2004 Mercedes-Benz F500 Mind Concept Photo Gallery

[cars name="Mercedes-Benz"] F500 Mind concept
Mercedes-Benz was the only German automaker with anything worthwhile to show at Tokyo. The F500 is the latest in a long line of futuristic Mercedes concepts that began with the 1991 F100, which presaged innovations we now take for granted, such as smart cruise control. Packaged as a four-door fastback sedan, the F500 Mind is rumored to portend the styling of the next-generation S-class coming in 2005, although Mercedes officials vehemently deny this.

Mercedes-Benz F500 Mind concept
The F500’s hybrid powertrain consists of the Europe-market, 4.0-liter common-rail diesel from the current S-class mated to a 50-kilowatt electric motor that switches on and off according to traffic conditions. The motor’s 300-volt battery is located under the passenger cell and is recharged via regenerative braking. Mercedes claims that the hybrid system reduces fuel consumption by as much as 20 percent.

Mercedes-Benz F500 Mind concept
An innovative packaging concept uses electronically operated accelerator and brake pedals with pressure-sensitive surfaces, thus freeing up the front footwells from space-hogging conventional mechanical pedals. The front seats therefore can be positioned about five inches farther forward, providing more space for rear-seat passengers. At 200.5 inches in length, the F500 is only 1.9 inches shorter than the current S-class, and its wheelbase is identical, at 116.7 inches.

Mercedes-Benz F500 Mind concept
The F500’s body shell also presents new ideas. The doors open conventionally, via front hinges, or the rear doors can be opened suicide-door-style via an additional set of rear hinges. In the latter mode, the B-pillar stays attached to the rear door, providing a 74.8-inch-wide opening to the cabin. To compensate for the decreased structural rigidity caused by the lack of full-size B-pillars, there’s an interior pillar in the middle of the cabin, stretching from the floor to the radically designed glass roof.

Mercedes-Benz F500 Mind concept
The F500’s multivision instrument panel display features programmable dials and displays, with images that can be optically superimposed or combined with the aid of a semitransparent mirror. The driver can summon a range of information by pushing a button on the steering wheel. The display also incorporates images from a Night Vision system similar to the one Cadillac introduced several years ago.

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