Mercedes-Benz has been churning out cars for a whopping 125 years and to acknowledge that milestone, the German automaker has cooked up the F125 -- a research vehicle crammed it to the hilt with next-gen technology.

The F125's spec sheet reads like it came from the 23rd century. It features a glasses-free 3D instrument binnacle, a 17-inch monitor that's viewable from a reclining rear seat, a mouse touchpad for controlling the rear-projected sat-nav and the very latest lithium-sulphur battery technology.

The 17-inch display is perhaps the most eye-catching of the car's gizmos. Not only is it absolutely mahoosive, it's also kitted out with an Xbox Kinect-style gesture recognition system that lets users control media by waving their arms about.

To trigger gesture recognition, those sitting in the back seat must hold a palm aloft, like some sort of back seat driving God. At this point the screen will begin to translate your frantic flailing into useful commands, such as skipping to the next video, rewinding a track, adjusting the volume or, presumably, ordering your driver to pull over at the nearest currywurst outlet.

The driver gets in on the tech action, too. The F125 swaps traditional spinning needle instruments for a full-on glasses-free 3D display. This works in a similar fashion to the screen on the Nintendo 3DS, but uses rear projection technology to beam vehicle speed, range and other driver-oriented data in front of your eyeballs.

The F125 has a pretty futuristic propulsion system. It's powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, which works in conjunction with a 10kWh lithium-sulphur battery pack.

Mercedes-Benz reckons lithium-sulphur batteries are lighter and more powerful than lithium-ion cells used in many high-end electric cars. The lithium-sulphur batteries in this car are said to have an energy density of 350wh per kilogram, which is a vast improvement on the 150Wh per kilo seen in their lithium-ion counterparts.

We're not sure how far the car can go on battery power alone, but the company claims the F125 has a total emissions-free range of 1,000km.

Don't expect to see this car hurtling silently along your local high street any time soon. It is, remember, just a research prototype, but there's no reason many of the technologies seen in this car won't filter down to everyday vehicles at some point in the future.

Have a gander through our gallery above to get a closer look.

Latest Galleries


Find the best hybrids on the market!

Hybrid technology can be applied to any type of car, and the best show the most significant fuel economy improvements over a similar gasoline-only car.

Latest From Roadshow