In what is clearly an attention-grabbing move, Daimler today has just unveiled the F-CELL Roadster, a wacky-looking vehicle that is a ‘hybrid’ in more ways than one. Literally the roadster is fitted with a 1.2 kW hybrid drive – one that allows the F-CELL to reach a top speed of 15 mph and achieve an operating range of 217 miles. But the roadster is a ‘hybrid’ in a more metaphorical sense as well: drawing design inspiration from a diverse swath of automotive eras. The F-Cell Roadster provocatively merges design elements from the most futuristic Formula One racing cars with the most old-school, turn-of-the-century, original Benz motor car.

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The F-Cell Roadstar has the wheels and general aura of the original Benz patent motor car, mixed with a sleek and streamlined fiberglass race-car body and seating. All of which makes for a bizarre-looking but strangely poetic vehicle. Want to know who to blame for this ungodly franken-Benz? Chalk it up to the Daimler AG trainees at the Sindelfingen plant, with more than 150 trainees and dual education system students working for about a year on the overall concept, development, assembly, and completion of the hybrid model. The project involved junior employees from the fields of automotive mechatronics, model-building, electronics, coating technology, manufacturing mechanics, product design, and interior appointments.

“This project impressively demonstrates that the topic of sustainable mobility has become an integral part of our vocational training,” said Human Resources Board member and Labor Relations Manager Günther Fleig. “I am delighted to see how much initiative and creativity the young people have put into this project.”

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