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Mercedes S500 Plug-in hybrid is here


THE second hybrid model in the Mercedes-Benz S-Class line-up has arrived. We had a glimpse of this S500 hybrid at last year’s Johannesburg International Motor Show (JIMS).

The new model is said to be able to go 33km without producing any local emissions and is up to 56 percent lower in terms of CO2 emissions in its lifecycle versus a non-hybrid model.

The plug-in hybrid has been awarded the Environmental Certificate in accordance with ISO standard TR 14062. The award is based on a comprehensive lifecycle assessment of a vehicle, documenting every detail of relevance for the environment.

The award reads: “Over the entire lifecycle, comprising manufacture, use over 300 000km and recycling, clear advantages result compared with the S500. External charging with the European electricity mix can cut CO2 emissions by some 43 percent (35 tonnes). Through the use of renewably generated hydroelectricity, a 56 percent reduction (46 tonnes) is possible.”

The claimed fuel consumption for this model is astounding with figures suggesting 2.8 litres/100km and CO2 emissions of 65g/km. Performance appears to be good too with 0-100km/h coming up in 5.2 seconds. Combined output is 330kW/820Nm.

These figures are achievable because this is not a traditional hybrid where the electric motor supplements the internal combustion unit. Here, we see a 3.0-litre bi-turbo V6 that comes into play once the electric motor starts running out of power. This means that the bigger battery pack will need to be charged. However, Mercedes-Benz claims that charging will only take a few hours.

Dr Herbert Kohler, Chief Environmental Officer at Daimler AG, said: “The new S500 Plug-in Hybrid is the spearhead of our hybrid strategy. It offers the power and performance of a V8, but runs on as little fuel as a compact model – and it is able to cover more than 30km with zero emissions. The upshot is a unique combination of luxury, driving pleasure and environmental compatibility.”

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