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Mercedes Design Exercise Previews Rain-Powered G-Wagon

Sections: Powertrain

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Mercedes Ener-G-Force

Mercedes Ener-G-Force SUV, a design exercise the German automaker put together as part of its participation in the L.A. Auto Show’s Design Challenge 2012, features a number of “science fiction” features, in Mercedes’ words. (Photo courtesy Mercedes-Benz.)

As part of its participation in the L.A. Auto Show’s Design Challenge, Mercedes is showing a concept police version of its G-Class SUV that could be powered by rainwater.

According to L.A. Auto Show’s website, this year’s Design Challenge tasked participants with creating an ideal highway patrol vehicle for the year 2025. Part of the challenge would be to configure the car to meet the environmental concerns and emissions regulations of a specified area.

In a press release, Mercedes called its concept, dubbed the Ener-G-Force, “pure, rendered science fiction.” Among the sci-fi features of the model are recycled water storage tanks atop the vehicle that would be used in the conversion of that water to hydrogen gas used to propel the vehicle. The SUV has four individual electric motors– one on each wheel hub. The vehicle’s side skirts would house either energy storage units used in the water-hydrogen electricity conversion process or “hot-swappable” battery packs. Finally, the SUV would have a technology called “Terra-Scan” that would scan the surrounding terrain. Information gathered by the scanner would be used to adjust the suspension.

Will the Ener-G-Force make it into production? We wouldn’t count on it. However, the features showcased in the design exercise may showcase where Mercedes is heading with regard to future technologies.

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