In the luxury car market, only Lexus has any kind of hybrid presence, and the LS 600h is the $100,000 king of the hill. The only problem is, the LS600h is geared to be more like a V8 that acts like a V12 than it is a fuel-efficient, environmentally-friendly greenmobile. The scribes over at egmcartech are reporting that Mercedes is gearing up an S-Class green machine, but the folks over in Stuttgart are taking a different approach all-together.
The S-Class hybrid, which is scheduled to reach production for the 2009 model year, is rumored to be powered by a 2.2l Bluetec diesel with a mild hybrid system. The engine should be good for over 200hp and a combined (and impressive) 36mpg, which would be around 10mpg better than Lexus' hybrid flagship.
We can't understand why Toyota would only use its wonderful but expensive hybrid system as little more than a supercharger with better than average fuel economy for the big Lexus, but we understand that luxury car owners expect plenty of power when they're shelling out the big bucks. It'll be interesting to see how the S-Class will do with little grunt and a lot of green, but our guess is that the well-off folks who aren't merely trying to look like they're environmentally friendly will pick the Mercedes.