Who said driving a hybrid had to mean ugly Japanese hatchbacks built with the same quality as a lunch box? Certainly not Mercedes-Benz. The German automaker already offers a hybrid version of its top-of-the-line S-Class luxury sedan. But it’s not about to stop there. Building upon the existing S400 Hybrid, Mercedes unveiled the S500 Vision Plug-In Hybrid concept at its home-ground Frankfurt Auto Show.
While the conventional S500 sedan uses a V8 engine, the S500 Vision hybrid concept uses the same 3.5-liter V6 as the existing S400 Hybrid. At the heart of the concept will be a lithium ion battery pack that will store 10 kWh of power, which we hear will allow for an electric-only range of over 18 miles (30 kilometers). That power storage unit will send its electrons to a 60-horsepower (44 kW) electric motor that’s mated up to an unknown gasoline-fed V6. Together, the twin power sources will reportedly push the big Benz to 60 mph in under 5.5 seconds.
Naturally, fuel economy and emissions are of paramount concern with a machine such as this, and the S 500 PHEV won’t disappoint. We’re not sure what standard was used to come up with the 73.5 (3.2L per 100 km) mpg figure, but it appears to compare rather favorably with other competing luxury hybrids.
At the moment it’s just a concept car, but it’s fully functional and hints at the next development from Mercedes. See for yourself in the high-resolution photo galleries below.
Filed Under: Cars & Transport