DaimlerChrysler is reportedly preparing a hybrid
version of its S-Class
luxury sedan for sale in 2008. Likely spurred on by Lexus introducing the LS600h L
at the 2006 New York auto show
plans to offer a slightly different set up than its Japanese competitor. Whereas the LS600h L is a full hybrid pairing a 4.3L V8 with a pair of electric motors (it's named the LS600h L because Lexus claims the engine's power is equivalent to that of a 6.0-liter V12), the Mercedes-Benz S-Class
hybrid will likely be a mild hybrid. Both the Direct Hybrid and Bluetec Hybrid concepts
shown at the 2005 Frankfurt motor were mild hybrids, meaning the electric motors only assist the engine, though the former paired its electric motor with a 3.5-liter gasoline engine and the latter used the 3.0-liter Bluetec diesel
Furthermore, Mercedes will introduce the S-Class hybrid in the U.S. and Japan first, mainly because diesels are the powerplant of choice in Europe for those looking for high mileage.