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S-Class Plug-In Hybrid and E300 BlueTec Hybrid coming in 2011 and beyond
With the launch of two hybrid models in 2009, Mercedes-Benz has announced it will add two more hybrids to its lineup starting in 2011. More impressive, is that neither is a run-of-the-mill type of hybrid.
Due out first is the E300 BlueTec Hybrid, based on the new E-Class model. It will be a hybrid and as the name suggests, will use Mercedes’ BlueTec diesel technology. This may be the first diesel-hybrid to launch in North America. It will get an impressive 40 mpg.
Following that model, Mercedes plans to launch a plug-in hybrid S-Class, similar to the one foreshadowed with the Vision S500 Plug-In Hybrid, which debuted at the Frankfurt Auto Show last year. Thanks to a direct-injection 3.5-liter V6 engine mated to a 60-hp/184 ft-lb electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack, the car is capable of getting an amazing 73.5 mpg! Possibly more shocking is that the car doesn’t sacrifice performance, with a 0-60 mph time of 5.4 seconds. Additionally, the electric motor will be able to power the car emissions-free for 18 miles.
Already launched are the S400 Hybrid and the ML450 Hybrid. The S400 Hybrid was the first Mercedes hybrid to go on sale and is also the first mass production automobile to use a lithium-ion battery. Priced at $87,950 it uses an electric motor and 3.5-liter gasoline V6 to produce 295-hp, while getting mileage of 19/26 mpg – an improvement of 26 percent over the S550 in the city. Despite its high-tech battery pack, the S400 Hybrid is a mild-hybrid, which limits its fuel economy.
The second hybrid model from Mercedes is the ML450 Hybrid 4MATIC. A lease-only model, for either 36 or 60 months, at either $659 or $549 per month, the ML450 is the first two-mode hybrid (like the Toyota Prius) from Mercedes. The ML450 uses a 3.5-liter V6 engine and two electric motors to make 335-hp and 381 ft-lbs of torque. Unlike the S400 Hybrid, it will be able to operate exclusively on electric power for short periods of time. Its fuel economy is rated at 21/24 mpg (city/highway), which is roughly the same as the ML350 Bluetec diesel at 18/25 mpg. This is also a 46 percent improvement over the fuel economy rating of the similarly-powerful ML550.
Mercedes R&D boss says technology will make its way into next generation S-Class
After information and photos of Mercedes’ plug-in hybrid S-Class emerged last week, Mercedes has now officially confirmed the car will debut tomorrow (September 15th) at the Frankfurt Auto Show.
Better yet, Mercedes R&D boss Dr. Thomas Weber says the technology is likely to debut in production form in the next generation S-Class. “Although it will take some time before this model can go into series production, our engineers will be working full steam to carry out the necessary integration measures and ensure that all components can meet the tough everyday demands required of a luxury long-distance sedan,” he said. “We’ve already got all the key technology we need for such a dream car, which is why I see it being included in the next generation of the S Class.”
As for the vehicle itself, thanks to a direct-injection 3.5-liter V6 engine mated to a 60hp/184 ft-lb electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack, the car is capable of using just 3.2 liters of gasoline per 100 km – that’s 73.5 mpg! Possibly more shocking is that the car doesn’t sacrifice performance, with a 0-60 mph time of 5.4 seconds. Additionally, the electric motor will be able to power the car emissions-free for 18 miles.
Charging the S500 Plug-in hybrid takes 4.5 hours with a conventional outlet, or just one hour with a raid charger.
We’ll be sure to bring you more on the car from the Frankfurt Auto Show with live coverage starting tomorrow, September 15th.
GALLERY: Mercedes S500 Plug-In Hybrid
Official release after the jump:
Mercedes will debut a plug-in hybrid version of the S-Class at the Frankfurt Auto Show next week. The car, apparently labeled the Vision S500 PHEV (Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle), will be powered by a V6 gasoline engine, connected to an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack. The uber-saloon will be able to travel up to 18.6 miles (30 km) on pure electric power before the gasoline engine kicks in to recharge the batteries.
Mercedes claims the car should get roughly 73.5 mpg (3.2L/100km).
While fuel-efficient, the car is also reported to be a performer, with a 0-62 mph time of 5.5 seconds.
“The Vision S 500 HYBRID is a new milestone on our path toward zero-emission mobility,” said Mercedes CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche. It is a luxurious and safe S-Class vehicle that offers superior driving performance while at the same time consuming less fuel than current compacts. All of this shows that our top models will also be able to combine automotive fascination with responsibility for the environment.”
We’ll be sure to bring you more on the Vision S500, with live coverage from the Frankfurt Auto Show starting September 15th.
GALLERY: S-Class PHEV