Mercedes-Benz's first production plug-in hybrid is chock full of astounding numbers, including the price tag. The base price is 108,944.50 euros, or about $146,000 US. If that didn't make your eyes glaze over, the Daimler division is ready to take your down payments now that the Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-in Hybrid is officially on sale. Deliveries to European dealerships start in September.

Details on the PHEV sedan were divulged last August and it was first shown off at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show. Benz calls it the, "first luxury saloon with the performance of a V8 and the fuel consumption of a compact model." That's no exaggeration. The car's powertrain that pairs a 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo with an electric motor that delivers 436 horsepower and a 0-62 mile per hour acceleration time of just 5.2 seconds. Top speed is 155 miles an hour.

On the green side, the car can go as far as almost 21 miles on electric power alone and gets a fuel-efficiency rating, on the more lenient European driving cycle, of 84 miles per gallon equivalent. The car also includes a so-called COMAND navigation system that tweaks how the electric motor is used based on the driver's desired route. Very high-tech.

We've got Mercedes-Benz's press release below.
Show full PR text
Sales release for S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID: First PLUG-IN HYBRID with a star starts

With immediate effect the Mercedes-Benz S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID can be ordered for prices from 108,944.50 euros[1]. The S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID blends an ultramodern hybrid drive configuration with the unique innovations and the luxurious equipment and appointments of the S-Class. The luxury saloon with a long wheelbase impresses with unique dynamism and efficiency. Thanks to standard pre-entry climate control it also offers unique climate comfort. In September the first certified three-litre luxury saloon in the world will be arriving at the dealers - a further milestone on the road to emission-free mobility.

"The new S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID offers our customers the entire range of innovations that make our new S-Class so successful, and thanks to its intelligent operating strategy ensures outstanding driving pleasure and dynamism combined with the highest efficiency. Moreover, it allows completely emission-free driving for up to 33 km," says Ola Källenius, Executive Vice-President for Sales at Mercedes-Benz Cars.

"The S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID is the first luxury saloon with the performance of a V8 and the fuel consumption of a compact model. The greatest challenge in this is to translate highest efficiency into superior performance. In this respect there is a highly interesting parallel with our successful Formula 1 racing car, which likewise has a turbocharged V6 engine and hybrid drive," says Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, member of the Daimler AG Executive Board responsible for corporate research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.

The Mercedes-Benz S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID offers a system output of 325 kW and 650 Nm torque, and in just 5.2 seconds sprints from 0 to 100 km/h and can drive up to 33 km purely electrically. The certified consumption is 2.8 litres/100 km, which corresponds to 65 g CO2/km emissions. Key elements of this impressive output are the V6 biturbo and the intelligent hybrid drive. Following the S 400 HYBRID and S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID the S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID is the third hybrid model in the new S-class. Its new high-voltage lithium-ion battery can be externally recharged via the charging socket in the right side of the rear bumper.

In order to strengthen the customers' trust in the new, innovative PLUG-IN HYBRID drive system, for the S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID Mercedes-Benz is for the first time issuing a certificate and thus a promise to perform for the high-voltage battery and PLUG-IN HYBRID components (e.g. e-machine and power electronics). This ensures that every technical malfunction within a period of six years after initial delivery or registration, or up to a mileage of 100,000 kilometres, is corrected by Mercedes-Benz.

Intelligent energy management system
Climb in, start, drive off and, as well as exemplary efficiency, on request experience via kickdown the special acceleration of the electric motor – this is how easy hybrid driving with the new S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID is. For in everyday use it moves just as easily as any other automatic transmission car.

In the background the foresighted energy management system automatically selects the ideal combination of internal combustion engine and e-machine and in so doing not only adapts its strategy according to the load status of the battery; it also foresightedly adjusts it according to the traffic or route. But anyone wanting to can also intervene manually and with the aid of four operating modes and three transmission modes regulate the hybrid interplay themselves. Here, what is known as the haptic accelerator pedal supplies the driver with feedback on the switch-on point of the combustion engine or signals via a double impulse when they should take their foot off the accelerator for sailing and recuperating. The energy flow is shown in all operating states in the instrument cluster and in the central display.

The technical data at a glance:
Model
S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID
Internal combustion engine:
Number of cylinders/arrangement
6/V
Mixture formation
High-pressure injection, 2 turbochargers
Displacement (cc)
2996
Rated output (kW/hp at rpm)
245/333 at 5250-6000
Rated torque (Nm at rpm)
480 at 1600-4000
Electric motor:
Output (kW)
85
Torque (Nm)
340
System output (kW/hp)
325/442
System torque (Nm)1
650
Consumption combined from (l/100 km)2
2.8
CO2 emissions combined from (g/km)2
65
Efficiency class
A+
Electric range (km)
33
Charge time 20%-100% (400 V/16 A – 230 V/8 A)3 (h)
2 – 4.1
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s)
5.2
Top speed (km/h)1
250
Top speed electric (km/h)1
140
Price (euros)4
108,944.50

1 Electronically limited, 2 In accordance with NEDC, 3 Charge time at 230 V/8 A e.g. at a commercially available socket. Through settings on the control element of the charging cable shorter charge times can be realised (standard setting: 8 A), provided that the power supply system is designed for this. Charge time at 400 V/16 A e.g. at a wallbox. The voltage and current ratings indicated refer to the power supply infrastructure and can be limited by the car. 4 Sales price in Germany, incl. 19 percent VAT

Extensive standard equipment, extended pre-entry climate control
The standard equipment in the S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID is extensive and offers a world premiere: The extended pre-entry climate control. This is target value controlled. This means that at the start of the journey the S-Class is air conditioned to the preset temperature if the driver enters the departure time, via Mercedes connect me, for example. This is possible due to the electrically driven refrigerant compressor and electric heating elements for the heated air. In addition to this, when preheating it is not just the interior air but also the seats, steering wheel and armrests in the doors and centre console which are heated, and when cooling the seat ventilation is also activated if the respective optional extra is on board.
Also standard in the S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID, which is only available with a long wheelbase, are for example LED High Performance headlamps and LED tail lights, leather upholstery, COMAND Online, touchpad, THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control plus seat heating also in the rear, Memory package for driver and front passenger, ambient lighting in seven colours and the air suspension AIRMATIC with continuously variable damping system. The basic safety equipment includes PRE-SAFE®, COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS (collision warning including Adaptive Brake Assist), ATTENTION ASSIST, PRE-SAFE® impulse, Crosswind Assist and Traffic Sign Assist (Speed Limit Assist including wrong-way warning function and display of limit speeds in the instrument cluster).
Over and above this a multitude of unique optional extras is available, and here is an extract:

LED Intelligent Light System with variable light distribution for rural road and motorway, active light function, cornering light function, enhanced fog light function and Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus (1773.10 euros)

Head-up Display (1201.90 euros)

Driving Assistance package Plus including DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Pilot, PRE-SAFE® Brake, BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist and PRE-SAFE® PLUS (2677.50 euros, only in conjunction with Active Parking Assist for 1344.70 euros)
Night View Assist Plus with early detection of people and large animals in the dark, including spotlight function (2427.60 euros)

PRE-SAFE® rear package with illuminated seat belt buckle extenders, PRE-SAFE® belt tensioners and beltbags for outer rear seats (1428 euros)

Seat Comfort package for driver and front passenger, comprising: active multicontour seats in the front with dynamic handling function (seat side bolsters are each adjusted via an air chamber) and with ENERGIZING massage function (massage function via 14 air chambers in the seat backrest, massage heating panels in the spinal area), fast-acting seat heating Plus and adjustable lumbar support via three air chambers (2023 euros)

Rear seats electrically adjustable including Memory function comprising: three-seater bench seat with two electrically adjustable outer luxury seats, luxury head restraints with an additional cushion, front passenger seat operable from the rear, two ISOFIX child seat attachment points, two TopTether fastening points, armrest in the rear including double cup holder with wood trim and stowage space (1785 euros)

AIR-BALANCE package, including ionisation, improved air filtering and fragrancing (440.30 euros)

Warmth Comfort package comprising: heated armrest in the driver's and front-passenger door as well as in the centre console, heated armrest in the rear doors, heated armrest in the centre armrest in the rear in conjunction with electrically adjustable rear seats (optional extra), heated armrest in the business console in conjunction with First-Class rear suite (optional extra), buttons for heating the seats and armrests in the door control panels in the doors, heated steering wheel, (630.70 euros)

Panoramic sliding sunroof with convenience and automatic rain-sensor closing function, electric sunblind, obstruction sensor plus PRE-SAFE® closing function (1725.50 euros)

Burmester® high-end 3D surround sound system with 24 loudspeakers, 24 amplifier channels and a total system output of 1540 W (7497 euros)

Individual Entertainment System in the rear including two 25.4 cm (10") displays on the backrest of the driver's and front passenger seat, DVD player, two radio headphones and COMAND remote control (2856 euros)

TV receiver for digital television reception with support from, i.a., multichannel sound, EPG (electronic programme guide) and teletext (1285.20 euros)

[1]Sales price in Germany, incl. 19 percent VAT


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 41 Comments
      Spec
      • 8 Months Ago
      I wonder how long it takes until it pays back? But seriously, it is nice to see Benz put out such a model even though only a tiny number of people can afford it. It helps provide legitimacy to plug-in vehicles. I think Germany may become the surprise plug-in vehicle powerhouse . . . BMW, Mercedes, and VW now all offer multiple plug-in cars each. Germany still has a generous feed-in tariff system and people are continuing to install solar PV and wind turbines like crazy. With all their self-made electricity, I think a lot of Germans are going to be eager to buy some plug-in cars so they can drive on their own generated electricity. And given the gas prices there, the low cost of solar PV, the incentives for solar PV . . . it sure makes sense. Germany was reluctant to buy EVs until their home team automakers put them out. But now that they are available, we may see EVs take off in Germany. All Germany has to do is create a decent tax incentive for EVs and I think they'll really start selling.
        skierpage
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Spec
        Correction: Germany may become the plug-in *HYBRID* powerhouse. The car makers and their suppliers haven't invested the required vast sums in battery production to sell substantial numbers of battery EVs. Even their plug-in hybrid production will be constrained.
      Koenigsegg
      • 8 Months Ago
      woah it even has cool plug in hybrid text on the back to let you know that its a plug in hybrid
      John Shea
      • 8 Months Ago
      As Protomech pointed out, the V8 S500L is exactly the same price in Germany, so this new car will start under $100,000 in USA.
      paulwesterberg
      • 8 Months Ago
      For that kind of cash you could buy a Model S and a Model ≡.
      korblalak
      • 8 Months Ago
      I didn't get the overpriced ELR and now I don't get this Benz! What's the hype about hybrids? For that kind of money one can buy two Tesla Model S with superior range and performance.
        jimmy_james44
        • 8 Months Ago
        @korblalak
        German's shun other brands. They haven't picked up on the leaf, but they are buying the i3.
        protomech
        • 8 Months Ago
        @korblalak
        US pricing will probably be similar to our existing S550, starting at $94k. US prices typically do not include VAT or road fees, so a straight currency conversion as in the ABG headline will be inaccurate. Still quite a bit more expensive than the comparable S85, but it's not a factor of two. The S550 plug-in is quicker 0-60 than all but the P85 Model S, top speed is higher (not particularly useful in the US) and given likely fuel economy (21/25 mpg) and fuel tank size (18 gallons) it should have around 470 miles of highway range (450 miles gas, 20 miles electric).
      Rotation
      • 8 Months Ago
      Wow. 84. That's incredibly low on the European PHEV ratings system. Savings is savings, though I guess.
        Grendal
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Rotation
        Non-sequitur here. You and I were correct about Tesla creating their own size battery, Rotation.
      goodoldgorr
      • 8 Months Ago
      too costly for me, im sticking with my actual car
      Grendal
      • 8 Months Ago
      I think this is the indication of where the big companies are going to go. Basically the Voltec route. They will have a small battery pack and a regular gas engine to power it. We are seeing these cropping up a lot. They are not going to go pure EV except for one or two vehicles maybe. Which leaves Tesla doing its own thing for at least another decade. This is the future until there is a breakthrough.
        thecommentator2013
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Grendal
        I said it over and over again, I'm not sure if GM realises what great thing the Voltec is. Everybody is copying it.
          CarNutMike
          • 8 Months Ago
          @thecommentator2013
          Maybe they're selling exactly as many as they want to so they can save their allotment of $7500 tax credits.
          Grendal
          • 8 Months Ago
          @thecommentator2013
          Dropped the ball in properly marketing it. The price has dropped but we haven't seen an increase in sales. The Volt should be selling like crazy by this point. It is not. 2000 to 3000 a month is nowhere near the number that should be selling by now. 5000 or more a month is where it should be at this time.
          skierpage
          • 8 Months Ago
          @thecommentator2013
          GM hasn't invested the billions to make ten times as many Voltec powertrains, which is an incredibly short-sighted stupid decision. They should stop all engineering on V6 and above engines and put all their money into making Voltec variants and I3 and I4 range-extending engines. Look at Toyota. They said they would offer a hybrid version of all their models, and still haven't. I believe they're still supply-constrained on the HSD eCVT and maybe the NiMH battery. I think Ford is the same. It's not enough to come up with a great new powertrain, to change the world you have to spend billions to make it in volume. Ford, GM, Toyota, the Germans all need the Tesla Gigafactory equivalent for their PHEV powertrains.
          Spec
          • 8 Months Ago
          @thecommentator2013
          Dropped the ball? How so? They did slash the price from $40K down to $35K. They do need more body styles but they seem to be doing OK with it. The ELR is way overpriced but not a bad car.
          Grendal
          • 8 Months Ago
          @thecommentator2013
          Good point CNM.
          Grendal
          • 8 Months Ago
          @thecommentator2013
          For whatever reason, GM totally dropped the ball on Voltec. These things usually happen top down so I'm guessing that current upper management didn't like the Volt for some reason and allowed the lead in the technology to slip away. I'm really hoping the Volt 2.0 is a knockout so they can gain back some of what they lost.
        Marco Polo
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Grendal
        @ Grendal That's a very sensible analysis.
      Technoir
      • 8 Months Ago
      Way overpriced. Mercedes will end up stopping production and blame low customer interest.
        Marco Polo
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Technoir
        @ Technoir These vehicles aren't "overpriced" to people, or companies, whose incomes can easily afford them. Nor does Daimler, invest $ Billions in technology, in the hopes it will fail ! A client once took me to a famous restaurant in Europe, where the menu has no prices ! The management believed that if you needed to worry about the price, then you couldn't afford to dine there,...you're just not the 'right' sort of customer ! Arrogant, and elitist ? Absolutely ! But the restaurant as been successful for more than 40 years. (but not with my custom :) In Australia, this car will sell for $250,000-300,000. It will sell out it's quota.
          Marco Polo
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @ Technoir I take your point, but it seems to work with Lexus. The problem for GM with Cadillac, is that American no longer accept Cadillac as a truly prestige brand. All those years of cheapening the brand to attract short term sales,cost cutting and loss of identity, have taken it's toll. In many ways, the fate of Cadillac reflects the condition of US manufacturing, and confidence of Americans, for things American. The Cadillac ELR should have been released before the Volt, and in a completely original body shell. (possibly as an exclusive export only model ). GM should have invested the sums Toyota did with Lexus. GM could have brought the Cadillac marque back to it's former glory in those export markets that still remember it's success, and never experienced the failures. GM's timid marketing, reflects the timid and inept marketing of most US industry. That's probably the strength of Tesla's Elon Musk. Elon Musk emerged from a newer US industry, Silicon Valley and the Internet. This is where US business leaders are still confident, aggressive and willing to take risks in pursuit of being the best. Charles Wilson's misquote, " What good for GM, is good for America " was at one time widely believed to be true, and probably was for a long period. The decay of GM, is symptomatic of the decay of traditional US society.
          Technoir
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          I hope you are right Marco Polo, but here's the thing: People with money (you, me, other 1%) don't just buy whatever expensive things they like. They also look at the price, and if the price does not make sense, they don't buy it... If a regular Volt costs $35k, and a ELR (the same car) costs $70K, then they won't buy the ELR because they know they're being fleeced. They'll go to the next Mercedes dealer and get themselves a brand new Coupe. They are rational people! If a regular S Class is 100k, I won't spend 46k more to have a plug on it and a 20 mile range. Maybe 20k more OK, but 46k....is too much.
        paulwesterberg
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Technoir
        Makes the ELR look affordable. Btw GM sold 188 ELRs in July bringing the "days of inventory" down to just 250.
          Marco Polo
          • 8 Months Ago
          @paulwesterberg
          @ paulwesterberg 188 isn't bad for an expensive luxury coupé. Nearly six hundred have been sold so far.
      Marco Polo
      • 8 Months Ago
      Wow, this is great news ! This is very good publicity for EV technology. Up until now, the only really luxury vehicle using EV technology was the Lexus 600h. The Lexus is a great vehicle, and it must have shocked the Germans to see Crowned Heads turning to Lexus as vehicles of State. ( Before all those Tesla fans get carried away, the model S, is not in this class for luxury ). Hopefully, Daimler will extend PHEV technology to it's limousine range. The importance of this technology is it spreads awareness to a group of people who are major decision makers. Once they are impressed by the PHEV aspect of these vehicles they become more open to the concept of environmental-friendly technology and practises. The price of such vehicles is irrelevant to the purchaser, as long as it has the three pointed star or the BMW propeller, it's acceptable. (or they'd buy the superior Lexus).
        Grendal
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        If this is the way that the big companies go as I mentioned below, then the fear that EV's are growing stale is unfounded. If the larger companies focus on the EREV side the car will still be used as an EV for commuting purposes. That is still a win for EV's since 80% to 90% of the driving will be done electrically. As technology progresses then the EV range will lengthen and a few will make a token pure EV or two. Tesla will be driving hard to show that an EV is better than an ICE and progress will be made there as well. EREV is still electrification as the Volt has shown. So I am optimistic for the future.
          Marco Polo
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          @ Grendal Yes indeed ! It was the humble Prius that made modern EV's possible and practical. PHEV's and EREV's are very important in keeping EV technology alive and increasingly acceptable, while better ESD's are being developed. I think you optimism is justified over the long term.
      lad
      • 8 Months Ago
      This grossly overpriced car is all part of what I believe is a grand long-range plan designed by The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the American Petroleum Institute. The plan is to currently build Hybrids with internal combustion engines, fueled by gasoline that was produced by refining oil. The next phase is to introduce Fuel Cell Vehicles which are also hybrids; but, contain a fuel cell generator instead of an internal combustion engine, fueled by hydrogen produced from either reformed oil or natural gas. This plan is designed to continue our dependent on fossil fuels, the oil companies will continue to control the transportation market and will continue to control the price of fossil fuels. to maximize their profits. They do not care a wit about climate change, fracturing pollution or smog...they are driven by the the greatest of man's short comings....Greed. I believe their great fear is the Tesla/Panasonic Giga Factory(ies).because they know a mass-produced low-cost,, light, high-energy dense battery spells the end to the need for automotive fossil fuels. God Speed Tesla!
        Grendal
        • 8 Months Ago
        @lad
        I doubt it is as planned as you think. I doubt they fear the gigafactory as they are curious to see where it goes. If successful then the major manufacturers will want gigafactories of their own. They aren't in a big rush because their money maker the ICE isn't going away anytime soon.
          lad
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          I understand why you believe that. ICE cars are not going away anytime soon because oil company propaganda and political pressure works on too many people; that's what they want you to believe. BEVs are a disruptive technology and a threat to their hundred plus years of U.S. energy control. They stand to gain by slowing down BEV progress and stand to win if they can stop it altogether.
          jimmy_james44
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          Sorry Grendal, If Exxon were "forward looking", they'd already be spending 16 Billion a year, in the US SouthWest as solar power down there now costs 5 cent per kWh. If all you read is Oil Industry news, you're totally out of touch with what's going on in the real world. It's just like the "Tea Party" hasn't got a clue that the Koch bros. want to destroy social security. They watch only Fox News and are totally in the dark.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 8 Months Ago
      Greenwash marketing as usual. Just because you can drive 21 miles on electricity says nothing about the efficiency of the car. Try running it off the electricity alone and see how many watt hours per mile it uses versus other cars. Then run it on gasoline alone and see how the fuel usage looks per mile. This will most likely not paint a pretty picture, just like with the Fisker Karma, which was both a watt guzzler and a gasoline guzzler!
        otiswild
        • 8 Months Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        This vehicle is clearly meant for the company-car market in Britain, and would actually not be bad as a hired town car in the US.
        Grendal
        • 8 Months Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        Europe is beginning to make laws to prevent gas cars from entering large cities without paying large fines. This type of car is in response to that legislation.
        Spec
        • 8 Months Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        At $146K, I don't think the buyers are too interested in efficiency.
        Marco Polo
        • 8 Months Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        @ 2 wheeled menace So, I can take it you won't be rushing down to your local MB dealer, to secure your place in the queue ? The EV technology in this class of car, is not aimed at those who are worried about fuel prices, nor in fact the price of cars. The EV technology is just another facet of it's allure as a hi-tech luxury vehicle. Buyers of this sort of vehicle, like the idea of the technology, but are not really fussed about the technical minutia of it's performance. Unlike Tesla, the owners, are not going to join a fan club, be activists, discuss road trips, etc. That's what you never understood about Fisker, it was never intended for serious EV drivers, but rather aimed at those who wanted style and fashion, with a little fashionable EV technology thrown in, for the 'cool' factor. Not your sort of car, not your sort of people, but if that the only way to reach those drivers, where's the harm ?
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