You'll Need The Gas Savings With Mercedes' $100K Hybrid | Autopia | Wired.com

25 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on You'll Need The Gas Savings With Mercedes' $100K Hybrid | Autopia | Wired.com
Mercedes S 350

You#8217;ll Need The Gas Savings With Mercedes#8217; $100K Hybrid

Ten years after Toyota and Honda introduced hybrids to the world, Mercedes Benz is jumping on the bandwagon with a $100,000 gas-electric luxury sedan and a promise that one in five cars it sells will be a hybrid by 2015.

It#8217;s a big commitment from a company that, like BMW and Volkswagen, has focused much of its attention on maximizing the efficiency of its diesel engines. But with the Prius setting the standard for eco-friendlier motoring and Lexus offering the LS 460h and LS 600h luxo-hybrids, Mercedes will introduce the S 400 BlueHybrid to Europe in June.

Look for it stateside a year from now.

The S 400 hybrid uses a lithium-ion battery and gets almost 30 mpg, and it#8217;s the first of what Mercedes says will be seven hybrid models it will offer by 2015. Mercedes says it is offering a hybrid land yacht because not everyone wants an econobox.

Not everyone can drive a Smart on vacation, Klaus Maier, director of sales and marketing, tells BusinessWeek. We need solutions for big cars.

The S 400 hybrid has a 279-horsepower 3.5 liter V6 gas engine coupled with a small electric motor driven by a lithium ion battery. The battery isn#8217;t much bigger than a conventional car battery, and Mercedes says it#8217;s integrated with the car#8217;s climate control system to ensure that the battery always works at an optimal system temperature of between 15 and 35 degrees Celsius, or between 59 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. BusinessWeek says the motor and battery add 165 pounds to the car.

The S 400 won#8217;t run on electricity alone; the motor is there to boost fuel economy by assisting the engine. The car reportedly generates the power of a V8 with the fuel economy of a four, and Mercedes says it#8217;ll do zero to 60 in 7.3 seconds. Mercedes says the S 400 hybrid consumes 7.9 liters of gas per 100 kilometers, which translates to 29.77 mpg.

The automaker claims CO2 emissions of 190 grams per kilometer, placing it ahead of the Lexus LS 600h hybrid#8217;s 21 mpg and 219 g/km. The Prius, by the way, emits 104 g/km.

So what#8217;s the luxo-hybrid gonna cost? Mercedes isn#8217;t saying yet, but Maier tells BusinessWeek the hybrid premium will be less than 10,000 Euros, or $14,000 US. That#8217;s a lot of scratch, considering the S-Class lineup starts at $88,000, but it#8217;s competitive with the LS 600h and its base price just north of 100 grand .

There could be less expensive gas-electric models in the lineup soon. Germany#8217;s Auto Motor und Sport says Mercedes will introduce a new hybrid each year beginning with the S 400, and it says one of every five cars it sells will be a hybrid by 2015.

Photos by Daimler.

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