• Sep 18th 2009 at 7:59AM
  • 24
2010 Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid - Click above for high-res image gallery

Mercedes-Benz has apparently begun shipping the new S400 BlueHybrid sedan to its US dealer network, as one of our readers spotted one and grabbed a photo of the window sticker. The S400 is Mercedes' first production hybrid vehicle and utilizes the mild hybrid system it developed in conjunction with BMW. While BMW is going whole-hog for performance with its ActiveHybrid 7 Series, Mercedes is going for more efficiency. The Stuttgart brand has opted use its 3.5-liter V6 with the hybrid system along with the first lithium ion battery used in such an application. The 120 V battery is actually nearly the same size as a traditional lead acid starter battery and takes its place in the engine compartment – meaning no trunk space is lost compared to the standard car.

The S400 Hybrid gets an EPA rating of 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. That compares to 15/23 mpg for the V8 powered S550. The base price on the S400 starts at $87,950 and the car spotted by our reader had a bottom line of $93,775. You can configure your own S400 at the Mercedes USA site. Thanks to USCGTO for the tip!

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      It doesn't make sense, that's true, but to me no hybrid makes much sense. If you're going to drive one, though, this is the one to have, wouldn't you agree? All of the idiots who would be so impressed with your evironmental conscience would probably be too clueless to know the operational differences between this and a Prius so you could get kudos and back-pats all day long while toddling around in your behemoth German luxo-barge completely guilt-free.
      • 5 Years Ago
      On a pure MPG comparison, one could argue the S320CDI is a better choice or why didn't Mercedes just use the hybrid system with a diesel engine for even more fuel economy?

      However there is a factor that we in the U.S. are not counting (not the smug factor of Hollywood actors driving a Mercedes Hybrid): It is the Carbon emissions. In Europe there is a whole movement to tax heavily cars that emit a certain threshold of CO2. Possibly, the S400 Hybrid is an attempt to reduce its carbon footprint.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't understand why people just don't market diesel...

      And for that matter, I don't understand why people buy hybrids instead of clean diesel, sigh.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have my doubts about making my money's worth on this one. But one question remains....how much smug would some people produce with this thing!?!?!
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's a Mercedes hybrid - I'm sure it would produce a LOT of smug.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I own an S550 - silver with red smoked tailights.

        I can say from experience that owning an S-class makes one pretty f'kin smug. My comments on Engadget, especilly about Microsoft and Apple products are a testament to that.

        My questions regard acceleration. My S550 is pretty fast to 60 cause it has a 380HP V8. I'm not sure how I'd feel lugging this much mass with a 3.5L V6. Did Mercedes shave enough mass off?

        And why bother making a "hybrid" that only gets 19 MPG city ? The S-class is used as a luxury limo inside my city (NYC) and spends most of its time sitting in traffic with the A/C or heater on. While I'm certain that 4 MPG difference could possibly save a couple thousand bucks in a year, the people who own or rent this car as a limo aren't worried about that because they are huge spenders and huge tippers. My question is whether or not this car can be used with regular low grade fuel without any warranty caveats.

        I also wonder whether or not the Dual View Navigation system will be in this car since the law made a big deal about its media capabilities.
        • 5 Years Ago

        For being as smart as you seem to think you are, isn't it pretty obvious that a company that operates a bunch of S-Class limos would save a bunch of money on 4mpg city, quite probably without the people in the back seat ever noticing? Big money it might be, but bigger margins definitely add up.

        Also, last I heard dual view won't be here because of some legislative issue.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why would anyone choose this over the CDI?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Because it gets worse fuel economy in town or on the highway? Because it has 100 less lb ft of torque and in a large luxury sedan torque tends to be more important than hp?

        The only pro I see is .3 seconds faster to 60 and that's all but irrelevant in the green luxo barge demographic. It's a pity Mercedes can't market diesel, this S class splits the difference between the base gas and diesel while offering pretty much none of the latter’s advantages and while costing more. The only rational conclusion I can work is Mercedes has begun working for lexus, advertising a full size hybrid sedan within the LS' class with worse fuel economy and noticeably less unf. They're reaffirming that no one does hybrids like toyota does right now?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hi Quantumphysics ,are you the guy who used to post here earlier as Flashpoint?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ha ha, I was wondering the same...
      • 5 Years Ago
      I drove an S400 and didn't really care for it. It felt underpowered, and the hybrid displays in the didn't convey much useful information. I believe it is a "mild" hybrid and does not run on electric power alone. It does shut off upon stopping.

      I've had two hybrids, a Camry and a Fusion. Both conveyed much more useful economy information.

      If I were spending the money, I would just buy an S550. I imagine that the S400 is just a first step for Mercedes in the hybrid pool and the technology will trickle down to the E-class and C-class with more impressive results.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Maybe? When the civic came out as a mild hybrid we were thinking the same thing, especially after the first insight and how amazing its figures were (at least in america). Fast forward to today and we have the awkward new insight and not a whole lot of forward progress on honda's part (the insight actually managing lower fuel economy than the mild hybrid civic it replaces).
      • 5 Years Ago
      This car is the closest thing we'll get to a Jeremy Clarkson hybrid: "Put a 9V into a Hummer and call it a hybrid!" This car is purely a marketing move and as a business, you can see why they did it. I'd rather have an S350 with the petrol V6 than this hybrid system.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's simply inevitable. The German badges simply have to keep up with the changing market perceptions. They also spend copious amounts on research and need to be looking for the next leading edge. There's a reason that the latest technology debuts in the S- and 7-'s.

      While I have big qualms with hybrids and their environmental impact (or lack thereof), all the research will eventually produce something that isn't just smoke & mirrors.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Rich people who spend on a $100,000 car don't think twice about it - nor do the companies that use them as limosines.

        There are people out there who are making so much money that this is like $100 to them.

        Someone has to be there to build a car that can capture the dollars of those high end buyers.

        The new 7 series sucks. Trying to make it smaller, they put all the car's actual size behind the b-pillar. The driver's space is ridiculously cramped.
        • 5 Years Ago
        A $90,000 mild hybrid car with a V6 that gets 19/26 is cutting edge? Yeah that's quite the feat of German engineering there.
        The sad thing is that those numbers could probably have been achieved with an engine start/stop and maybe a CVT without ever needing to install electric motors and battery packs, but of course they probably just wanted to shove the word Hybrid in there.
        I mean tons of large and heavy cars with only V6's get similar mileage to that...the hybrid system is probably doing almost jack sh*t.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The car in the photo looks awesome in white. I would hope it would do quite well actually, typically we see a premium cost for more efficient cars (BMW and Audi diesel models), but from what I gather the price of this S400 will be the lowest MSRP in the S-class range. So if you want an S-class but want to save money on your purchase and on the road, it makes a lot of sense. The Wal-Mart mentality of North Americans will have trouble with this idea, and I envy the European markets that get high-end cars like Jags and Audi's with small(er) diesels and hybrid motors.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well when I saw that hybrid in there, I was absolutely shocked for how that just sneaked it in right along the new e class without much fan fare.

      Also those who question a 3.5 v6, they sell S 350 on many parts of the world. 300hp Is okay for that car in day to day. JMHO.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That's funny - I just saw one on the road yesterday and tweeted about it because I hadn't seen them before. I guess a little mileage improvement is nice but did they have to got the hybrid route to get there? Is it the best economical decision? Doubt it, but how can Mercedes not match Lexus salvo with the 600h?
        • 5 Years Ago
        quote from Bobby:
        - 'Is it the best economical decision? Doubt it, but how can Mercedes not match Lexus salvo with the 600h?" -

        See, but I don't think it matches the 600h at all.

        The LS600h was made to give the power of a V12(since Lexus has no V12 while BMW and M-B have theirs) while offering better fuel economy at the same time. That's also the reason for the 600h's name, as it's aiming for the power of a 6.0L engine, it goes along with Lexus's naming scheme across the board for the hybrids(they are named based on the size of an engine they'd require for the same power if they weren't hybrids). The 600h is also the most expensive LS.

        For the 600h, economy was kind of an afterthought to power, though it is slightly better, especially for city and combined.

        The S400 Hybrid, on the other hand, is the cheapest S-Class with the smallest engine available. It's also a mild hybrid. It's performance is nothing really to latch onto either. Fuel economy is really it's prime reason for existence.

        I can see the buyer of an LS600h buying it because it's the best (and most powerful) LS they make while the S400 Hybrid buyer is buying it because it says Hybrid on it or because it's the cheapest. There aren't too many other reasons to choose it over an S550.

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