Is this the craziest Mercedes-Benz concept ever?
It's called the F100. The F stands for F..antastic...?
In 1991, exactly thirty years ago, Mercedes-Benz unveiled this beautiful oddity. They called it the F100, it was essentially a concept car and in retrospect, I'd say it kinda reminds me of the R-Class. Wouldn't you say?
It was introduced at the 1991 NAIAS, the Detroit Auto Show, and it had a steering wheel with buttons on it, something called 'distance control' and electronic tyre pressure. That's because Mercedes used the F100 as a test bed for technologies that would later be used in other vehicles.
The multi-button steering wheel, for example, was implemented in the production version of the 220 S-Class in 1998 and the xenon headlights were utilized in the 1995 210 E-Class. The electronic tyre pressure of the F100 was later used on the 1996 140 S-Class and the F100 also used the so-called 'keyless-go' system, a chip card instead of car keys, first introduced with the 1999 CL C215.
But the craziest thing about the F100, in my humble opinion, was the Active Blind Spot Assist and the fact that it was equipped with a reversing camera. This is a 1991 concept car, lest we forget, and back then things rear view cameras and ADAS must've sounded like science fiction.
It's utter wizardry, Jim, but not as we know it.