2015 Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-in Hybrid

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Mercedes will expand its S-Class lineup in 2015 with the addition of the new S500 Plug-in Hybrid version. The model made its world debut today at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show , and will be put on sale in the U.S. market in late 2014. This is the third hybrid model in the S-Class global lineup, next to the S400 Hybrid and the S300 BlueTEC Hybrid.

With the addition of this new plug-in variant, Mercedes is quickly becoming a leader in hybrid luxury cars, and the S-Class in particular, is chock-full of these fuel-sipping models.

The model offers four driving modes: Hybrid, E-Mode (electric only), E-Save (less electric, more gasoline) and Charge (charges battery while driving). They all can be selected at the simple push of a button. Unlike the other two S-Class hybrid models, the new S500 is the first one to use a recuperative braking system (RBS) that converts the energy created while braking or coasting and stores it for future use.

Click past the jump to read more about the S500 Plug-In Hybrid

Exterior

Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-in Hybrid

Mercedes didn’t offer too much information on what changes on the outside of the S-Class in this new plug0in hybrid variant.

From the looks of things, the S500 Plug-In Hybrid is basically identical to the base S500. Sure, this test model has a decal slapped on it, but that will not be on a production model. Other than what we can see in the images, we will just have to wait until Mercedes releases all of the information on the model sometime next year.

2015 Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-In Hybrid — Standard Exterior Features

  • 6.1 KWH Lithium Ion Battery
  • Bumper-mounted charging socket
  • Intelligent HYBRID technology: anticipatory energy management
  • Recuperative braking
  • COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST
  • MAGIC VISION CONTROL
  • Soft-close doors

Interior

Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-in Hybrid

The deal is about the same on the interior as it is on the exterior: Mercedes didn’t reveal too much. It did, however, get into the standard features, which includes pre-entry climate control to warm or cool off the cabin before you get in, a panoramic roof, a Burmester Surround Sound System and an LED ambient lighting package.

2015 Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-In Hybrid — Standard Interior Features

  • Four Hybrid Modes: HYBRID, E-MODE, E-SAVE, CHARGE
  • Pre-Entry Climate Control
  • mbrace2™
  • Panorama roof
  • Burmester Surround Sound System
  • LED Ambient Lighting with choice of 7 colors, 5 dimming levels & 4 different dimming zones
  • Two 12.3-inch high-resolution screens for central display & instrument cluster

Drivetrain

Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-in Hybrid

The new S500 Plug-In Hybrid combines a new 3.0-liter, turbocharged V-6 engine that delivers a total of 329 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque with an electric motor that adds 107 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque. The electric motor takes its power from a high-voltage lithium-ion battery that allows an all-electric driving range of 18 miles.

In hybrid mode, the S500 Plug-In Hybrid will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds and up to a top speed of 155 mph.

Drivetrain Specifications

Combustion Engine3.0-liter biturbo V-6
Combustion Engine Horsepower329
Combustion Engine Torque354 Pound-Feet
Electric Motor Horsepower107
Electric Motor Torque251 Pound-Feet
Pure Electric Range18 miles
0-605.4 seconds

Competition

2015 Audi A8 Hybrid

Audi A8 Hybrid

Fortunately for Mercedes, there is not much competition for its new S500 Plug0In Hybrid, but Audi will come with a new hybrid variant of its flagship A8 in 2015. This 2.0-liter powered luxury sedan puts out 245 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque that sprints it to 60 mph in an estimated 6.5 seconds.

But this is still not a plug-in model, so you will definitely burn through more fuel in the A8.

2015 BMW ActiveHybrid 7

BMW 7-Series

We’re not too sure just how long BMW will offer the ActiveHybrid 7, but we think it’ll last through 2015. This peppy fuel sipper is ready to hang with the S500 Plug-In with its 3.0-liter, six-cylinder engine that combines with an electric motor to produce 350 horsepower and 360 pound-feet of torque. This engine and an eight-speed auto get this large hybrid to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds, while getting a lackluster 22 mpg city and 30 mpg highway.

Conclusion

Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-in Hybrid

Though we won’t see it until next year, Mercedes is getting a nice jump on the competition with this new plug-in S-Class. We’ll await the final pricing before passing too much judgement, but we assume it will be rather pricey. Stay tuned for more info.

LOVE IT
  • Likely to put out huge mpg numbers
  • All the luxury and none of the guilt
  • Pretty quick for a hybrid
LEAVE IT
  • No prices yet, but sure to be outrageous

Press Release

The all-new 2015MY S500 PLUG-IN HYBRID sets new benchmarks in efficiency as well as powertrain and comfort. The 107 hp electric drive with externally rechargeable battery provides emission-free driving for about 18 miles. It is combined with the new 3.0-litre V6 turbocharged engine. Mercedes-Benz will present the 2015MY S500 PLUG-IN HYBRID at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) and it will be in U.S. showrooms in late 2014.

Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-in Hybrid

The 2010MY S400 HYBRID was the first automobile in the world to feature a standard-specification hybrid drive system with a lithium-ion battery in 2009. The second-generation hybrid drive systems are seamlessly integrated into the powertrain. The combustion engine can be completely decoupled from the electric motor. Further features are the second-generation recuperative braking system and the anticipatory Intelligent HYBRID energy management system.

"With the S500 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-liter car with generous space and superlative drive-system comfort."

The new high-voltage lithium-ion battery of the S500 PLUG-IN HYBRID has ten times the energy content of other hybrid batteries and offers the option of being recharged from an external source with a charging socket located on the right side of the rear bumper. With the help of the electric synchronous motor (107 hp/251 lb-ft) the S-Class can drive for up to around 18 miles on electric power alone.

Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-in Hybrid

Four hybrid operating modes can be selected at the push of a button:

HYBRID
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 S500 PLUG-IN HYBRID delivers top efficiency figures without restrictions in power, passenger comfort or operating range and offers a high level of climate comfort thanks to the pre-entry climate control functions.

The most important benchmark data of the S500 PLUG-IN HYBRID:

Power output of 329hp of the combustion engine plus 107hp electric motor and torque of 354 lb-ft of the combustion engine plus 251 lb-ft of the electric motor
Operating range on electric power alone about 18 miles
Top speed 155 mph, 0-60 mph in 5.4 sec.
Intelligent HYBRID: anticipatory energy management system with optimal use of recuperation during deceleration
Individualization possible as the result of the combination of the transmission modes with the four hybrid operating modes – HYBRID, E-MODE, E-SAVE and CHARGE.
Haptic accelerator pedal for superior vehicle control: A point of resistance on the accelerator pedal provides feedback about the activation of the combustion engine and helps in metering the power output.
Fast external charging of the high-voltage traction battery
Pre-entry climate control of the interior

Intelligent HYBRID: anticipatory energy management system

Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-in Hybrid

The second-generation S-Class hybrid features an anticipatory energy management system and thereby improved energy efficiency. The operating strategy of the hybrid drive system not only accounts for the current driving condition and driver input, but also adjusts to the likely route (inclines, downhill stretches, bends or speed limits) for the next five miles. Intelligent HYBRID uses the navigation data from COMAND Online to manage the charging and discharging of the high-voltage battery. For example, the car will use the energy content of the battery for propulsion ahead of a downhill stretch in order to recharge it while going downhill using recuperation.

Recuperative braking system: the electric motor as alternator

The largest potential for lowering the energy consumption of hybrid drive systems lies in maximizing energy recovery during coasting and braking. Upon depressing the brake pedal the deceleration is initially provided by the electric motor, not by the disc brakes. The new S-Class is the first to use a recuperative braking system (RBS) of the second generation. It ensures an unnoticeable overlapping of the conventional mechanical brakes and the electric braking performance of the electric motor in alternator mode.

The driver’s desired braking power is recorded by a pedal-travel sensor. The deceleration is dependent on the driving condition and is split into a recuperative brake-force portion and a portion to be supplied by the wheel brakes. The brake pressure on the rear axle is controlled by the RBS dependent on the current recuperation potential of the powertrain.

Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-in Hybrid

In addition, the combustion engine is switched off any time the vehicle is coasting and its drag torque when rolling is used by the electric motor as recuperation torque. However, without depressing the brake pedal no additional deceleration torque is provided for charging the battery and the vehicle can "sail." The combustion engine is to be used for charging the battery as little as possible and only at suitable and most efficient operating points.

Hybrid pioneer in the luxury segment

The world’s first production hybrid drive with lithium-ion battery debuted at Mercedes-Benz as early as 2009: the 2010MY S400 HYBRID was the most fuelefficient gasoline-powered luxury sedan for a long time. It was also the most successful hybrid in its segment: some 20,000 buyers worldwide opted for the S400 HYBRID.

With the 2015MY S500 PLUG-IN HYBRID, as well as the European-market S300 BlueTEC HYBRID and S400 HYBRID, Mercedes-Benz now continues its comprehensive hybrid offensive.


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