i swear i'm feeling all tingly in my nether-regions
Looking to create an entrant for this year's LA Design Challenge, Mercedes-Benz came up with the Ener-G-Force to fit the theme of Highway Patrol Vehicle 2025. Mercedes-Benz says that the styling of the Ener-G-Force builds on many cues from the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, and like the original G-Wagen introduced in 1979 as a civilian version of a military vehicle, it didn't take much imagination to envision a civilian version of the Ener-G-Force. Of course, it wouldn't be a futuristic concept vehicle without some sort of advanced powertrain, and the concept unveiled today delivers on this front as well.
From a design standpoint, the Ener-G-Force infuses many elements seen on the G-Class but with a much more modern interpretation giving it a new, yet recognizable appearance. These cues include the sunk-in headlights, turn signals/running lights mounted atop the front fenders, the long, flat roofline and the low, rectangular taillights, but the Ener-G-Force ditches the G-Class' boxy lines in favor of a more rounded shape.
One of the interesting elements of the concept is the roof rack. While it looks like a cargo rack that could be used for a safari, it is actually a way for the vehicle to collect water to store in tanks to then be transferred to a converter that creates hydrogen to power the fuel cells. The batteries for this system are built into the rocker panels, and the hypothetical range for this conceptual system is 500 miles of zero-emission driving. For off-roading purposes, the system uses four independent motors at each wheel and a roof-mounted scanner that adjusts the suspension to best fit the road conditions and terrain.
The Ener-G-Force was one of six entrants for the 2012 LA Design Challenge, and the winning design will be announced on November 29 as a part of the LA Auto Show. Scroll down to read more about the Ener-G-Force in a press release from Mercedes-Benz.