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2001 Mercedes-Benz F 400 Carving Concept by Coggiola

The 2001 Mercedes-Benz F 400 Carving Concept, presented at the 35th Tokyo Motor Show, introduces innovative dynamic systems aimed at enhancing active safety and dynamic handling control. The concept borrows its name from alpine skiing, where carving refers to a series of sharp turns performed on specially designed skis. Similarly, the F 400 Carving incorporates groundbreaking features to revolutionize handling and stability.

The two-seater body design of the F 400 Carving is constructed using carbon fiber with reinforced plastics, resulting in a lightweight and agile vehicle. Under the hood, it houses a high-performance V-6 engine with a 3.2-liter capacity, generating 218 horsepower and 310 Nm of torque. The engine features a dry sump lubrication system to address the challenges posed by lateral accelerations.

One of the highlights of the concept is the active camber control system, allowing the angle of inclination (camber) of the outer wheels to vary between 0 and 20 degrees depending on the road surface. Paired with specially developed Pirelli tires with an asymmetrical tread design, this system provides 30 percent more lateral stability than conventional setups. The outer wheels tilt inwards during cornering, leaving only the inner area of the tires in contact with the road, enhancing dynamic and safe cornering. In contrast, when driving straight, the outer areas of the tires with a traditional tread pattern come into contact with the road, offering high-speed and low-noise performance.

The F 400 Carving's active camber control contributes to its impressive maximum lateral acceleration of 1.28 g, surpassing current sports cars by 28 percent. The concept showcases the potential for enhanced active safety through improved road adhesion and cornering stability.

To address the challenges posed by leaning wheels, the designers enlarged the wheel arches, resulting in a distinctive and strictly two-seater roadster. The body dimensions measure 3979x1890x1150 mm, with a wheelbase of 2450 mm and a track of 1586 mm both front and rear. The lightweight body, 60% lighter than steel, is constructed using composite materials.

The F 400 Carving also features a six-speed sequential shifting gearbox and achieves an acceleration time to 100 km/h in 6.9 seconds. The concept represents a forward-looking exploration of advanced technologies, including steering without a rigid connection, a braking system with similar principles, active hydropneumatic suspension, and fiber optic-based headlighting with additional headlights for cornering.

Source:; Mikhail Vasiliev. "Tokyo-2001". (MOTOR Magazine 12 2001)

Images: DaimlerChrysler

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