The road to production for the Mercedes-Benz ML450 hybrid wasn't always smooth, but now that the Germans have shown off the new SUV here at the New York Auto Show (following its early debut at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show), they'll be happy to tell you just how amazing and luxurious this SULEV people-hauler is. The numbers start with a respectable 21 city/24 highway mpg rating. With a 3.5-liter V6 Atkinson cycle engine and a 288V NM battery pack, the ML450 hybrid can go 1.8 miles or up to 34 mph on battery power alone (take that, 2010 Prius). The hybrid powertrain altogether has a combined output of 335 hp, so providing adequate power to move the giant SUV was clearly just as large a priority as fuel economy. The ML450 hybrid features Mercedes' first application of the Two-Mode hybrid powertrain it co-developed with General Motors and Chrysler that also appears in the Chevy Tahoe Two-Mode Hybrid and Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen Hybrid. For more technical details, see Mercedes' spec sheet (page 1, 2)
How does it ride? All we can say for now is: stay tuned. We're about to hop in one and see for ourselves.