Mercedes F-CELL Roadster Pays Homage to the Original Benz
Embracing a host of advanced technologies while honoring the pioneering spirit and character of the original 1886 Benz Patent Motor Car, the F-CELL Roadster was created by a group of over 150 Daimler AG trainees at the Sindelfingen M-B plant. The primary objective of the ambitious F-CELL project was to address the issue of alternative drive systems in a creative manner that would provide hands-on experience for individuals from a wide range of disciplines. Among that talent pool were junior employees with backgrounds in everything from automotive mechatronics, model-building, electronics and coating technology to manufacturing mechanics, product design, and interior appointments.
Beyond its 19th century wheel/tire treatment, the F-CELL Roadster is modern to the core. Its fiberglass front structure reflects the look of a Formula One car while its two bucket seats are made of lightweight carbon fiber covered in hand-stitched leather. All key function controls in the F-CELL Roadster utilize drive-by-wire designs and steering is accomplished via joystick instead of a conventional wheel. Powering the vehicle's electric motor is a rear-mounted 1.2-kilowatt fuel cell that can deliver a range of 218 miles -- albeit at a rather leisurely top speed of 16 mph.