Plug-in hybrid or fuel cell

To be unveiled at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, the Mercedes-Benz F800 Style is a harbinger of the company's future stylistic direction, as well as a showcase of its under-development drivetrain and cabin tech.

According to Mercedes-Benz, the F800 Style can accommodate either a plug-in hybrid drivetrain or a hydrogen fuel cell system.

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Electric V6

When kitted out as a plug-in hybrid, the F800 uses a 220kW petrol V6 mated with an electric motor capable of adding another 80kW. Fuel economy is rated at 2.9L/100km.

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Battery power only

The plug-in hybrid F800 can run for up to 30km on Lithium-ion battery power alone. When operating solely on battery power, the F800 can reach a maximum speed of 120km/h.

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Togetherness

With the petrol motor up and running, the plug-in hybrid F800's max speed is 250km/h and the zero to 100km/h dash can be done in 4.8 seconds.

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Lay it out

As a plug-in hybrid, the V6 petrol engine sits up front, with the electric motor housed within the transmission that feeds power to the rear wheels. The Lithium-ion battery pack sits underneath the rear seats, while the petrol tank is between the passengers and the boot.

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Hydrogen power!

In its fuel cell configuration, the F800 Style has an electric motor capable of delivering 100kW of power and around 290Nm of torque to the rear wheels.

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Water out

The F800's fuel cell combines stored hydrogen with atmospheric oxygen to produce electricity, with water the only emissions out of the car's tailpipe.

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We've met before, right?

The fuel cell drivetrain used in the F800 Style is a further development of the one that's been making the rounds in a fleet of B-Class F-Cell research vehicles — one of which our colleagues at

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Under the skin

Configured as a fuel cell car, the F800's snout houses a stack of fuel cells where a petrol motor would normally reside. These cells are fed by hydrogen tanks that hide in what would normally be called a transmission tunnel. The electric motor sits astride the rear axle, while a set of Lithium-ion batteries is wedged between the passenger cell and the boot. These batteries store the energy captured through regenerative braking.

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Backslider

The F800 Style isn't just about Mercedes' future drivetrains or, even, what the next-generation CLS-Class might look like. There's plenty of interesting cabin tech inside too. Oh, and sliding rear doors.

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Candid camera

The F800 Style's entertainment, navigation and control system, dubbed HMI for human-machine interface, utilises a touch pad. But it's not just any touch pad! There's a camera directly above it and a user's finger movements on the touch pad are superimposed on the central LCD monitor. The touch pad will supposedly recognise swipes, pushes, turns and zooms.

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Touch-pad plus

This touch pad arrangement, snappily named cam touchpad by Mercedes-Benz, combines the best of touchscreens and the current centre console knob-based controllers, like BMW's iDrive, Audi's MMI and Mercedes-Benz's Comand. And like Lexus' Remote Touch system there's haptic feedback as well.

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