A production version has now been revealed in the form of the new Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-In Hybrid, based on the latest-generation 2014 S-Class. The car is set for a world debut next month at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show and is targeted for a market launch sometime next year.
The S500 Plug-In Hybrid is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 engine paired in parallel with an electric motor that's powered by a lithium-ion battery stored in the trunk. The engine delivers 328 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque while the electric motor adds an extra 80 kilowatts (107 horsepower) and 250 pound-feet of torque. This enables the vehicle to accelerate to 62 mph in just 5.5 seconds and see it easily reach its governed top speed of 155 mph.
Thanks to the ability of the power sources to work independently, the car offers multiple driving modes. They are “HYBRID” (mix of power sources), “E-MODE” (electric power only), “E-SAVE” (fully charged battery is reserved to be able to drive on electric power alone later) and “CHARGE” (battery is charged while driving).
In the E-MODE setting, the range is approximately 18 miles, though this will depend on how heavy your right foot is and how often the car’s regenerative system is used. Setting off for a drive with the battery fully charged and the HYBRID mode activated, Mercedes says fuel economy can reach as high as 78 mpg (based on the European combined cycle).
2014 Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-In Hybrid
To ensure the driver is aware of what’s going on, display screens show which power sources are activated and/or whether the battery is being charged. Haptic feedback is also offered by the accelerator pedal: resistance on the accelerator provides feedback about the activation of the combustion engine and helps in metering the power output.
With the new S500 Plug-In Hybrid, the number of hybrid S-Class variants now grows to three. Mercedes also offers its S400 Hybrid and overseas buyers can also opt for a diesel-electric S300 BlueTEC Hybrid.