F 500 Mind - Appointment with the future.
Major space savings with innovative pedals.
Programmable multivision display and infrared nightview system.
High-performance combination of V8 diesel engine and electric motor.
At the Tokyo Motor Show 2003, Mercedes-Benz presented the latest in a string of research vehicles which have attracted much interest and attention over the years and which provide fascinating insights into the automotive technology of tomorrow and beyond. Packaged as a stylish fastback saloon, this pioneering vehicle showcases more than a dozen technical ideas for enhancing the safety, drive technology and comfort of future Mercedes passenger cars.
Researchers will be using the four-door saloon to conduct the first practical tests of various innovative systems and to pave the way for their introduction into series production. The F 500 Mind is therefore 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 millimetres, the research vehicle is 49 millimetres longer and 34 millimetres wider than the current S-Class. The biggest difference however is in terms of height. At 1534 millimetres, the F 500 is 90 millimetres taller than the range-topping Mercedes model.
Inside the F 500 Mind, the completely new spatial environment and lavish roominess come as something of a surprise. This is due to the replacement of conventional mechanical accelerator and brake pedals by pressure-sensitive electronic controls. Each of these electronic pedals incorporates eight sensors which measure the accelerator or brake pedal effort and relay it as an electronic signal to the control units in the engine or the SBC™ brake system.
This innovative technology allows finely controlled acceleration and braking with short response times. It also takes up very little space, extending the length of the front footwell by 120 millimetres, the distance which would normally be required for pedal travel. This 120 millimetres is put to good use in a redesign of the passenger compartment. The driver’s and front passenger’s seats have been moved 120 millimetres further forwards, thereby opening up a new dimension in spaciousness. The hip-to-hip distance between the front and rear passengers is 980 millimetres - an outstanding figure even for the luxury class.
Further advantages of the innovative, non-wearing pedal technology are a reduced injury risk in a frontal collision and reduced noise due to a closed front bulkhead. Also, the cruise control and SBC™ functions like Soft Stop, Tailback Assist or Anti-stall Assist can be operated even more easily – with a "click" of the electronic foot pedal.