F500 Mind by DaimlerChrysler, Germany

2005: Germany.

Full Size Vehicle on Display at Michelin Challenge Design™


The 2003 Tokyo Motor Show saw the unveiling of the latest research vehicle from Mercedes-Benz: the F 500 Mind. This laboratory on wheels contains over a dozen innovative safety, comfort and drivetrain concepts.

The F 500 Mind combines the advantages of different fuel concepts in one engine. When large amounts of power is required, a V8 diesel hybrid engine drives the F 500 Mind’s wheels. This ultra-modern engine is equipped with a particle filter that cleans the exhaust gases before they are released into the atmosphere. During the journey, the engine also charges the batteries for the second source of power, the electric motor. It thus minimizes fuel consumption and emissions levels without sacrificing performance.

The engine of the F 500 Mind demonstrates how we might meet the requirements of future emissions legislation. It also proves that environmentally friendly vehicles can be sporty too: thanks to dynamic steering, the wheel only has to be turned a maximum of 180 degrees.

The cabin, too, features impressive new solutions: the engineers have done away with the B-pillar and also developed an all-glass roof. In addition, there’s a new concept for the display and controls.

The F 500 Mind is designed as a mobile research laboratory, and is fitted with a lavishly equipped laboratory bench on the passenger side of the vehicle. The bench folds out towards the rear and can be operated from the right-hand single seat at the back of the car. The bench incorporates computers for monitoring the F 500 Mind’s onboard systems, controlling a vast array of functions and carrying out online measurements during tests on the proving ground.

Measuring 5092 by 1889 millimeters, the research vehicle is 49 millimeters longer and 34 millimeters wider than the current S-Class. The biggest difference however is in terms of height. At 1534 millimeters, the F 500 is 90 millimeters taller than the range-topping Mercedes model.

The F 500 Mind wouldn’t be a true Mercedes-Benz, however, if it didn’t also represent an advance in vehicle safety. Consequently, there are the first-ever input-sensitive pedals that recognize how firmly the driver depresses the brake or accelerator pedal. This enables the car to provide active assistance in sudden braking maneuvers or rapid acceleration. What’s more, the pedals take up less space too, intruding only a little way into the footwell. That not only means 12 cm more space, but also a reassuring level of passive safety. In the event of a collision, they are not pushed as far into the cabin as conventional pedals.