The Frankfurt Auto show, which runs from September 15 through 25 features a number of concept cars offered by European manufacturers. Los Angeles car buyers with an eye to the future should be able to find their dream machine among the lineup. I am presenting a sampling, ranging from A (Audi) to V (Volvo).
The Mercedes-Benz F 125! research vehicle is truly a dream machine that will not appear on the roads for some time. It is an emission-free luxury vehicle dreamed up by Mercedes engineers and provides a glimpse of what a Mercedes two-door coupe of the future could look like. It is a fuel cell plug-in hybrid with a range of 1,000 km (620 miles). According to Mercedes-Benz, it is capable of 0-60 MPH in 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 137 MPH. For short trips, it can travel 30 miles on battery power via a lithium-sulphur battery, which can be inductively charged at “intelligent” charging stations. Each wheel is driven by its own electric motor with individual torque control—a feature dubbed e4MATIC-all-wheel drive. Featured are two huge gullwing doors and seating for four. The body is constructed of aluminum, plastic, and carbon fiber; this provides strength and reduced weight. The fuel tank, which is integrated into the floor assembly, has a capacity of 7.5 kg of hydrogen.
The vehicle contains a Cloud-based infotainment system. For example, the driver can request news items, which are tailored to his personal needs, and make specific commands without removing his or her hands from the wheel. Safety and ergonomics are of the highest order, thanks to “Natural Handling.” Natural speech is supplemented with touch and intuitive hand-gestures. The F!125 contains high-end sound and high-resolution screens with brilliant, individual displays. If required, the 3D display for spatial representation of the instrument cluster can show relevant information in clustered form. The head unit in the upper section of the center console uses projector-beam technology; it is controlled via a touchpad with 3D finger-tracking located within easy reach of the driver. In addition to the head unit, the integrated selection bar enables the instrument cluster and rear-view display to be selected. Activated in this way, these displays can also be centrally operated. A further, retractable 17-inch display is installed on the front passenger side, and this is fully controlled by hand gestures. In this way a rear passenger can select his personal film program with no physical contact.
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