Mercedes unveils hyper-efficient S-Class
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The third member of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class hybrid family has just been announced and will make its public debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The S 500 plug-in hybrid joins the S 400 Hybrid and S 300 BlueTec Hybrid and promises 94.2mpg with serene waft-ability.
Power for the car comes from a new 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine that produces 334hp and 480Nm of torque. This engine is mated to a 80kW electric motor that offers up 340Nm and is capable of powering the luxury limousine on its own for up to 18 miles. Combined, the two powerplants give the S 500 hybrid a 0-100km/h time of 5.5 seconds and a top speed of 250km/h.
Impressive performance, but the efficiency claims are what attracts the most attention. Despite being able to record a sub-six-second benchmark time the S 500 can also return 94.2mpg when driven in full-hybrid mode and emits just 69g/km of CO2. Full-hybrid is obviously the most efficient setting but there are three other available - E-Mode, E-Save and charge - that can be used to suit the driver and road conditions.
Other features include a second-generation regenerative braking system, which allows the engine to be switched off when the car is coasting, with the excess energy from the wheels being used to charge the lithium-ion batteries.
The S 500 has been fitted with Mercedes' anticipatory energy management system, which reads the road ahead (up to a distance of eight kilometres) and sets the car up in accordance. By using the satellite navigation the system knows in advance the best time to switch between operating modes; a downhill stretch of road being the perfect time to deploy E-Mode for example.
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