   
The Mercedes-Benz bionic car as a concept vehicle
   
The Mercedes-Benz bionic car as a concept vehicle
   
The Mercedes-Benz bionic car as a concept vehicle
   
The Mercedes-Benz bionic car as a concept vehicle
   
The Mercedes-Benz bionic car as a concept vehicle
   
The Mercedes-Benz bionic car as a concept vehicle
   
The Mercedes-Benz bionic car as a concept vehicle
   
DaimlerChrysler’s fuel cell vehicle ensemble features a very young “gallery of ancestors” (right). It took the Group’s engineers only 11 years to go from the “granddaddy” Necar 1 (rear, left) to the F 600 (front, right). The bridge to the future is the B-Class F-Cell (rear, right), which should be on the road within the next few years.
   
Powered by a zero-emission fuel cell drive with an output of 85 kW/115 hp, the F 600 HYGENIUS consumes the equivalent of 2.9 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres, making it the first fuel cell vehicle to cover over 400 kilometres on a single tank of hydrogen.
   
F 600 HYGENIUS: The images on both high-resolution colour displays in the dashboard are diverted by means of two mirrors before being projected to appear at a point 1.40 metres in front of the driver.
   
F 600 HYGENIUS: Mercedes-Benz has devised a revolutionary new seat for the driver featuring a two-piece backrest cushion whose height, width and tilt can be adjusted to the contours of the occupant's body by means of electric motors, and which offers a particularly high level of support in the midriff area.
   
With an overall exterior length of 5.18 meters the F 700 is a little shorter than the current long-wheelbase version of the S-Class, but with its generously sized wheelbase of 3.45 meters the research car excels the production model by impressive 28.5 centimeters.
   
With its F 700 research car, Mercedes-Benz redefi nes the idea of effortless, superior refi nement. This concept for a future luxurious touring sedan shows how outstanding riding quality can be combined with high levels of environmental friendliness, and good performance with exceptionally low fuel consumption.
   
Mercedes-Benz F 700 research car, exterior
   
Whereas the three other doors open conventionally (hinges at the forward edge, handles at the rear), the fourth door is hinged at the rear. This facilitates boarding and leaving for the passenger when the REVERSE seat is positioned opposite the direction of travel. The driver’s door and the front passengers door also “observe” their surroundings attentively. In the base of the mirror of this PRE-SCAN door there is a very compact laser scanner which examines the area in which the door swings open for any obstacles. If collisions threaten, the door is arrested by a controllable hydraulic cylinder.
   
Mercedes-Benz F 700 research car, exterior
   
The spacious interior, the innovative, multifunctional configuration of the seats, or the use of elegant but natural materials enable an extremely relaxed form of transportation. With its REVERSE seat the F 700 breaks up the firmly established seat arrangement of conventional sedans and offers individual seating positions facing, or with one’s back to, the direction of travel, always affording maximum spaciousness and supreme comfort.
   
Mercedes-Benz F 700 Research Car
   
“SERVO-HMI” – the innovative operating concept. The display is not only particularly gentle on the eyes; the number of controls also has been appreciably reduced and the menu structure has been made strikingly simple and self-explanatory. The driver can “discuss” more complex inputs, such as a destination for navigation purposes, in dialogue with an avatar, a virtual operating assistant.
   
The exceptional efficiency of the overall concept of the F 700 is evident at first sight: its design is distinguished by soft, flowing forms. “Aqua Dynamic” is the name the designers have given to this design idiom with which they translated the flow dynamics of a fish into the design. The design provides an immediately indication that much room has been given to the passengers.
   
Mercedes-Benz F 700 research car, technology
   
Mercedes-Benz F 700 research car, technology
   
The future oriented DIESOTTO-powertrain with its 1.8-l displacement, 4-cylinder spark-ignition combines the performance of a gasoline engine and the high torque and fuel economy of a state-of-the-art diesel together with extremely clean emissions. Additionally, CO2 emissions of a mere 127 grams per kilometer correspond to consumption of only 5.3 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers (44.3 mpg), extremely low for a vehicle of this class. The new technology package includes features such as direct gasoline injection, turbocharging and a variable compression. At the core of this innovation lies the controlled auto ignition, a highly effi cient combustion process similar to that of a diesel. The DIESOTTO-system can be operated using conventional gasoline fuel.
   
The “eyes” of the F 700 are integrated into the headlamps. With two laser scanners the active PRE-SCAN suspension scans the roadway in front of the car. The hydraulically controlled active suspension proactively compensates for detected hindrances, enabling entirely new comfort characteristics.




Copyright © 2007, Daimler AG

 
 
 
 
 

 
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