Even though the automotive industry may be struggling in more ways than one, that surely won’t stop the manufactures from having a little fun every now and again. This is especially true when it comes to training the next generation of designers, which is something Mercedes-Benz takes very seriously.
It was this combination of free-thinking designers and highly focused training that led the F-Cell Roadster. The design was based on the Benz Patent Motorwagen that was designed in 1886.
The exercise was meant to show students how out new alternative fuel systems work and how they can be applied to the most simple of devices.
As one can guess from the name, power for the new F-Cell Roadster is provided by a hydrogen fuel cell. Max output is 1.2 kilowatts and although the concept is made mostly of carbon fiber, the top speed is still set at about 15.5 miles per hour. Although it is not the fastest thing ever designed by Mercedes, it will be able to sustain that speed for 220 miles.
A joystick is used to maneuver the roadster, which is amusingly similar to the 1886 Motorwagen. The wheels were also borrowed from Mercedes first vehicle, but a few improvements were made to increase the lifespan.
Over 150 up-and-coming designers spent more than a year designing the F-Cell Roadster, and although Mercedes will almost never produce them, it is still a refreshing look at the past and future of the automotive industry.