A Look Back: Daimler Unveils Mercedes-Benz F-CELL Roadster with Hybrid Drive

For about a year, more than 150 trainees worked on the concept, development, assembly, and completion of the F-CELL Roadster

by  Thomas Philips  | 

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Daimler unveiled their F-CELL Roadster back in 2009, it was the latest in their line of “F-Series” concept vehicles (past Mercedes research models can be seen here), and as you’ll see, it drew its inspiration from a diverse variety of automotive eras.  From a functional standpoint, it’s a roadster fitted with a 1.2 kW hybrid drive – one that allowed the F-CELL to reach a top speed of 15 mph and achieve an operating range of  217 miles.  From a design standpoint, however, is where the F-CELL Roadster truly shined, as it managed to blend the overall aura of the original Benz patent motor car with the seating and fiberglass front section both drawn from elements of Formula One racing.

As for who was responsible for creating the unique F-CELL Roadster, that honor went to the trainees of of Daimler AG at the Sindelfingen plant, with more than 150 trainees and dual education system students having worked for about a year on the overall concept, development, assembly, and completion of the hybrid model.  According to Human Resources Board member and Labor Relations Manager Günther Fleig in 2009:  “This project impressively demonstrates that the topic of sustainable mobility has become an integral part of our vocational training.  I am delighted to see how much initiative and creativity the young people have put into this project.”

Mercedes-Benz F-CELL Roadster - trainees build a car of the future

March 25, 2009

In a hitherto unique project bridging various fields of profession, the trainees of Daimler AG at the Sindelfingen Mercedes-Benz plant have built a Roadster with fuel cell drive. For about a year, more than 150 trainees and dual education system students worked on the overall concept, development, assembly, and completion of the F-CELL Roadster. This project involved junior employees from the fields of automotive mechatronics, model-building, electronics, coating technology, manufacturing mechanics, product design, and interior appointments. The prime objective of the project was to integrate the topic of alternative drive systems into training with hands-on experience.

"This project impressively demonstrates that the topic of sustainable mobility has become an integral part of our vocational training," said Human Resources Board member and Labor Relations Manager Günther Fleig. "I am delighted to see how much initiative and creativity the young people have put into this project."

Tradition meets the future

The F-CELL Roadster uniquely combines state-of-the-art technologies with the history of vehicle construction. As an allusion to the Benz Patent Motor Car from 1886, the vehicle is fitted with large spoked wheels. Moreover, the F-CELL Roadster incorporates stylistic elements from diverse eras of automotive history, such as the carbon-fiber bucket seats with hand-stitched leather covers and the distinctively styled fiberglass front section, based on the component from the Formula One racing bolides.

The F-CELL Roadster is controlled with drive-by-wire technology, and a joystick takes the place of a conventional steering wheel. The vehicle is powered by the emission-free fuel cell system located at the rear. With a power rating of 1.2 kW the F-CELL Roadster reaches a top speed of 25 km/h and has an operating range of up to 350 km.

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