Robert Downey Jr. on set with his Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid

As America's patron saint of automobiles Jay Leno likes to say, we Americans want people to know about the good things we're doing anonymously. That's got to be at least part of the reason so many celebs ditched their limos for chauffeured Priuses. Sure, there are the Ed Begley Juniors (or is it Ed Begleys Junior?) and Darryl Hannahs of the world that truly believe in the cause and are willing to sacrifice a little style or a little luxury for it. But for every Ed and Darryl there are dozens, perhaps hundreds of celebrities that lean green but really don't want to ride around in an electric Dustbuster or build their own biodiesel reactor in their Malibu backyard. Which could be one reason why more and more celebs are returning to luxury and performance staple Mercedes-Benz. The only difference is, these days they're choosing Mercedes' array of greener rides.

The new Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid is the luxury sedan of choice for Robert Downey Jr. (pictured above), who drove the luxury sedan when off-camera while shooting his upcoming film Due Date, and Gerard ("Tonight We Dine In Hell!") Butler, among others. Mercedes tells us the 2010 S400 Hybrid made also its rounds during the award season as the chic transportation choice among a select group of celebs "in the know." The S400 HYBRID features the world's first lithium-ion battery in a production hybrid vehicle and the 275-hp V6 gasoline engine provides an estimated 30 MPG on the highway.

Taking a step up in size is the ML450 Hybrid mid-size SUV. Its Atkinson cycle version of Mercedes 3.5-liter V6 allows it to achieve up to 335 hp and 381 pound-feet of torque in combination with its two electric motors while still grabbing 46 percent better fuel economy than the V8-powered ML550 model. More importantly, it's the vehicle of choice for Miley Cyrus. And THAT was the last time we hope to write a post with the words "Miley" or "Cyrus" in them. Mercedes-Benz BlueTEC diesels and ML Hybrid vehicles have been linked to celebrities as well. Sarah Jessica Parker, Liv Tyler, Rosario Dawson, Christina Applegate, Molly Sims, Felicity Huffman are all proud owners. There may even be some men who own them.

With California's proposed hydrogen highway, it's likely only a matter of time before Hollywood's eco-minded are cruising around in hydrogen MBs. Mercedes-Benz plans to offer a limited number of B-Class hydrogen fuel cell vehicles available for lease in California in 2010.

[Source: Mercedes]

PRESS RELEASE

Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid Luxury Sedan Setting New Eco-Chic Standards in Hollywood

BlueTEC Clean Diesel, S400 HYBRID luxury sedan & ML450 HYBRID SUV make it Earth Day every day for Hollywood's elite

LOS ANGELES, April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Mercedes-Benz BlueTEC clean diesel technology, a Hollywood veteran for luxury eco-chic transportation, is getting support from a cast of new environmentally friendly vehicles including the Mercedes-Benz 2010 S400 HYBRID luxury sedan and ML450 HYBRID SUV.

The expansion of Mercedes-Benz eco line-up is making it easy for celebs to have green transportation by offering the best of both worlds: supreme luxury, safety, and technology with solid environmental credentials.

S400 HYBRID

The new Mercedes-Benz 2010 S400 HYBRID luxury sedan is the vehicle of choice for A-list actors including Robert Downey Jr, who drove the luxury sedan when off-camera while shooting his upcoming film Due Date, and Gerard Butler, among others. The S400 Hybrid made its rounds during the award season as the chic transportation choice among a select group of celebs in the know.

The S400 HYBRID features the world's first lithium-ion battery in a production hybrid vehicle and the 275-hp V6 gasoline engine provides an impressive estimated 30 miles per gallon on the highway. The ML450 HYBRID mid-size SUV uses a 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine, two electric motors and sophisticated electronics to produce more than 46 percent better fuel economy than a comparable V8-powered ML550 model, and is the vehicle of choice for international pop star Miley Cyrus.

BlueTEC clean diesel

Mercedes-Benz BlueTEC and ML Hybrid vehicles combine a smooth, quiet ride with fuel efficiency that delivers 20-30 percent higher fuel economy than a comparable gasoline engine making it the GREEN choice for a number of Hollywood's elite including Sarah Jessica Parker, Liv Tyler, Rosario Dawson, Christina Applegate, Molly Sims, Giles Marini, Felicity Huffman among others.

Today, Mercedes-Benz offers three BlueTEC SUVs - the R, ML and GL320 BlueTEC - and, will soon add the E350 BlueTEC sedan this fall. The term "BlueTEC" is derived from the innovative AdBlue process that dramatically reduces emissions and enables the diesel V6 engines to meet the stringent emissions standards of all 50 States. According to the EPA, the nation would save 1.4 million barrels of oil a day if just one third of all light-duty vehicles in the USA were state-of-the-art diesel vehicles.

An added bonus of driving green cars like the Mercedes-Benz BlueTEC and Hybrid, beyond not sacrificing space, safety or luxury, is the IRS alternative-powertrain tax credit. The current Diesel Tax Credits for owners of a 2009/10 Mercedes-Benz BlueTEC are $1,800 for the GL320/GL350; $1,550 for the R320/R350; and $900 for the ML320/ML350. Mercedes-Benz hybrid credits are $2200 for the ML450 and $1150 for the S400.

For 2010 Mercedes-Benz plans to offer a limited number of B-Class hydrogen fuel cell vehicles available for lease in California. Essentially an electric car that makes its own power on board, the new Mercedes-Benz F-Cell has a range of about 240 miles before needing refueling. Running on compressed hydrogen, the F-Cell boasts an equivalent fuel mileage of 86.6 city-highway combined miles per gallon and water is the F-Cell's only emission.

ABOUT MERCEDES-BENZ USA

Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), headquartered in Montvale, New Jersey, is responsible for the sales, marketing and customer service for all Mercedes-Benz and Maybach products in the United States. MBUSA offers drivers the most diverse line-up in the luxury segment with 12 model lines ranging from the sporty C-Class to the flagship S-Class sedans and CL coupes.

More information on MBUSA and its products can be found at www.mbusa.com and www.maybachusa.com. For more information about Mercedes-Benz S400 hybrid vehicles go to www.mbusa.com/S400 and for clean diesel BlueTEC vehicles go to www.mbusa.com/bluetec
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