Mercedes-Benz F 300 Life-Jet

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Mercedes-Benz F 300 Life-Jet

Mercedes-Benz F 300 Life-Jet
Silver arrow

With a special silver arrow, Mercedes-Benz hit the bull’s eye at the Frankfurt IAA: The futuristic F 300 Life-Jet driving machine is intended to combine the advantages of motorcycle and car.

Walter Gottschick

10/01/1997

After the constant fireworks of innovations in the cars, Mercedes-Benz also surprised the motorcycle industry at the International Motor Show: the study F 300 Life Jet As a modern three-wheeler, it answers the previously metaphysical question of whether the advantages of a motorcycle and a car can be combined.
For the recreational vehicle of the day after tomorrow, Mercedes promises driving fun and cornering dynamics of a motorcycle with the comfort and safety of a passenger car. Roadster fresh air fun without a helmet is a bonus: the two roof halves can be transported in the rear storage space behind the roll bar. But then nothing remains of the trunk with 125 liters…
Young and young at heart leisure people, for the loud Mercedes the vehicle was designed, it will hardly be a problem. For them, the F in the name stands for fascination, driving dynamics or driving fun – not for research. And that was exactly the intention of the “fathers” of the project led by Dr. Michael Kramer, formerly Head of Mercedes Research and now Head of Pre-Development for Cars. So that nothing in the niche between motorcycle and car is reminiscent of old three-wheelers, tri-cars or trikes and their uncomfortable tilting behavior, Mercedes developed an active roll control called ATC (Active Tilt Control).
The interaction between electronics, hydraulics and mechanics is controlled by the vehicle dynamics computer, which is constantly fed with data on yaw and longitudinal speed, acceleration, current steering angle and the position of the hydraulic cylinder that controls the front axle. After calculating the required lean angle, the hydraulics are given the appropriate control command. In contrast to a motorcycle, however, if the body and front wheels are inclined at 30 degrees, this is the end. However, the computer enables brisk deer to achieve phenomenal lateral acceleration of 0.9 g. A value that a 500cc fitted with slicks might reach one corner per race course…
In driving situations that are critical for the motorcycle, such as braking in bends or swerving, the system, which has a triple electronic fuse, also helps: the hydraulic cylinder transmits the forces to one of the two spring struts with 180 bar pressure via the lever shaft and joints. By moving their upper pivot points, axle wishbones and tie rods follow and always create the optimal incline. The load allegedly only tilts at 1.15 g.
The smart silver arrow is powered by a 1.6 liter A-Class engine (see data box). To change gear, all you need to do is step on the clutch and gently move the gearshift lever on the right-hand side of the cockpit; the rest is done by the sequential gearshift.
The lighting concept with its round free-form reflector with three areas and two light bulbs is a real innovation. When cornering, the electronics switch on the fog light depending on the incline and increase the spread from 25 to 45 degrees. A sensor is responsible for generally switching the lights on. In terms of design and especially in the cockpit, the Life-Jet really does credit to a jet. All function buttons are integrated into the steering wheel in the shape of a control horn.
One question has so far remained unanswered: When can a MOTORCYCLE go??

Technical data – Mercedes F 300 Life-Jet

VehicleLength 3956 mmBody width 1236 mm total 1730 mmHeight 1527 mmWheelbase 3011 mmTrack width front 1560 mmFront axle Double wishbone front axle made of carbon fiber with steel guide tubesTurn control Anti Tilt Control (ATC) with computer-controlled hydraulic system for body and wheel inclinationWeight approx. 800 kgChassis with extruded aluminum profile Swing arm connected to the chassis via transversely arranged support arms, toothed belt with eccentric disc inside the swing arm Gearbox five gears, sequential gear selectionTank capacity 28 lRear storage space 125 lEngineCylinder arrangement / valves R 4/2, displacement 1598 cm³Bore / stroke 80 / 79.5 mmPower 75 kW / 102 PSMaximum torque 150 Nm at 4000 rpmDrive valuesAcceleration 7.7 s 0-100 km / hMaximum speed 211 km / hFuel consumption 5.3 l / 100 kmMaximum inclination – 30 degree angleMaximum lateral acceleration – 0.9 g accelerationTilting limit 1.15 g TireTire size front 150/80 ZR 16 rear 190/50 ZR 17

Two-, three- and four-wheelers

Gottlieb Daimler’s riding car from 1885 was the first motorcycle actually a four-wheeler because of the training wheels, the first automobile a three-wheeler: Karl Benz’s motor car from 1886. In the 1920s, many tried to make more out of motorcycles by countering the front or rear wheel exchanged a two-lane single axis. Only the British Peter Morgan succeeded with his legendary three-wheeler, which was built until 1952, an agile three-wheeler that did not tip over so easily. The Messerschmitt cabin scooter, a common man’s car before the prosperity, primarily offered protection from wind and weather. A more recent three-wheeler experiment is the Modulo from Italy, presented in 1993, with the engine of the BMW K 75.

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