Mercedes-Benz has officially unveiled its 2014 S500 Plug-in Hybrid, ahead of the sedan’s official debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.
“With the S500 Plug-in Hybrid, Mercedes-Benz sets another milestone on the road to emission-free mobility on the basis of our modular hybrid matrix,” said Mercedes product engineering boss Thomas Weber. “In this way the S-Class turns into a genuine three-liter car with generous space and superlative drive-system comfort.”
Targeting a market launch sometime next year, the S500 Plug-in Hybrid is the result of the German automaker’s earlier Vision S500 Plug-in Hybrid concept that debuted in 2009. Back then, Mercedes hoped produce a full-size luxury sedan capable of accelerating to 60 mph in under six seconds that could meet or exceed 70 mpg.
With the new S-Class body in tow, the 2014 S500 Plug-in Hybrid exceeds those expectations thanks to its 3.0-liter, turbocharged V6 engine with 328 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque. The powerplant is mated to an electric motor that’s good for 107 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque, allowing the sedan to hit 62 mph from a standstill in just 5.5 seconds. The top speed is limited at 155 mph.
Four driving modes will be available on the S500 Plug-in Hybrid: Hybrid, E-Mode, E-Save, and Charge. In the E-Mode setting, the S500 drives on electric power only and has an approximate range of 18 miles depending on driving conditions. In Hybrid mode, the German automaker said fuel economy can reach as high as 78 mpg on the European cycle.
The key to the S500 Plug-in Hybrid’s performance is the automaker’s Intelligent Hybrid energy management system, which will automatically choose the optimal mix of power sources and regenerative systems to maximize fuel efficiency. For example, the engine shuts off any time the vehicle is coasting. Drivers are kept up to date with what’s going on electronically with the sedan through display screens. Haptic feedback is also found in the gas pedal, adding resistance to the accelerator when the engine kicks on, which also helps control the power output.
GALLERY: 2014 Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-in Hybrid
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