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Mercedes Shares Details on First-Ever Hybrid S-Class for U.S. Consumption

Mercedes Shares Details on First-Ever Hybrid S-Class for U.S. Consumption

By Jeff Youngs,

Mercedes has released new details about a plug-in hybrid version of its flagship Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan that it will offer to U.S. consumers beginning next spring. Intelligent operating strategy, standard pre-entry climate control, and easy charging will all be offered on the new 2016 Mercedes-Benz S550 Plug-In Hybrid.

"The S550 Plug-in Hybrid is the first luxury sedan with the performance of a V-8 and the fuel consumption of a compact model," said Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, member of the Daimler Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. "The greatest challenge in this is to translate efficiency into superior performance. In this respect there is a highly interesting parallel with our successful Formula 1 racing car, which likewise has a turbocharged V-6 engine and a high-tech hybrid drive."

"The new S550 Plug-in Hybrid offers our customers the entire range of innovations that make our new S-Class so successful," added Ola Källenius, executive vice president sales and marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars, "and thanks to its intelligent operating strategy ensures outstanding driving pleasure and dynamism combined with the highest efficiency. Moreover, it allows completely emission-free driving for up to 20 miles."

The Mercedes-Benz S550 Plug-in Hybrid powertrain includes a V-6 biturbo engine that generates a maximum of 436 horsepower and 479 lb.-ft. of torque, and goes from 0 to 62 mph in 5.2 seconds, Mercedes says. It can drive up to 20 miles on pure electricity. The new high-voltage, 8.7-kWh Lithium-ion battery can be externally recharged via the charging socket in the right side of the rear bumper.

The hybrid transmission is based on Mercedes-Benz's 7-speed automatic transmission. The plug-in-hybrid system in the S-Class is based on the Mercedes-Benz parallel hybrid modular system. The common system-specific feature is the additional clutch, integrated between combustion engine and electric motor. This device decouples the combustion engine during purely electric operation; if the combustion engine is employed it allows the driver to draw on the performance of a wet start-up clutch. The clutch then substitutes for the torque converter, and requires no additional space, owing to its complete integration in the torque converter housing.

Newly standard on the S550 Plug-in Hybrid is the extended pre-entry climate control, which adjusts the interior to a pre-set temperature if the driver has entered the departure time via the S-Class Vehicle Homepage. This system will also pre-heat the seats, steering wheel, and armrests, or ventilate the seats.

On this hybrid model, braking serves not only to decelerate, but to recapture battery energy. The intelligent operating strategy works to achieve the most efficient driving style. For example, it seeks to ensure that the battery is flat at the end of an uphill stretch so that it can be recharged going downhill. The energy management system can be route-based, driver-based, or traffic-based. The battery can also be charged at any conventional household power socket.

Also standard on the new S550 Plug-in Hybrid are LED headlamps and taillights, leather upholstery, COMAND Online, dual-zone automatic climate control, and much more.

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