The third model in the lineup of Mercedes-Benz S-Class hybrids has arrived: the S500 Plug-in Hybrid brings with it a 0-to-62 mile-per-hour time of 5.5 seconds, 30 kilometers (nearly 19 miles) of electric-only operation and a fuel economy rating of three liters per 100 kilometers on the European cycle (78.41 mpg US, though that's not apples-to-apples). Those numbers outdo those of the second-generation S400 Hybrid and S350 BlueTEC Hybrid. In fact, that mpg figure is better than the Audi A3 1.6 TDI Ultra that was introduced earlier this month with a European rating of 3.2 liters per 100 km (73.5 mpg).

The miserly beast runs with a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine tied to an 80-kilowatt electric motor, its lithium-ion batteries containing ten times the energy of those in its S-Class hybrid siblings and chargeable from a port on the rear bumper. There are four drive options, two that select between either full hybrid cruising or electric power only, and two that manage battery usage.

Also helping to manage the battery are the second-generation braking system that first uses the car's electric motor to initiate deceleration, a haptic accelerator pedal that lets a driver know when he's about to engage the combustion engine and the Intelligent Hybrid energy management system. It uses COMAND navigation data up to eight kilometers ahead of the car to oversee battery usage, adjusting how the electric assistance system is used based the likely of the route.

It will be revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show before going on sale next year. The press release below has more information.
Show full PR text
New S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID: The S-Class as a "three litres per 100 kilometres" car

Stuttgart/Frankfurt, Aug 20, 2013 - The third hybrid model of the new S-Class, the S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID, sets new benchmarks with regard to efficiency as well as drive-system and climate comfort. With 69 g CO2 per kilometre (3 litres/100 km) the S-Class sets a new benchmark for luxury saloons that just a few years ago was thought virtually impossible. The 80-kW electric drive with externally rechargeable battery makes emission-free driving for about 30 km possible. It is combined with the new 3.0-litre V6 turbocharged engine. Mercedes-Benz will present the S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA). The market launch will be next year.

The S 400 HYBRID was the first in the world to feature a standard-specification hybrid drive system with lithium-ion battery in 2009. With the new S-Class Mercedes-Benz expands the hybrid line-up in this model series to three models: the S 400 HYBRID, S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID and S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID. All second-generation hybrid drive systems share the seamless integration into the powertrain. The combustion engine can be completely decoupled from the electric motor. Further features are the second-generation recuperative braking system and the anticipatory

Intelligent HYBRID energy management system
"With the S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID Mercedes-Benz sets another milestone on the road to emission-free mobility on the basis of our modular hybrid matrix", explains Prof Dr Thomas Weber, responsible on the Daimler Board of Management for Group Research and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Product Engineering. "In this way the S-Class turns into a genuine three-litre car with generous space and superlative drive-system comfort."

While the batteries of the S 400 HYBRID and S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID as autonomous hybrids are charged during braking or coasting or by the combustion engine, the new high-voltage lithium-ion battery of the S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID has ten times the energy content and offers the option of being recharged from an external source with a charging socket located on the right side of the rear bumper. With the help of the electric synchronous motor (80 kW/340 Nm) the S-Class can thus drive for up to around 30 kilometres on electric power alone.

Four hybrid operating modes can be selected at the push of a button:

- HYBRID
- E-MODE: electric power only
- E-SAVE: fully charged battery is reserved to be able to drive on electric power alone later
- CHARGE: battery is charged while driving

Under the conditions specified by the certification rules the S-Class as a full hybrid generates 69 g CO2 per kilometre. With consumption equivalent to 3 litres per 100 kilometres the S-Class sets a new benchmark for luxury saloons that just a few years ago was thought virtually impossible. It delivers these top values without restrictions in power, passenger comfort or operating range and offers a high level of climate comfort thanks to the pre-entry climate control functions.

The most important benchmark data of the S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID:

- Power output of 245 kW of the combustion engine plus 80-kW electric motor and torque of 480 Nm of the combustion engine plus 340 Nm of the electric motor
- Overall consumption (NEDC) 69 g CO2/km (3.0 l/100 km)
- Operating range on electric power alone about 30 km
- Top speed 250 km/h, 0-100 km/h in 5.5 sec.
- Intelligent HYBRID: anticipatory energy management system with optimal use of recuperation during deceleration
- Individualisation possible as the result of the combination of the transmission modes with the four hybrid operating modes – HYBRID, E‑MODE, E-SAVE and CHARGE.
- Haptic accelerator pedal for superior vehicle control: A point of resistance on the accelerator pedal provides feedback about the activation of the combustion engine and helps in metering the power output.
- Fast external charging of the high-voltage traction battery
- Pre-entry climate control of the interior

Intelligent HYBRID: anticipatory energy management system
The second-generation S-Class hybrids feature an anticipatory energy management system and thereby improve energy efficiency. The operating strategy of the hybrid drive system not only accounts for the current driving condition and driver input, but also adjusts to the likely route (inclines, downhill stretches, bends or speed limits) for the next eight kilometres. Intelligent HYBRID uses the navigation data from COMAND Online to manage the charging and discharging of the high-voltage battery. The goal is, for example, to use the energy content of the battery for propulsion ahead of a downhill stretch in order to recharge it while going downhill using recuperation.

Recuperative braking system: the electric motor as alternator
The largest potential for lowering the energy consumption of hybrid drive systems lies in maximising energy recovery during coasting and braking. Upon depressing the brake pedal the deceleration is initially effected by the electric motor and not by the disc brakes. The new S-Class is the first to use a recuperative braking system (RBS) of the second generation. It ensures an unnoticeable overlapping of the conventional mechanical brakes and the electric braking performance of the electric motor in alternator mode.

The driver's desired braking power is recorded by a pedal-travel sensor. The deceleration is dependent on the driving condition and is split into a recuperative brake-force portion and a portion to be supplied by the wheel brakes. The brake pressure on the rear axle is controlled by the RBS dependent on the current recuperation potential of the powertrain.

In addition, the combustion engine is switched off any time the vehicle is coasting and its drag torque when rolling is used by the electric motor as recuperation torque. However, without depressing the brake pedal no additional deceleration torque is provided for charging the battery and the vehicle can "sail". The combustion engine is to be used for charging the battery as little as possible and only at suitable and most efficient operating points.
Hybrid pioneer in the luxury segment

The world's first standard-specification hybrid drive with lithium-ion battery debuted at Mercedes-Benz as early as 2009: the S 400 HYBRID was the most fuel-efficient petrol-powered luxury saloon for a long time. And the most successful hybrid in its segment: some 20,000 buyers worldwide opted for the S 400 HYBRID.

With the new S-Class Mercedes-Benz now continues its comprehensive hybrid offensive. In the S 400 HYBRID and S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID there are already two hybrids of the new S-Class to choose from:

- The new S 400 HYBRID burns just 6.3 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres in the NEDC cycle (combined). This represents a reduction by 20 per cent over the predecessor. CO2 emissions of 147 grams per kilometre also represent a new record in this vehicle segment. These exemplary figures go hand in hand with outstanding performance potential: the petrol engine develops 225 kW (306 hp), while the electric motor adds another 20 kW (27 hp). The torque of the combustion engine is 370 Nm plus 250 Nm from the electric motor.

- In the S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID Mercedes-Benz has combined the 2.2‑litre four-cylinder diesel engine developing 150 kW (204 hp) with the powerful hybrid module developing 20 kW (27 hp). The peak torque of 500 Nm produced by the combustion engine is overlaid by the 250 Nm of peak torque produced by the electric motor. The S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID makes do with 4.4 litres per 100 km in the combined cycle (CO2: 115 g/km) and complies with the criteria for energy efficiency class A+. Consequently Mercedes-Benz has, over the course of ten years, nearly cut fuel consumption in the 150-kW performance class by half.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 30 Comments
      Joeviocoe
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hesitant to put this out there... but I just wanted to get this in as a prediction. 2015 will come around, and with all of Mercedes' talk and promises and tests and demonstrations... their Fuel Cell Vehicles will be sold in minuscule numbers.... while this vehicle (or another MB PHEV) will get the bulk of the attention... out selling any FCV by a huge margin. Fuel Cell Vehicles need a LOT of hype about release... a decade ahead of time, because the H2 infrastructure requires such large government lobbying efforts. While in comparison, a PHEV can almost just "Sneak" onto the stage. For all the notions of Mercedes' "commitment" to Fuel Cells... I think that PHEVs will be a much bigger part of the MB portfolio... yet without the hype.
      Tweaker
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is a notable development. Any German car with a plug is a huge leap forward and the performance numbers are going to raise eyebrows. Well done - and about time.
      The Wasp
      • 1 Year Ago
      78.41 US MPG...now can we all agree that the European cycle fuel efficiency test is absolutely worthless?
      Actionable Mango
      • 1 Year Ago
      "three liters per 100 km" Why are you using communist measurements instead of freedom measurements???
        knightrider_6
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        @Actionable Mango Funniest comment. LMAO @aatbloke1967 Have you ever heard of sarcasm?
        ilovepartygirls
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        LMAO
        Marco Polo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        @ Actionable Mango Lafayette we have finally caught up ! Curiously, the newly independent US adopted the Spanish dollar but retained a version of the UK measurement system. This probably reflected the difficulty of re-education at the time, and of Thomas Jefferson's very democratic, but somewhat confusing, offer of two different models of measurement systems. Back in France, Napoleon had no such qualms, and imposed the metric system on all of Europe by reason, economic inducement, and if that failed, brute force ! The British didn't give a firkin, and that's why all nautical terms still remain British.
      knightrider_6
      • 1 Year Ago
      19 miles should be enough for the senior citizens for their trip to grocery store.
      Smoking_dude
      • 1 Year Ago
      20 miles Mercedes against 300 of a TESLA. But i don't want to rant. the more plug-ins the better. sooner or later the owners will get their gas anxiety. as it happended to the ford energi models, were as a big surprise the owners charged where the could. in stuttgart home of mercedes there are now around 500 charging points. so it is getting interesting as FINALLY they are jumping on. but still I*d pick the tesla SO STRONG that it breaks the nhtsa testing equipment :D
        rocketmoose
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Smoking_dude
        Comparing it against a Tesla is daft. This is, in essence, a limo. The Tesla Model S is about the size of an E-class, not an S-class.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @rocketmoose
          "The S-class is around 150m longer..." Wow, that's a *serious* stretch. ;P
          • 1 Year Ago
          @rocketmoose
          [blocked]
          DaveMart
          • 1 Year Ago
          @rocketmoose
          Nope. The S-class is around 150m longer, but OTOH is 64mm narrower: http://tools.mercedes-benz.co.uk/current/passenger-cars/e-brochures/s-class.pdf http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_S
          DaveMart
          • 1 Year Ago
          @rocketmoose
          The Tesla is larger always? So where are your references? For my statements I 'only' had the Mercedes website, and then Wiki for the Tesla as I was too lazy to convert the inches in the Tesla site to metric. But 196" is 4978mm, exactly as Wiki gives it.
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Smoking_dude
        The comparison is "daft" because one is a BEV and the other is a PHEV. Buyers are NOT cross shopping these two classes. The decision is based on circumstances, not preferences.
      EZEE
      • 1 Year Ago
      I was not sold, but when I saw it had a haptic accelerator pedal - well that put it over the top for me. Afterall, don\'t we all want our pedals to be haptic? Oh - by the way - what makes a pedal haptic?
        Letstakeawalk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EZEE
        It gives you mechanical feedback - generally by actively pushing back against your foot.
        mustang_sallad
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EZEE
        I think giving the driver feedback before turning the engine on is awesome. Ford's PHEVs do this, asking you if you want the engine on if you accelerate hard in EV mode. Anybody who's driven a Prius or other regular hybrid knows the frustration of having that engine come on when you accelerate just a bit too hard. A lot of people would opt to just accelerate a little slower if they knew where the limit of EV mode was. This feedback should be perfect for that.
      Puck
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wonder when GM will come forward with more spin-offs of the VOLTEC. It's destined to be implemented on all levels and all kind of configurations. They could be so ahead.
      Koenigsegg
      • 1 Year Ago
      19 miles is worthless
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Koenigsegg
        [blocked]
        mustang_sallad
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Koenigsegg
        Not if you drive less than 38 miles a day and spend several hours parked at work, which the majority of people do. Most people also occasionally go a lot further than that, the question is whether a giant battery or a gas powertrain is best to handle those occasional longer trips. There are advantages to both. Packaging is a whole other story though - Tesla's ground up design is clearly WAY more optimized for the technology.
      Feurig
      • 1 Year Ago
      The MPG isn't bad, but the "electric-only" number shouldn't have been said. I'm seeing all OEMs do this and it boggles the mind. I recently read that Akerson wants to create a volt with 60 miles of electric-only range, and that production would be 3 or 4 years out. What? Am I hearing things correctly? Might as well use the R&D money on making attractive designs and efficient ICE motors and wait until the Tesla patents expire.
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