Monday, September 17, 2007

Mercedes’ F700 hints at the next S-class or [Chrysler New Yorker]

The F700’s front-end design could appear on the carmaker’s future lineup.
Photo credit: PHILIP MEECH


Greg Kable
Automotive News Europe
September 17, 2007 -- 06:01 CET

A dramatically styled Mercedes-Benz research vehicle unveiled in Frankfurt showcases a series of high-end features the company plans to incorporate into future production models.

Dubbed the F700, the large luxury sedan previews the next-generation S-class due in 2012. It has advanced engine and suspension technology and radical new styling developed by the German automaker’s US-based design studio in California.

Mercedes describes the F700 as a “futuristic interpretation of the classic sedan” and predicts much of the technology it previews will begin appearing on production models within the next decade as emissions regulations become tougher and buyer expectations grow with advances in fields such as consumer electronics.

While officials are quick to downplay the relevance of the new four-door’s styling, Mercedes sources suggest that various themes explored within its body are likely to be developed further before being committed to production. These include a bold front-end treatment that could preface the look of its future lineup, as well as individual elements such as prominent wheel arches and flowing C-pillars.

The F700 has a twin-turbocharged, 1.8-liter four-cylinder DiesOtto gasoline engine that Mercedes promises will have the biggest bearing in its future model range. Claimed to offer the power, smoothness and low emissions of a gasoline engine in combination with the torque, flexibility and frugal properties of a diesel, the new unit is capable of switching between spark and compression ignition, depending on the driving conditions.

The F700’s advanced engine has a 238hp output that compares favorably with Mercedes’ existing 3.5-liter V6 gasoline and 3.0-liter V6 common-rail diesel units.

With an electric motor designed to provide an additional burst of output under acceleration, the F700’s peak power is 258hp in hybrid mode.

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