Mercedes-Benz has revealed its first-ever showroom-ready plug-in hybrid car – and the S 500 Plug-In Hybrid has already set a new benchmark by becoming the world’s first luxury saloon to average 100mpg.
The 100.8mpg figure on the NEDC combined cycle coincides to 65g/km CO2, which means it will currently enjoy free London Congestion Charge and a brace of other low-emission benefits. Not bad for a 333hp car capable of 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds, huh…
The magic is the on-board lithium ion battery pack that, when fully charged, offers just over 20 miles’ fully electric driving. Once discharged, a 3.0-litre biturbo V6 kicks in; with it running, the S 500 Plug-In Hybrid can do 155mph, although this is pegged back to 86mph in EV-only mode. Still sufficient, surely.
It’s torque that’s likely to make the S 500 Plug-In Hybrid a standout drive, though. Even the engine has 354lb ft spread between 1600-4000rpm; the 85Kw electric motor bolsters this with a hefty 479lb ft, which means that even in full EV guise, this S-Class is going to have plenty of get up and go. Good job Mercedes-Benz has fitted a ‘haptic’ accelerator pedal that tells the driver what’s happening with the drivetrain, then: it’s going to be easy to get carried away here.
Mercedes-Benz also fits a pre-entry climate control system: you set the time of departure and the car will heat or cool everything to your desired temperature while connected to the grid: that’s cabin, seats, steering wheel – dammit, even the armrests. Although presumably, as it’s the long-wheelbase variant, many of the people who pay for this car will have a man who’ll have done all this for them before they get in…
Open for ordering in Germany now, for delivery in September, the S 500 Plug-In Hybrid has a further surprise, too: the 100mpg S-Class costs a relatively affordable £83,385 in Germany. OK, that’s converted from the €108,944 quoted EU price but, as Germany’s VAT rate is but 1% below Britain’s 20% rate, surely ours won’t cost too much more?
A sub-£100k 100mpg S-Class Plug-In Hybrid would do suit many luxury car buyers perfectly: once again, Mercedes-Benz moves the game on.