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CLS-previewing Mercedes-Benz F800 Style concept bows in Geneva

by Drew Johnson

Previewing the next-generation CLS, the Mercedes-Benz F800 Style has taken to the show stage at the Geneva Motor Show. Mercedes says the concept's unique platform would allow both hybrid-electric and fuel cell variations.

The F800 Style clearly echoes the sculpture the automaker debuted in January at the Detroit show; its tall front end is designed both to evoke the iconic 300SL Gullwing (and its modern-day SLS grandson) and to comply with strict pedestrian safety standards enacted in Europe.

Its four-door coupe shape is a natural evolution of the existing CLS, although the show car clearly sits up higher than the slinky car currently on the road. We would expect the production CLS to boast a slightly more coupe-like greenhouse and a lower stance, although it's worth noting that this concept certainly previews design themes we'll see in various future Mercedes-Benz products.

The design was penned both in Mercedes' Sindelfingen, Germany, and Como, Italy, design studios.

The unique side door arrangement allows for easier ingress and egress and features a number of eco-friendly materials throughout. Mercedes' latest cam touchpad HMI system expands its existing COMAND control setup with a center console touch pad that shows a live image of the user's hand displayed on the central display. This way, Mercedes says, drivers will be able to operate a number of functions without diverting their eyes from the forward position.

Mercedes says the F800 Style's platform can be easily configured for both hybrid-electric and fuel cell versions.

The plug-in hybrid model features a 300-horsepower V6 mated to a 109-horsepower electric motor and a lithium ion battery capable of storing more than 10 kWH. After a fresh charge, the F800 Style would be capable of running up to 18 miles on just electric power before the gasoline motor kicked in and over the course of a full tank, the car would emit just 68 g/km of CO2. Still, Mercedes says it provides ample power: The sprint to 60 mph takes just 4.7 seconds before topping out at 155 mph - but even in electric only mode, the engine can power the car to 75 mph.

The powertrain is based on the upcoming S500 Plug-In Hybrid's setup and includes the seven-speed automatic transmission also seen in the S400 Hybrid.

Conversely, the fuel cell F800 Style concept features an electric motor that puts out 136 horsepower and 214 lb-ft. of torque with a hydrogen fuel cell tank. The design is based on the limited-production B-Class F-Cell model, although the fuel cell is actually located near the front of the car in the F800.




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