Monday, April 13, 2009

Mercedes Concept BlueZero

Mercedes Concept BlueZero

Mercedes-Benz has just released details and images of a new concept that taps into the German automaker's experience of sandwich floor packaging. Dubbed the Concept BlueZero and due to be unveiled at next month's NAIAS, the four-door hatchback is 4.22 meters long, seats five and is likely to form the basis of a new range of small eco cars slated for production in 2009.

The BlueZero's aerodynamic body borrows from the company's 2005 Bionic concept, featuring a monospace design with a closed front apron, converging character lines and rear fenders that partially cover the wheels. The DLO runs in a shallow arc from the steeply angled hood, tapering slightly at the sides and almost seamlessly (but for the roof spoiler) curving down to envelop a pair of high-tech-looking, inverted 'L'-shaped light clusters behind a transparent Lexan plastic screen/tailgate structure.

The car's modular, sandwich floor chassis layout - pioneered on the A-Class - has been designed to accommodate three drivetrain configurations. It can be propelled by a fuel cell, by pure electricity, or by a hybrid powerplant that combines the Smart's 1.0-liter combustion engine with an electric motor.