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    Mercedes-Benz has released details of their concept, the F800. It is touted to be the next CLS. Featuring a hybrib engine and a host of new technologies, this is a car to look out for in the future.

    The hybrid F800 will be powered by a V6 engine which produces around 300 hp. Add to that the hybrid module which produces about 109 hp, giving it a total output of 409 hp. This will make it run from 0-100 kph in around 5 seconds with a top speed of 250 kph. Even more impressive is the fuel economy which is said to be about 2.9 l/100 km. The hybrid module allows the F800 to run exclusively on electricity during city driving. It can be driven up to speeds of 120 kph on the hybrid module alone. Total mileage for a full tank can range to almost 600 km.

    One of the technical innovations of the Mercedes-Benz F 800 Style research vehicle on show at the Geneva Motor Show uses a system called Traffic Jam Assistant that is capable of automatically following the vehicle in front of it.

    The hands-off steering system also recognises the difference between driving along curving roads and turning. This means it does not ‘blindly’ follow the vehicle up in front if it suddenly changes lanes in order to exit the highway. The result is that at speeds of up to about 40km/h, the Traffic Jam Assistant takes care of the steering so drivers do not have to steer themselves. The driver can just sit back and relax with hands on the steering wheel. When the 40km/h is exceeded, the steering torque that keeps the vehicle in its lane is gradually reduced to a point at which the Traffic Jam Assistant smoothly disengages. Drivers can override the system at any time. Sensitive sensors notice active steering movements, thus automatically deactivating the system.

    Apart from its environmental advantages the F 800 Style has some innovative touches for safety and comfort. It has a new operating and display concept and a human-machine interface (HMI) with a camera touchpad. The display shows many additional functions not found in conventional instrument clusters.

    The HMI unit here consists of a touchpad on the centre console and a camera that records video images of the user’s hand as it works the pad. The live image of the hand is presented in transparent form in the central display above the console. The user sees the contours of their fingers glide across the image without covering anything but showing up all the menu function, which operate via slight pressure on the touchpad.

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