The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class, which officially lands in Mzansi within weeks (although we’ve seen a few on the roads already), is bringing some interesting new powertrains. One of these is the new S 500 Hybrid range.
Top of the pops is the Plug-in Hybrid which features several fuel-saving technologies that one would sit in awe about, especially for a car its size. The main thrust of things comes from a 3.0-litre V6 turbo petrol engine, and an 80kW, 340Nm electric motor with rechargeable batteries. That means it will either recharge using on-board systems, or you can literally plug into the wall socket at home or work to fill up the lithium-ion batteries. Under certain conditions it can go for up to 30km on electric power alone, thus saving litres and litres of fuel.
The V6 puts out its own 245kW of power and 480Nm of torque. In terms of performance, the S 500 Hybrid will push off from 0 – 100km/h in 5.5 seconds, according to Mercedes-Benz. Top speed is set at the usual 250km/h. Amazing is the claimed average fuel consumption of only 3 litres per 100km and C02 emissions of 69 g/km. Unbelievable. Even if you could double that, which you can under realistic conditions, you still get 6 litres per 100km and a tank range of about 1 200km.
The V6 engine is used for charging the battery as little as possible and only at suitable and most efficient operating points. It is switched off any time the vehicle is coasting and its drag torque when rolling is used by the electric motor as recuperation torque.
The other two hybrids in the range are the S 400 Hybrid and S 300 BlueTec Hybrid. The former pushes out 225kW (370Nm) and 20kW (250Nm) from the engine and electric motor respectively. Merc says it returns 6.3 litres per 100km. Then there’s the baby S 300 BlueTec Hybrid, which would probably be our choice as it uses the same motor as the new facelift E 300 BlueTec Hybrid. Maximum power is 150kW and 500Nm from the 2.2-litre turbo diesel, while the electric motor gives 20kW and 250Nm. It is capable of a 4.4 litres per 100km average.