Published: Tue, September 12, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Frankfurt 2017: Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell Showcases Future Of Mobility

Frankfurt 2017: Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell Showcases Future Of Mobility

On battery power alone, the range is 49 km (about 30 miles).

Mercedes-Benz says intelligent interplay between battery and fuel cell, along with short refuelling times, will in future make the GLC F-CELL a vehicle of high everyday practicality and also suitable for long-distance motoring. It's the follow-up to the 2010 B-Class F-Cell.

The drive programs of the GLC F-CELL will include Eco, Comfort and Sport. Right now gasoline-electric plug-in hybrids and battery-powered electrics are gaining traction (excuse the pun), but automakers are still hedging their bets with fuel cells.

Even with an asynchronous electric motor directly driving the front wheels, the GLC F-Cell can fit one of its hydrogen tanks in the engine bay, while the second sits beneath the rear seat. Visually, the GLC F-Cell differentiates itself with blue exterior accents, more aerodynamic bumpers and wheel designs, and F-Cell and EQ badging to designate it as part of the new EV-focused Mercedes sub-brand.

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Mercedes is showing off a pre-production version of the GLC F-Cell at the IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt.

With another 10 pure BEVs planned to launch before 2022, Daimler hopes that defining the GLC F-Cell as a plug-in hybrid will convince people it's a family-friendly practical vehicle.

It falls within the EQ brand's remit, largely because it's been the product of tapping into the pooled resources of its electrification group inside Kallenius's own development branch, though Daimler now has more than 11 million miles worth of fuel-cell data. The production also uses 90 percent less platinum, which in turn reduces costs. Built into the GLC's floor, they can be fully refueled in only three minutes - about the same time as a conventional gasoline - or diesel-powered auto. Hybrid mode uses both the hydrogen and the battery pack, with the auto determining the optimal situations for each. Honda introduced its fuel-cell Clarity last December, and that vehicle is available only to lease ($369 a month with a $2,868 down payment). With one electric motor at the front and one at the back, the driving characteristics will be altered by these two modes, varying the front to rear torque distribution. Drivers can even fiddle with the system's operation mode - hybrid for normal, automatic selection; F-Cell; Battery and Charge.

Inside, however, the GLC F-Cell features a multifunction touchpad with handwriting recognition and this is the first time we get to see these features in the GLC.

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