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Mercedes to Debut New S500 Plug-in Hybrid at Frankfurt Motor Show

By: Jeff Youngs, 8/29/2013
Joining the S300 BlueTec Hybrid and the S400 Hybrid in the European market when it goes on sale next year, the new Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-in Hybrid makes its global debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Based on the new, redesigned 2014 S-Class sedan, the S500 Plug-in Hybrid is equipped with a turbocharged, 3.0-liter V-6 gasoline engine, an 80-kW electric motor, and a Lithium-ion battery pack. The powertrain provides four driving modes: E-Mode, E-Save, Hybrid, and Charge. In Charge mode the battery is charged while the car is driven using the gasoline engine. An external charging port and charging cord are optional for this plug-in hybrid.

According to Mercedes, the S500 Plug-in Hybrid can travel 18.5 miles purely on electricity. That range can be saved for use at specific times, thanks to the E-Save driving mode. Select the Hybrid driving mode, and the S500 Plug-in Hybrid can accelerate to 60 mph in less than 5.5 seconds and attain a top speed of 155 mph, Mercedes says.

This new flagship Mercedes model employs Intelligent Hybrid technology with an anticipatory energy management system. In other words, software takes into account current driving conditions and driver inputs, matches it to information about the car's likely short-term future route, and then automatically maximizes powertrain efficiency.

Any time the S500 Plug-in Hybrid is coasting or braking, the gasoline engine is turned off. A recuperative braking system is employed in this model, too, and when the driver steps on the brake pedal, the system first uses the electric motor to provide vehicle slowing, depending on the amount of brake response required. Then, the disc brakes engage when the driver steps deeper into the brake pedal.

Like many plug-in hybrids, this Mercedes gives the owner the ability to pre-condition the cabin with heat or air conditioning prior to driving. Unique to this model, for now, is a haptic feedback accelerator pedal that tells the driver when the combustion engine fires up in order to help the driver operate the vehicle in the most efficient manner possible.

Mercedes-Benz confirms that the S500 Plug-in Hybrid will go on sale in Europe next year.

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