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Merc goes greenish blue. Image by Mercedes-Benz.

Merc goes greenish blue
Mercedes will quietly roll into the Detroit tumult with a triumvirate of blue-tinged greenness.
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Normally we'd be dealing with a flood of press releases at this time of year for cars due to hit the North American International Auto Show, but sadly this year we're not. The problem is, there's another little Detroit-based melodrama taking all the headlines right now, so the makers are more hesitant about pedalling their latest wares than usual.

Still, Mercedes has unveiled a big three of its own to rock up to Detroit in. It's called the Mercedes-Benz Concept BlueZERO, and comes in three specific guises: the E-Cell, the E-Cell Plus and the F-Cell.

Using the 'sandwich floor' platform debuted with the first generation A-Class in 1997 (which allows the engine to slide underneath the cabin in the event of a front impact), the BlueZERO is designed to provide a green solution for all via the three versions.

The E-Cell can cover up to 120 miles on CO2-free electric power alone using a lithium-ion battery pack, and the E-Cell Plus adds the three-pot 1.0-litre turbo engine from the Smart ForTwo to allow up to 370 miles of green motoring. The first 60 of those are on battery power alone, before the engine kicks in to recharge the battery and provide hybrid power.

Meanwhile, the F-Cell uses a fuel cell powered by hydrogen - a fuel widely regarded as the most viable green fuel of the future - connected to a 100kW motor, which Mercedes claims will endow the car with an 11-second 0-62mph sprint.

Mercedes claims that the sandwich floor concept, as well as its safety benefits, allows all three cars to be packaged without any compromise on passenger or luggage space, because all the drivetrain gubbins are packed neatly into the space beneath the floor, like a delicious eco baguette.

Of course there's no word on pricing, or even if any of the BlueZERO concepts will see the light of a production line, but Merc design supremo Gorden Wagener said the following: "This is yet another clear statement that environmental awareness and driving pleasure will continue to go together in our vehicles in the future. We want people to realise at first sight that the Concept BlueZERO is definitively not a lesser option." So, that's a definitely maybe, then.

Mark Nichol - 16 Dec 2008


2009 Mercedes-Benz BlueZero concept. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2009 Mercedes-Benz BlueZero concept. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2009 Mercedes-Benz BlueZero concept. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2009 Mercedes-Benz BlueZero concept. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2009 Mercedes-Benz BlueZero concept. Image by Mercedes-Benz.

2009 Mercedes-Benz BlueZero concept. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2009 Mercedes-Benz BlueZero concept. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2009 Mercedes-Benz BlueZero concept. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2009 Mercedes-Benz BlueZero concept. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2009 Mercedes-Benz BlueZero concept. Image by Mercedes-Benz.









www.mercedes-benz.co.uk    - Mercedes-Benz road tests
- Mercedes-Benz news
- BlueZERO concept images

View full 2009 Detroit Auto Show report






Lamborghini reveals one-off cars to celebrate end of V12 era. Image by Lamborghini.
Lamborghini Invencible and Autentica
The two special cars are designed to give the naturally aspirated V12 engine an appropriate send-off.
 
Audi Activesphere concept: Daft Punk or just plain daft? Image by Audi.
Audi Activesphere Concept reveal
Audiís futuristic Activesphere pick-up concept deletes physical controls in favour of virtual reality headsets.
Skoda Enyaq vRS sets ice drifting world record. Image by Skoda.
Skoda Enyaq vRS Ice Drifting Record
The electric SUV claimed two Guinness World Records for the longest continuous drift on ice for both electric and conventionally powered vehicles.

 
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