## Update on the Mercedes F 500 MIND Diesel Hybrid: Surprise!

##### 08 October 2004

DaimlerChrysler presented an update on what it is learning from its F 500 Mind—a diesel-hybrid research car first unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show last year (mentioned briefly in an earlier post).

The F 500 MIND is a platform for a number of technology innovations; tempting as it might be to explore those, I'm just going to focus on the diesel hybrid drive.

The F500 MIND is a full-size luxury fastback sedan concept—larger than the S-Class. Its full parallel hybrid drive system pairs a 184 kW (250 hp) 4-liter V8 diesel engine with a 50 kW electric motor to produce a combined output of 234 kW (313 hp) and a total peak torque of 860 Nm. That output makes it, according to DaimlerChrysler, the most powerful hybrid drive to be fitted in a rear-wheel-drive passenger car at the present time. The vehicle uses a 300V Lithium-Ion battery.

The F500 features stop-start functionality and regenerative braking. The electric drive takes over completely in slow-moving stop-go traffic, for acceleration or for parking. The combination of these functions reduces fuel consumption by some 20% compared to a comparable conventional diesel in the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) test cycle and emissions by 15–20%. The latter is also a result of the sensor-controlled exhaust treatment system.

However, once the DCX researchers took to the road under practical operating conditions, the results changed.

“The actual fuel consumption of the hybrid drive on longer interurban or motorway journeys is actually higher than with the standard Mercedes diesel model.”

Dr Herbert Kohler, Vice President, Body and Powertrain Research
Chief Environmental Officer for DaimlerChrysler

The road trials confirmed that the hybrid drive’s primary area of use will be for inner-city driving where the benefits offered by engine shut-off at traffic lights and energy recovery during frequent braking can be fully utilized. Now the DCX researchers are now more closely comparing the hybrid system vis-à-vis a comparable diesel engine to better define a future application scenario for the hybrid drive.

“We are looking to fine tune the hybrid drive and deploy it in such a way that its benefits outweigh the tremendous technical effort involved. As a result of the practical tests that have been held so far, we now know that the diesel engine holds a greater overall potential for reducing fuel consumption and levels of CO2 emissions.”

Dr Herbert Kohler

Relevant to this discussion and these results are some comments that came in from a Green Car Congress reader—a European engineer—in a private email. His observation was that hybridization of the diesel engine might be only way to meet the next generation of more stringent EURO5 diesel emission levels without sacrificing fuel economy. (More exacting standards require more add-on emissions control systems, which in turn increase consumption, which eats up the efficiency improvements in the engine.) Nevertheless, he concludes, a diesel meeting CAFE SULEV standards very likely will not show the kind of mileage we know from current diesels—even with hybridization.

DaimlerChrysler also has in the works a diesel hybrid version of its Vision Grand Sport Tourer, and has shown an early production model. (Earlier post.) I’m looking for some clarification from DCX on these results from the F 500, and any impact that might have on their plans for the Vision GST Hybrid—or if there are comparable test results from that vehicle as well.

### Comments

I wonder how emissions output would change if vehicle is running b100 biodiesel?

In general, Americans value air quality and Europeans value low GHG (esp CO2) [not sure about Australia and the rest of the planet :) ]. Getting both low CO2 and good air is giving Mercedes grief and is why the hydrogen approach is ultimately so compelling. But how to get from A to B?

Maybe fitting the 300V lithium battery and the 50Kw motor from the F500 into the Mercedes/Swatch Smart car would do the trick!

John

On the biofuels, good question! I don’t know if they tested it that way; they should—DCX is outspoken about the need for biofuels going forward. I’ll add that to the follow-up questions.

I will hazard the guess that this result is because of the added mass inherent in a fully parallel approach, and that a Diesel version of Toyota's serries-parallel design would give better economy in all driving profiles.

Comments from the European engineer sound interesting, would like to hear more about this - what type of modifications to diesels are being proposed to meet EURO5 standards and why do they impact fuel economy. The particulate traps sound like they could be problematic.

Dimethyl ether seems like one of the few ways to get a really clean diesel, but then you are looking at a whole new fuel distribution chain

Dear Sir/Madam

It gives us great pleasure to make this announcement

After five and a half years Genrod Turbo Diesel situated in South Africa has tested the first prototype of a unique hybrid drive system
Test carried out have shown that a pick up truck using an average of 13.5 litres per 100 km can now look forward to a consumption figure of 6.5 litres per 100 km

Further development of this system will reduce this figure even further

The beauty of this system is its adaptability.It can be used in passenger cars,pick up trucks ,light commercial vehicles,inner city busses,generator sets,these are just a few examples of it versatility

We would like to ask your esteemed company if you would be interested in joining us as an investment partner or to purchase the project outright

This really is a very exciting project and has than potential to change motoring forever

We look forward to your answer in anticipation

Best regards
Gavin Rodel

GENROD TURBO DIESEL
TEL + 27 34 9809704
TEL + 27 34 9809722
FAX + 27 34 9821911
E MAIL GENROD@LANTIC.NET

Dear Sir/Madam

It gives us great pleasure to make this announcement

After five and a half years Genrod Turbo Diesel situated in South Africa has tested the first prototype of a unique hybrid drive system
Test carried out have shown that a pick up truck using an average of 13.5 litres per 100 km can now look forward to a consumption figure of 6.5 litres per 100 km

Further development of this system will reduce this figure even further

The beauty of this system is its adaptability.It can be used in passenger cars,pick up trucks ,light commercial vehicles,inner city busses,generator sets,these are just a few examples of it versatility

We would like to ask your esteemed company if you would be interested in joining us as an investment partner or to purchase the project outright

This really is a very exciting project and has than potential to change motoring forever

We look forward to your answer in anticipation

Best regards
Gavin Rodel

GENROD TURBO DIESEL
TEL + 27 34 9809704
TEL + 27 34 9809722
FAX + 27 34 9821911
E MAIL GENROD@LANTIC.NET

this car is superb . i want more info abt it if u have .ur content is awesome.

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