Mercedes Ener-G-Force: The shape of SUVs to come?
Photo credit: Mark Vaughn
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The Mercedes Energ-G-Force, which will debut at the Los Angeles auto show, could be the shape of Mercedes SUVs to come.
"If people really like it and reaction is good then yeah, we might have to think of making it happen in reality," said designer Huey Lee, who was part of the team that penned the Energ-G-Force at Mercedes' Advanced Design Studio in Carlsbad, Calif. Niche builder Metalcrafters Inc. built the vehicle's carbon fiber composite roller.
The futuristic Energ-G-Force envisions an SUV for 2025, a successor to the G-Class SUV. The concept is missing a drivetrain -- in fact it's missing an interior, suspension, cupholders and everything else under its skin -- but the idea was that an SUV like this would have a hydrogen fuel cell powering it.
"Right now we're pitching it as a fuel cell electric, but it can also be very versatile," said Lee." It can also be a plug-in, as you can see there's a charging port. Also there's an area where you can store the batteries so there could be batteries."
So it can run on batteries -- with a quick-change slide-out battery tray inboard of the running boards. Or it can accept a hydrogen fuel cell or some kind of hybrid.
At over a foot wider than the current Gelandewagen there is certainly room for all kinds of powertrains. The bumpers, roof rack and rally lights on the roof are all melded into the body. The rear hatch features a pull-out tool kit behind the Nissan Xterra-like panel set on the left side of the hatch, with a lug wrench that will pop out at the wave of your hand. At the front, the headlights form a "G."
"What you see here is the modern interpretation of the original G but going a little farther," said Lee. "We wanted to introduce it as a design study for the future of Mercedes-Benz SUV design language. We wanted to see public reactions."
Photo credit: Mark Vaughn
"What we wanted to accomplish with this car was create something rugged but at the same time sensual," said Lee. "I know these are two opposite terminologies, but I think we've done a very good job of combining the two. I call it sensual, rugged design language."
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