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Mercedes-Benz Formula Zero. Image by Mercedes-Benz.

Mercedes-Benz Formula Zero
German maker combines yacht racing and Formula One in the futuristic Formula Zero concept.
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Mercedes has taken the wraps off its Formula One/yacht hybrid, unveiling the Formula Zero for the LA Design Challenge 2008.

This year's LA challenge requires designers to come up with a racing concept for the year 2025, be it a car or entire racing series.

Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design of North America has given us this lightweight racer with a huge aero-efficient fin that combines 'the thrill of Formula One, the track dynamics of the bobsled or luge, and the grace and efficiency of yacht racing,' as Merc puts it.

How the driver actually gets in and out of the Formula Zero is not clear, but it's powered by four electric hub motors housed within the wheels, and takes part in a unique racing series - which unfolds on a transparent track so that spectators can view the action from 'all perspectives'.

Most interesting is the half-baked concept behind F0 racing, which proposes that each team is allocated a certain amount of energy, with the winner chosen partly based on its 'energy efficiency factor'. There must be a programme in that for Simon Cowell?

The Formula Zero certainly looks aero efficient, though there's not a great deal, if anything, in the concept that couldn't conceivably be done in the very near future. (On an unlimited budget, of course.)

Grid Position: 8/9

Early Retirement or Podium Finish: Early retirement when the Formula Zero runs out of allocated energy on the final lap. Relying solely on the gentle cross breeze wafting across the track to guide it over the line, the F0 eventually gives up when everybody goes home.

Mark Nichol - 21 Oct 2008    - Mercedes-Benz road tests
- Mercedes-Benz news
- Formula Zero images

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