A plug-in hybrid Mercedes-Benz S-Class is reportedly coming to the Frankfurt Motor Show this fall, and to read word around the web, it will establish benchmarks in the segment. According to Australian site CarSales.com, its introduction is "likely to be within six months of the reveal" of the standard sedan, which would place it in early 2014 – another source thinks it could be introduced in the fall of next year.

Called the S500 in Australia but likely to be called the S550 here, assembling the various rumors
yields a motor yacht that bests the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid for the segment's lowest CO2 emissions at 70 g/km (in fact, that's better than a few variants of the Toyota Prius). The big Benz will use a 3.5-liter V6 aided by one electric motor and a battery pack in the floor of the trunk, and it will do 15 to 20 miles on electric power and get from 0-to-60 miles per hour in under six seconds. The model will also get an AMG tailpipe treatment according to patent drawings, and might boast a US combined rating of around 75 miles per gallon.

Autocar notes that Mercedes-Benz has sold more hybrids than the other Teutonic luxury makers combined in 2012. If the S-Class PHEV unveiled in Frankfurt can stand up to the gossip, we can envision the trend continuing.

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