Mercedes-Benz Retro Electro Roadster Sets New Standards


Image: E-Mercedes Benz
Retro Electro Roadster Riddle: An Easter Hunt for Adults
This car is exciting, really exciting. Maybe the most exciting electric car of 2009. But it is not the killer retro-modern look that I am praising. Sure, stagecoach meets Formula One achieves a wham-bam-this-is-new-ma'am effect. But there are a lot of mind-boggling concept cars if you just want eye candy.

So why is it so exciting? Not because of its speed 0-60. Nor because of breakthrough technology nor cutting edge power options. But I am not going to just tell you. You will find four clues sprinkled among more photos in the extended. Can you figure it out before the last photo?
Image: E-Mercedes Benz
Mercedes Retro Electro Roadster Melds Modern with Memory
The F-Cell Roadster mixes modern car technology with bits of car history, all the way back to Benz's beginnings. The large spoke wheels stem from the Benz Patent Motor Car from 1886. The carbon fiber bucket seats echo Formula One technology. Clue number 1: you have to know where you are coming from to know where you are going.


Image: E-Mercedes Benz
Modern Mobility is Young and Creative
The F-CELL Roadster speaks to a new generation, with drive-by-wire controlled by a joystick instead of a steering wheel. The luminescent blue rear hood reveals the emission-free hydrogen fuel cell system powering the F-Cell Roadster. The power rating of 1.2kW only reaches 25km/h (15 mph), but the roadster has a range of 350 km (217 miles). Is that a deliberate reminder that automotive history has made great strides since the horseless carriage first hit the roads? Or a vision of a slower, more stately future of urban transportation? Clue number 2: youth are the future.


Image: E-Mercedes Benz
Teamwork for Transportation
The Mercedes-Benz F-Cell Roadster results from a cooperative project over many branches. According to the press release, the project integrated: "automotive mechatronics, model-building, electronics, coating technology, manufacturing mechanics, product design, and interior appointments." Mechatronics? This is a new generation! Clue number 3: modern transportation requires skills of many professionals and technical experts.


Image: E-Mercedes Benz
Trainees Built the Car of the Future
The F-Cell Roadster is not your run-of-the-mill concept car. This car was built by trainees and students in the practical phase of dual education system studies. Mercedes-Benz' prime objective was to include the topic of alternative drive systems in hands-on training of vocational students and junior employees. Human Resources Board member and Labor Relations Manager Günther Fleig is quoted in the Mercedes-Benz press release:

This project impressively demonstrates that the topic of sustainable mobility has become an integral part of our vocational training. I am delighted to see how much initiative and creativity the young people have put into this project.

Do you see it yet? Do you see what is so exciting about the F-Cell Roadster? One last clue: it's not in the car, it's in the concept. The answer is below the final photo:


Image: E-Mercedes Benz
The Answer to the Retro E-Roadster Riddle
The F-Cell Roadster is exciting because real breakthroughs in new transport technology need to be planted in the education of the next generation. By deliberately engaging trainees and young employees in hands-on learning, Mercedes-Benz is setting a new standard for preparing a company of employees ready to take it to the next level. We are still babes in the green woods. The F-Cell Roadster promises that the transportation of the future will make today's Teslas and Volts look like an 1886 Benz Patent Motor Car looks to us today.

Note: This post has been edited with improved images.
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Tags: Electric Cars | Electric Vehicles | Transportation

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