Mercedes-Benz plans on debuting their new hydrogen powered GLC F-Cell EQ next week at the 2017 Frankfurt auto show, but development is still ongoing and the zero-emission SUV was spied winter testing with barely any camouflage on.
As the name suggests, it’s a fuel-cell version of Mercedes’ GLC-Class small SUV. What sets their production-ready hydrogen model apart from the rest is its plug-in hybrid powertrain. The prototype unveiled last year featured both an electric motor and a fuel cell drive system, both equipped with a corresponding lithium ion battery and hydrogen tank.
With how scarce hydrogen fueling stations are, the secondary source of power should assuage refueling concerns of early adopters. Though specs for the production model has not been released yet, last year’s prototype was good for 300 miles of range if the hydrogen tanks were full and the 9.0-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery was fully charged.
To emphasize just how much testing GLC F-Cell has undergone, Mercedes has released a short clip of the SUV being abused in simulators that mimic hurricane-force winds, tropical downpours, and temperatures of -40 degrees Fahrenheit to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course there’s the usual winter track as well and Motor Authority has published a few shots of the GLC F-Cell EQ fleet taking on said conditions.