Mercedes-Benz releases the 3 l/100 km S 500 Plug-In Hybrid image

This is the third follow-up in the S hybrid line and as usually it brings further economy, drive system and comfort improvements. All that, with just 69 g CO2 per kilometer.

Next to a new 3.0 litre V6 turbocharged engine we can find an 80-kW electric drive with externally rechargeable battery that makes emission-free driving for about 30 km possible. Of course, the launch for the new S500 Plug-In Hybrid is slotted for the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) and the market appearance for the beginning of 2014.

Back in 2009, the S 400 hybrid was the first to feature a lithium-ion battery in a standard model, and for this generation of S Class, Mercedes Benz will have three separate hybrid models: S 400 Hybrid, S 300 BlueTEC Hybrid and S 500 Plug-In Hybrid. All of them feature the second-generation hybrid drive system with seamless integration into the powertrain – the internal combustion engine can be totally decoupled from the electric motor; it also features a new recuperative braking system and the anticipatory Intelligent Hybrid energy management system.

“With the S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID Mercedes-Benz sets another milestone on the road to emission-free mobility on the basis of our modular hybrid matrix”, explains Prof Dr Thomas Weber, responsible on the Daimler Board of Management for Group Research and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Product Engineering. “In this way the S-Class turns into a genuine three-litre car with generous space and superlative drive-system comfort.”

As we can all imagine, in the case of the S400 and S 300 hybrids the only means of recharging the battery is during braking, coasting or with the aid of the combustion engine. In the case of the new S 500 though, with roughly ten times the energy storage capacity of the other two models there is also the option of conveniently recharge the battery from an external source with a charging socket located on the right side of the rear bumper.

The driver can select no less than four hybrid modes: Hybrid, E-Mode (electric 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).

Under NEDC certification rules the new S500 Plug-In Hybrid only consumes 3 l/100 km, which means it emits 69 g CO2 per kilometer, although its power level is very respectable – the new V6 engine outs 245 kW (330 bhp) and 480 Nm of torque, while the electric engine ads another 80 kW and 340 Nm. Leaving aside the 30 km electric range, in full power the performance rivals any V8 luxury sedan: 0-100 km/h is reached in 5.5 seconds, while the top speed is the usually electronically limited 250 km/h.