Mercedes offers luxury S-Class hybrid

September 11, 2013 by David Mchugh
A man disembarks from a Mercedes S 500 Plug-in Hybrid during the second press day of the 65th Frankfurt Auto Show in Frankfurt, Germany, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. More than 1,000 exhibitors will show their products to the public from Sept. 12 through Sept.22, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz is offering a hybrid version of its flagship S-Class luxury sedan that can drive emissions-free—and still provide the kind of pampering and power the pricey brand's wealthy customers expect.

Stuttgart-based Daimler AG took the wraps off the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S 500 Plug-In Hybrid this week at the Frankfurt Auto Show, following the introduction in May of the gasoline and diesel powered versions of the S-Class. The sedan is a key earnings driver in China and comes loaded with technology and extras that can include a hot-stone massage function in the seats and a perfume generator that allows the interior scent to be adjusted.

The S 500 plug-in is aimed at people who want a hybrid without compromising on the luxury, powerful acceleration and image that go with driving a Mercedes. Its six-cylinder gasoline engine has a robust 328 horsepower, and there's no range anxiety, or fear of running out of , as with an all-electric car.

A computer selects the best mix of internal-combustion and . The system uses to scan the road ahead and maximize efficiency, for instance by using the battery on an uphill stretch, in order to recharge it on the following downhill using energy from the brakes.

The car can also use the to charge the battery en route, although that's more expensive than charging it up at home.

The S 500 can be switched to all-electric mode, in which it has a range of 30 kilometers, or about 18 miles. Someone with a commute shorter than that could simply charge it overnight and travel back and forth all week without burning gasoline at all. Or it can switch to E-Save mode, in which the battery is held in reserve to drive on electric power alone later.

The car, which goes on sale next fall, generates 69 grams of per kilometer, which would exempt it from London's 10-pound ($15.80) congestion charge to enter the city center during working hours.

UNDER THE HOOD: 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 plus a 107-horsepower electric motor and a high-voltage lithium-ion battery. The company says the car will accelerate from 0 to 62 mph (0-100 kph) in a brisk 5.5 seconds. Top speed is 155 mph (250 kph).

INSIDE: Like the conventional model, the S 500 caters to the comfort of rich customers who may have hired drivers. Back seats recline 43.5 degrees if the passenger wants to kick back and rest. Advanced driver assistance and safety systems using cameras and radar mean the car can adjust the suspension for rough pavement ahead, and drive itself in slow stop-and-go traffic.

OUTSIDE: The car doesn't change much in terms of the older model's sleek lines. It has a taller grille.

FUEL ECONOMY: The company says it gets up 78 miles per gallon, or 3.0 liters per 100 kilometers under the European standard, which combines city and highway conditions.

PRICE: Not announced yet, but it's likely buyers will pay a premium over conventional S-Class models.

CHEERS: Helps take hybrids and low-emission driving further into the mainstream to new, upscale buyers.

JEERS: Hybrids are still only a tiny part of the market.

Explore further: Fiat 500 adds electric and big versions to lineup

Related Stories

New York auto showcase is venue for Mercedes-Benz EV

March 28, 2013

( —Mercedes-Benz is to show off its electric car at the New York International Auto Show, open to the public from March 29 to April 7 at the Jacob Javits Center. Mercedes-Benz calls its vehicle the B-Class Electric ...

Hybrids, concept cars generate auto show buzz (Update)

September 9, 2013

Here are 10 of the most eagerly awaited new cars going on display at the Frankfurt Auto Show. The show opens to journalists on Tuesday, industry visitors on Thursday and the public on Saturday. It runs through Sept. 22.

Hybrids, small SUVs, sense of relief at Frankfurt

September 9, 2013

The world's automakers are showing off their shiniest, most advanced vehicles at the Frankfurt Auto Show, which opens this week. Among the 70 world premieres are a notable number of new cars powered either by batteries or ...

Recommended for you

The ethics of robot love

November 25, 2015

There was to have been a conference in Malaysia last week called Love and Sex with Robots but it was cancelled. Malaysian police branded it "illegal" and "ridiculous". "There is nothing scientific about sex with robots," ...

Nevada researchers trying to turn roadside weed into biofuel

November 26, 2015

Three decades ago, a University of Nevada researcher who obtained one of the first U.S. Energy Department grants to study the potential to turn plants into biofuels became convinced that a roadside weed—curly top gumweed—was ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.