Mercedes-Benz just debuted its latest concept vehicle – the Mercedes-Benz Ener-G-Force – at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show. At first glance the Mercedes-Benz Ener-G-Force looks like an oversized SUV, which brings up memories of the now extinct Hummer vehicles – but what lies under the hood is a green fuel cell power train that only emits water. According to Mercedes-Benz, the concept is a design study that demonstrates how the genes of the classic G-Class from 1979 may still assert themselves far into the future.

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“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-Class. Modern and cool, it could also be a clue about a new beginning for the off-road design idiom of Mercedes-Benz,” stated Gorden Wagener, Director of Design at Mercedes-Benz Cars.

The Mercedes-Benz Ener-G-Force Concept was created for the Los Angeles Design Challenge 2012, which called upon designers to envision the perfect Highway Patrol Vehicle for 2025. The notion of designing tomorrow’s off-roader intrigued the designers at the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studio in Carlsbad, California to such an extent that they evolved the police version into a civilian version and even built a 1:1-scale model.

The Ener G-Force Concept draws many styling cues from the iconic G-Class, but under the hood is a futuristic power train. The Ener-G-Force stores recycled water in tanks on the roof, and transfers it to the “hydro-tech converter,” where natural and renewable resources are converted into hydrogen for operating the fuel cells. The Ener-G-Force emits nothing but water and has an operating range of about 500 miles. Four wheel-hub motors provide the pulling power, and side skirts house 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.

+ Mercedes-Benz