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With concepts like the F800 and F125 Style (shown) teasing us over the last few years, it appeared that Mercedes-Benz was indeed putting together an exotic, lightweight, fuel cell powered sedan.
Now details have emerged that this vehicle, dubbed the Mercedes E Superlight, which will incorporate ideas from both those concepts is headed for production, due for a release sometime in late 2015. The E Superlight aims to take on Audi’s e-Tron and BMW’s upcoming i8 but will be more advanced than either, employing a very stiff and light carbon fiber structure (allowing for pillarless doors, the rears hinged in coach fashion) and possibly a drivetrain and suspension assembly that’s fully integrated into said structure.
In terms of propulsion, the E Superlight is expected to bow with a 150 horsepower fuel cell, driving the rear wheels in conjunction with a 50 hp electric motor, though conventional gas/diesel engines and possibly a plug-in Hybrid derivative are expected to follow suit.
Mercedes has set fairly ambitous production targets for the E Superlight, aiming to reach series production of some 20,000 units by 2017. However, despite extensive company research and development in fuel cell technology, it will likely be a struggle to achieve that goal, since consumer acceptance and lack of progress on infrastructure development remain two major challenges for fuel cell vehicles.
That said, even a gas or diesel powered E Superlight would make for one interesting and perhaps revolutionary intermediate luxury sedan, a car that could perhaps prove a real game changer in the segment.
[Source: Car Magazine]