Mercedes is calling the F800 Style a research vehicle, and it’s adaptable for a plug-in hybrid configuration or as a fuel cell. It’s skinned it an eye-catching body with bold fenders and a prominent grille that hints at future styling directions for the German company.
The plug-in setup uses a V6 engine rated at 300 hp and a hybrid module that makes 109 hp, for a total output of 409 hp that works with a seven-speed automatic transmission. It uses lithium-ion batteries and has a range of 18 miles on electricity. Though it’s an eco-friendly powertrain, Mercedes says it performs like a sports car with a 0-to-60-mph time of 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph. In pure electric mode, it can reach a top speed of 75 mph.
The fuel-cell variant offers 136 hp and 214 lb-ft of torque while producing only water as an emission. It uses parts from the B-class F-Cell. The range in this setup is claimed to be 375 miles.
Mercedes points to both powertrains as evidence of smart design, with all of the components fitted into the engine compartment or spaces in the chassis so as not to intrude on the interior.
The five-seat, rear-wheel-drive car also is laden with a pile of other updated and new technology for driver comfort and safety. A new camera touchpad records images of the user’s hand and displays it in transparent form above the center console. Pressing the display is similar to the feeling of typing on a laptop, Mercedes says. There’s also a “range on map” feature that shows how far the car can travel in electric mode.
The F800 Style also has a new version of the Distronic cruise-control system that allows drivers to follow the car in front of them into curves without steering at speeds of up to 25 mph. There’s also Mercedes’ Pre-Safe 360 Degree system, which engages the brakes about 600 milliseconds before a rear-end collision to prevent a secondary crash into another car or object.
Meanwhile, the appearance of the F800 Style lives up to its name with a stately design with short overhangs, long wheelbase and flowing roofline. It’s accented by LED lights and a curved grille. Inside are wood parts and and lightweight seats made of magnesium and carbon-fiber shells. Additionally, the back doors are sliding for ease of entry.