Daimler says the S 500 PHEV will also be built with RHD and sold in the UK

Daimler says the S 500 PHEV will also be built with RHD and sold in the UK

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The world's first plug-in hybrid luxury sedan will be exhibited at the Frankfurt motor show in September. Production will follow from 2014.

Mercedes-Benz previewed the powertrain of the new S 500 Plug-in Hybrid with the debut of the Vision S 500 Plug-In Hybrid, a concept car, at the Frankfurt motor show in September 2009.

The 44kW electric motor of the prototype had three times the power of that in the then existing (now old shape) S 400 Hybrid, while the lithium-ion batteries were claimed to have had more than 10kWh of storage capacity. However, these cells are large, were said to weigh 120kg and so were located in the boot. The company claimed that the prototype could travel up to 30km on the batteries before the 3.5-litre V6 gasoline engine kicked in.

The S 500 Plug-in Hybrid debuting at the 2013 Frankfurt IAA is claimed by its maker to be able to deliver fuel consumption of just 3 litres per 100km (94.2mpg) as well as a CO2 average of just 69g/km. The car is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine and an 80kW electric synchronous motor.

There are four operating modes, each of which can be selected by pushing a button:

  • E-MODE: electric power only
  • E-SAVE: fully charged battery is reserved to be able to drive on electric power alone later
  • CHARGE: battery is charged while driving

The power output is said to be 245kW and 480Nm from the combustion engine plus 80kW and 340Nm from the motor. Top speed is 250km/h and zero to 100km/h takes 5.5 seconds.

In this car, the combustion engine can be completely decoupled from the electric motor. Further features are second-generation recuperative braking and the anticipatory Intelligent Hybrid energy management system. The latter uses navigation data to manage the charging and discharging of the high-voltage battery. For example, the cells can be recharged while going downhill using previously recovered energy.

The S 500 Plug-in Hybrid will be manufactured alongside other S-Class variants at the Sindelfingen plant in Germany.

It is believed that Tesla, Renault and Nissan's R&D tech were tapped by Mercedes-Benz engineers as part of this model's development. This follows the announcement of a comprehensive cooperation programme between Daimler and Renault-Nissan in April 2010.

Author: Glenn Brooks

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