Mercedes S500 Plug-In Hybrid Is Coming Fall 2014
It makes total sense: A super-low-emission plug-in hybrid version of the new 2014 S-Class, to be on sale in the third quarter of next year. According to Autocar, the production version of this new green S500 Benz will be shown off at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, boasting of carbon dioxide emissions of just 70 grams per kilometer.
It makes total sense—because of increasingly stringent European carbon rules, which are already being phased in and require a fleet average of 130 grams per kilometer by 2015. By 2020, the target is 95 grams per kilometer. This represents an 18 percent (2015) and 40 percent (2020) emissions cut compared to Europe’s 2007 fleet, which limped in at 158.7 grams.
Fast but Efficient
Benz, and other automakers, need not only cars that achieve the European standards but exceed them if they're going to make the grade fleetwide. Plug-in hybrids are just one way to get emissions down. The heat is on to lightweight cars, try out alternative powertrains, increase aerodynamics and more.
Using both gasoline and electricity, the new S-Class will also achieve 90 miles per gallon equivalent in the European driving cycle (more like 78 mpg in the American equivalent). With a V-6 under the hood, it will also rocket to 60 mph in six seconds. But all of that is perhaps less relevant than its emissions in Europe. As Autocar noted, the plug-in hybrid version of the S500 will allow Mercedes “to trump the 71 gram per kilometer figure of current lowest CO2 emitter in the luxury saloon segment, the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid.”
There’s no guarantee that the S500 Plug-In Hybrid will be offered in the U.S., but it would help with U.S. compliance, too, both in terms of California’s ZEV mandates and the federal 54.5 mpg by 2020 requirement. Still, the car is likely to be very expensive, as the S-Class hybrids have been. Some 20,000 S400 hybrids (which cost $91,000 here) were sold on the current platform, with 60 percent going to China. Mileage at 19/25 mpg isn’t stellar, but it’s good for an S-Class.
The S500 is the production version of the Vision S500 plug-in hybrid concept, which had approximately 18 miles of all-electric range. Brad Berman looked at the concept car for PlugInCars back in 2010. He wrote, "The big question, of course, is if and when Mercedes would produce such a vehicle."
“We already have all the key technology we need for such a dream car, which is why I see it being included in the next generation of the S Class. Although it will take some time before this model can go into series production, our engineers will be working full steam to carry out the necessary integration measures.””
Well, apparently Mercedes did the late nights, and we (or at least a number of discriminating Benz buyers) will reap the rewards. Check out the spy photos.
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