Mercedes used the North American International Auto Show in Detroit to debut three new BlueZERO concepts with each one offering a unique take on green motoring.
Mercedes calls the front end styling "powerfully elegant" and while we aren't inclined to agree with that statement, we understand that in order to maximize fuel economy the concepts had to feature an extremely aerodynamic exterior. The lengths to which the company went to achieve this can be seen in the closed front apron and the elimination of the air intakes. Even the 20-inches wheels have been designed with aerodynamics in mind and they are outfitted with low rolling resistance tires.
The concepts are underpinned by the same architecture used on the current A and B-Class models and the exterior styling offers a hint of what to expect from the next generation B-Class. Modifications were made to the platform in order to maximize the potential of the concepts, the major powertrain components were designed to provide the cars with a lower center of gravity and to optimize interior space.
The BlueZERO E-cell will be able to travel up to 200 kilometers on electric drive, while the fuel cell based BlueZero F-cell can achieve a range of more than 400 kilometers. The BlueZero E-Cell Plus combines the electric drive from the standard E-cell but adds a gasoline engine which kicks in to recharge the batteries, allowing it to travel up to 100 kilometers on electricity and then an extra 500 kilometers when the engine starts to recharge the batteries.
All three BlueZERO concepts measure 4.22 meters in length, offer seating for five, allow for a payload capacity of 450 kilograms and have over 500 liters of luggage space. The front-wheel drive concepts have peak power output of 100 kW and 320 Nm of torque, allowing them to reach 100 km/h in less than 11 seconds.