Sam Philip22 February 2010

F800: Merc’s future style

Mercedes hints at its future design direction with this Geneva-bound four-door coupe concept

This is the F800 Style, a design concept set to be unveiled by Mercedes at the Geneva show next week.

See more Merc F800 pics

It is packed with Good Green Stuff and, perhaps more interestingly, hints strongly at Mercedes' future styling direction.

The F800 Style is a four-door coupe that, we're told, features many of the styling cues expected on the next-generation CLS and, perhaps, Mercedes' CLC replacement, expected some time in 2013.

Which means a fairly heady mixture of SLS bits, the somewhat squinty front end from 2008's BlueZero concept and - yeah, you've spotted it too - surface styling with more than a hint of Mr Bangle's work.

As well as doing the design-preview thing, the F800 also shows off Mercedes' green drivetrain developments. It's powered by a plug-in hybrid, which matches a 300bhp, 3.0-litre V6 to a 109bhp electric motor, integrated into the seven-speed gearbox and drawing power from a lithium ion battery.

Mercedes says the F800 will manage 75mph and a range of 19 miles in electric-only mode, but when the petrol engine is running, things become rather more impressive: 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds and a top speed of 155mph. Combined economy is quoted at 97mpg, with CO2 emissions of 68g/km.

The F800 also features Merc's new ‘MFA' architecture, a flexible platform that supports a wide range of wheelbases and configurations. The F800 has also been designed to support a fuel-cell powertrain.

There is, as you'd expect, a multitude of cleverness on board. Those rear doors are sliding affairs, because - well, just because they are, so there - and there's a touchpad centre console to control the car's entertainment system, similar to the unit on the new Audi A8. It outdoes the Audi in one respect, though: Merc's touchpad boasts a camera that monitors your hand as you navigate around the screens.

In short, there's a lot of stuff going on with the F800. We'll have another shot at picking it apart - metaphorically, we mean - when we see it in Geneva. Until then, what do you think of Merc's new style direction?

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