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Frankfurt LIVE: Mercedes-Benz F 125! [Update]

Mercedes-Benz had hoped to reveal an odd, distant-future concept tomorrow, but a leak has brought the car to you today.

Mercedes-Benz has officially taken wraps off of a distant-future research vehicle known as the F 125!, paying tribute to the automaker's 125th birthday!

The F 125! research vehicle makes use of advanced propulsion technologies that Mercedes-Benz believes could have production vehicle applicability in 20 years, namely a combination of hydrogen fuel cells and an electric hybrid powertrain.

This completely zero-emission car is driven by an F-CELL plug-in Hybrid powertrain, consisting of a further-developed fuel cell and a high-performance lithium-sulfur high-voltage battery. Energy storage is then provided by an entirely new kind of hydrogen tank that is integrated directly into the bodyshell structure for optimal space and weight savings.

The result? A 1,000 kilometer (621 mile) range with zero emissions. The powerplant is good for 313 horsepower, which should make for a moderately fun drive given the extensive use of carbon fiber and aluminum to keep the vehicle's weight to a minimum.

The display, control and communication concepts found in the research vehicle are also completely new, prompting the automaker's chief, Dr. Dieter Zetsche, to claim, "You could say that the F 125! is a smartphone you can sit in."

Photos by Mark Elias