A Benz With The Bends

Someone at Mercedes-Benz is either truly inspired or clearly suffering from dementia. What better way to showcase the future of hydrogen-electric fuel cell technology than with this stunning roadster concept. For nearly a year, 150 “trainees and dual education system students worked on the overall concept, development, assembly, and completion of the F-CELL Roadster.” Basically a bunch of design students were brought on by Daimler to “demonstrate how the topic of sustainable mobility has become an integral part of our vocational training…” The result is not only a throw back to the Benz Patent Motor Car from 1886, but a leap forward with integrated next-gen technologies like a drive-by-wire joystick replacing the traditional steering wheel and an emission free fuel cell system. Handle-bar mustache and goggles sold separately.

Designer: Mercedes-Benz [ Via: Jalopnik ]


  • Carl says:

    Hey you, chitty bang bang..!

  • Lamah says:

    It looks really cool, but I can’t help but think that there is a reason for normal cars having tires as wide as they do. How much traction are you going to get from these things? They look skinnier than bicycle wheels.

    • wheel size and foot print are a function of weight being carried as well as speed expected. The narrow tires would give low rolling resistance and at lowish speeds enough traction for cornering and braking. Think in terms of 2 racing bicycles, super narrow tires but still can deal with 50mph descents.

      • ogeight says:

        the rider on a bike isn’t as heavy as this car. That weight would overwhelm those tires and wheels.

        • zacka films says:

          but there is twice as many tyres as a bycicle and if engineered properly and maybe if they were made maybe 2 inches wide with a flat footprint i think they would be fine

          • zacka films says:

            it would also be a lifespan versus grip question, the softer the tyre the better the grip but lifespan would suffer but with wheels like this a ten year old would be able to change a tyre, could just be another job around the house, do the dishes clean youroom change the tyres on the car

  • AlienzExist says:

    The one inch wide tires makes this whole concept a waste of time. I’m not opposed to minimally sized tires for lightweight benefits, but this fails.

  • Henrique Staino says:

    Why do we have a joystick instead of a steering wheel in this car? Has it been proven to be better than the latter?

  • Tania says:

    yayy fun!

  • Roberto Esquivel says:

    Glad to see Anthony James is back in action… been missing his left handed complimentary coverage. Stupid looking car though.

  • confucius says:

    All y’all pimps got nutn’ im rolling on 56″s.

  • erz_arch says:

    i agree with henrique stanio, this drive-by-wire joystick is a damn waste of my reading time… and the seats are extremely uncomfortable, they’ll poke into your side and offer no cushion at all.
    these thin wheels are great for lower speeds only (at high speeds the weight of batteries/fuel tanks and passangers) WILL throw this thing out of a corner… not to mention you won’t be able to steer nor break if the juice runs out.
    hopefully these design students do have a long way ahead studying and learning from this mess…

    not a good concept car, mercedes-benz, not good at all.

  • Salman Anjum says:

    Why is it that everyone on Yanko Design feels the need to type destructive criticism in the comments section of almost every single design. At least if your gonna criticize a design suggest how you would go about improving it. Or why don’t people realise what a design is for before commenting on it. This car is only capable of around 30kph so being thrown out the seats and low traction aren’t an issue. the 3 main reasons for this car are its engine, its design harking back to an original design, and the fact that it shows how mercedes educates its staff and the passion it involves in the process. I dont hear mercedes saying how beautiful it corners or the traction provided, etc, etc.

    • “Why is it that everyone on Yanko Design feels the need to type destructive criticism in the comments section of almost every single design?”

      I ask myself that question a lot. But not only at Yanko. I guess most designers are pretty destructive at other designer’s work, more often than not, and frequently for no real reason at all. I feel that from designers in my country as well. Oh, we also tend to be pretty defensive about our ideas as well.

      We’re no good, really.

      • AlienzExist says:

        Designers think alike, thats why we criticize other people’s designs. And that’s the only place where you’ll get good criticism, with other designers.

        If you don’t want criticism, then post your designs at your mother’s canasta group so they all can tell you how wonderful it is.

        Bottom line, cycle tires are good on cycles because they lean into corners. Taking a corner in this would tear it apart. Suggestion: Cool 5 inch wide tires, and some throwback spoked wheels(car wheels).

        • “If you don’t want criticism, then post your designs at your mother’s canasta group so they all can tell you how wonderful it is.”

          Do you guys see what I meant? It’s not even my design, and now I’m being attacked. Lol!

      • Carl says:

        i guess its called ‘tough love’ from one designer to another. its essential in weeding out the weak ideas before the original designer wastes too much more time on them. As long as the -ve is explained its valid. would you rather make your mistakes here or after investing 100k?

  • Michman says:

    I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry. Surely this is a nice april fools joke trotted out a little too early by Mercedes.

    The joystick was a failed design in the eighties, the wheels are, as mentioned, useless to anything carrying a ton of weight. The doors aren’t gull wings but chicken bones and the windrush would be slightly disconcerting to both of the seats. And 150 designers made a model that looks like a slightly unconvincing render. For some reason this just doesn’t seem to add up.

  • erz_arch says:

    i do have to take back what i said about the seats, i mistook the reeding for a bugle into the passangers’ seating – sorry about that.

    yet the rest has to be criticized, e.g. the non-existant splash guards for all wheels (imagine water/dirt colliding with your face while turning or driving behind one of these), no holes to let out rain water in these seats, no windscreen etc etc.
    based on the renders tilting the wheels doesn’t work as well to apply centrifugal forces more directly into the road beneath as bikes do (if they did these thin wheels worked in corners).

    and yes, we sometimes DO have to supply each others with destructive (and constructive) criticism.
    how are we supposed to see errors we made ourselves?

  • FLX says:

    I dont get it. Whats the point of putting all that hi tech in a car when its top speed is a ridiculous 25 km/h? I can do that with my bike.
    Plus when they tried to remenisce the design of the old car, they should ve at least updated the wheels, not only copy them. They could ve made cool 3d-prototyped ones for example.

    I really like the seats but the overall verdict: wtf is this crap?

  • cajunhurricane says:

    I would agree with all the criticism if this were a production car – it’s completely useless. And unsafe. But it isn’t. A production car, that is.

    Two things:
    First, read what Salman wrote and let me add to that that any truly creative process starts with a clean slate. You’re supposed to go bonkers. Reality kicks in in a further phase. But that wasn’t even the point of this car: it was supposed to be distinctive, sleek and to deliver an oddball fusion of the 1800s and the next generation. Think sci-fi movies from the fifties, but then the other way around: we’ve got the technology, but pour it into an old from. Including lack of seatbelts, footwells, sprayboards, etc.
    Second, if you really want to look at it as a real prototype, all it needs are just those things and 5 inch wheels or so (and lights and probably a cuple more things). But that’s easy. The big thing is to develop a – o wait a minute; could this be? – concept!

    Bottom line: it’s a quirkily funny, hi-tech, environmentally friendly (let’s not get into that) car, and that was probably the point.

    PS If we’re game for destructive criticism anyway, what kind of nonsense is it to snuff the joystick on account of it NOT having been proven to be BETTER than a steering wheel and pedals? How about a car company building such a car and letting the market decide? If it’s bad, its detractors will either be dead or not buying it.

    • Michman says:

      Cajun, the joystick design was tested on a production car. I believe it was a saab but I can’t be too sure without the old article. I’ve been trying to find a reference for it but it is one of the few ‘new’ design ideas that failed miserably for cars.

  • charles jordan jr. says:

    I have driven race cars with rear only brakes and can see some short coming on stoping even at low speeds. Why not have two frount axels with 10 inch wheels. This would stable the car as you beef up the next versons. Your tires want stop anything.

  • Except for that joystick and the tires…The rest is really interesting.

  • Göksel says:

    according to me this car is ugly

  • Göksel says:

    according to me this car is ugly

  • Who, me? says:

    People right here know so much about cars design that I imagine all of you are working with a car maker company, right? NOT!!!

  • says says:

    I think its beautiful. sorry to everyone that got upset just because it doesn’t look like every other car sports concept we see posted.

  • Lmo says:

    The joystick: consideration for right/left interchangeable driver position.

    No front brake: added complexity, increased unsprung weight on front suspension, they are, “practically speaking, unnecessary; 25 Kph = 15.5 Mph

    The wheels: a look at the 1886 Benz Patent Motor Car (google it), the inspiration for this project, tells it all.

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