According to a new report, the M-Class hybrid will go on sale in the second half of the year. The vehicle will feature the same dual-mode hybrid system found in the S400 BlueHYBRID but in the SUV it will be mated with a 3.2L low-emission Bluetec turbodiesel engine and AWD system.
Speaking with Germany’s DPA, Mercedes Benz engineer Neil Armstrong said the vehicle would generate around 340hp (254kW), which makes it comparable to the V8-powered ML500/550 model. The electric motors will be used to boost acceleration and recharge a substantial on-board battery, however, the vehicle will also be able to cover short distances – such as stop-start traffic – on electric power alone. The end result is an expected fuel economy that is 30% lower than the comparable petrol-only model. Carbon-dioxide emissions are also set to be under 200gm/km.
The new S400 BlueHYBRID is scheduled for launch in Europe this June, with China to follow in August and the U.S. by September. The diesel-electric M-Class should follow shortly after.
In 2007 Mercedes Benz first previewed the vehicle with its ML450 Hybrid concept car at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Back then, however, Mercedes showcased the car with a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain. There is a high chance that both a petrol and diesel version of the hybrid SUV will be launched now.