Published November 19, 2012
By Philippe Crowe
Can anyone here imagine the Mercedes-Benz G-Class in 2025?
Mercedes-Benz designers created the Ener-G-Force, a design study to demonstrate how the genes of the classic off-roader born in 1979 could evolve by 2025. The fuel cell-powered study is based on the concept of a future police car developed for the Los Angeles Design Challenge.
According to Mercedes-Benz, the Los Angeles Design Challenge 2012 looks far ahead with a quest for the “Highway Patrol Vehicle 2025.” Law enforcement will have to prepare for even more crowded roads with electronically monitored and guided traffic, a much larger population and changes in human behavior, calling for new police vehicles. They must be able to reach any place conceivable quickly and reliably – even far away from any pavement. And they must do so in an exceptionally environmentally friendly way using alternative energy sources.
Designed as an environmentally friendly SUV, the Ener-G-Force, would be fully capable of supporting police and emergency services in every corner of the world.
Gorden Wagener, Director of Design at Mercedes-Benz Cars stated that “the Ener-G-Force is the vision of an off-roader that, while reflecting tomorrow’s adventures, also invokes the genes of the Mercedes-Benz off-road icon, the G model. Modern and cool, it could also be a clue about a new beginning for the off-road design idiom of Mercedes-Benz.”
Mercedes-Benz admits the concept of the Ener-G-Force for the Los Angeles Design Challenge is pure, rendered science fiction. However, the notion of designing tomorrow’s off-roader fascinated the designers at the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studio in Carlsbad, California to such an extent that they evolved the vision of a police version into a civilian version and even built a 1:1-scale model.
Like the “Highway Patrol Vehicle 2025,” the shape of the civilian Ener-G-Force is modeled after the G-Class. However, it presents a radical reinterpretation of this classic that looks far into the future.
Mercedes-Benz designed the Ener-G-Force concept to store recycled water in tanks on the roof, and transfer it to the “hydro-tech converter,” where natural and renewable resources are converted into hydrogen for operating the fuel cells.
The storage units for the electricity generated in this process are housed in the side skirts.
Mercedes-Benz conceived this concept to emit nothing but water and to have an operating range of about 800 kilometers (497 miles).
In a way that will have overlanders dreaming, the vehicle is powered by four wheel-hub motors, whose output for each individual wheel is adapted, per Mercedes-Benz, precisely to the respective terrain by high-performance electronics, provide the pulling power.
And the dream is not over. Mercedes-Benz designers imagined a “Terra-Scan” 360-degree topography scanner on the roof which permanently scans the surroundings and uses the results to adjust the spring and damping rates as well as other suspension parameters for maximum traction on the respective surface, regardless of whether it is in terrain or on the road.
The styled side skirts can house either the energy storage units or hot-swappable battery packs.
Changes in the color of the illumination of the side skirts indicate the operating and charge status of the energy packs.