Mercedes-Benz has announced details of their first application of the Two-Mode Hybrid system that they have developed alongside General Motors, Chrysler and BMW. The ML450 hybrid is coming for 2009 powered by 3.5L V-6 engine mated to the Two-Mode transmissions that will be supplied by GM from their Baltimore transmission plant. Along with BMW's X6 crossover it means that all of the first batch of Two-Mode vehicles will be built in the US plants (the ML is built at the Mercedes plant in Alabama).
The ML450s gas engine churns out 279 hp 249 lb-ft of torque on its own and the combined output of the electric motors bumps that to 321 hp and 354 lb-ft. The hybrid ML consumes gasoline at the rate of 30.5 mpg with CO2 output of 185 g/km. A 288V nickel metal hydride battery pack recaptures energy from the regenerative braking and dispenses it when needed during acceleration or at lower speeds when the vehicle can run on electricity alone.
2009: ML 450 HYBRID – the most economical hybrid SUV in its class
Mercedes-Benz is also presenting a further CO2 world champion in its class at the IAA: the ML 450 HYBRID, which will come onto the market in 2009 as the world's most economical SUV petrol hybrid in its class. Its innovative two-mode hybrid system means it can be driven with just the electric engine; and the vehicle meets the highest expectations in terms of comfort. The V6 petrol engine produces 205 kW/279 hp and 338 Newton metres of torque, while the two-mode hybrid module with two electric motors, develops 45 kW/61 hp. The end result is a combined system output of 236 kW/321 hp and a combined maximum torque of 480 Newton metres – supreme performance that comes with a fuel consumption of just 7.7 litres per 100 kilometres. The ML 450 Hybrid thus achieves CO2 emissions that are exemplary for this class of vehicle of just 185 grams per kilometre.
In the ML 450 HYBRID two compact electric engines are used, developing a total power output of 120 kW/163 hp. They take up a lot less space in the vehicle than comparable systems, thus guaranteeing that this is an ideal package. The system, unique in its kind, with four fixed gears, combines the advantages of a multiple-speed automatic transmission with those of a stepless CVT transmission. The two electric motors are integrated in the innovative two-mode hybrid transmission of the ML 450 HYBRID. This drive is optimised both for the city and for country roads. Voltage is supplied by a 288-V battery, which makes it possible to store considerable quantities of electrical energy. In interaction with an intelligent energy management system, this vehicle features all the full hybrid characteristics such as driving entirely under electric power, the start-stop function of the internal-combustion engine, boost effect and braking energy recovery.Mercedes-Benz is thus offering a hybrid technology which guarantees low fuel consumption, effortless performance, the highest level of comfort and a fully utilisable boot volume without load space restrictions. The two-mode hybrid also improves performance and fuel consumption, especially at higher speeds, giving it a further advantage over other hybrid concepts available on the market.