The Mercedes-Benz S-Class seems to spawn new variants every year, and the latest new model is the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-in Hybrid. In Europe, the S500 Plug-in will be the third hybrid model of the recently redesigned sixth-generation S-Class, joining the S400 gasoline-electric hybrid and S350 BlueTec diesel-electric hybrid.
Mercedes representatives say that the 2014 S500 Plug-in Hybrid, which officially debuts at the Frankfurt Motor Show, will be coming to the U.S., although we don’t know when. The U.S.-spec S-Class is initially being launched in V-8 powered S550 and S550 4matic models, with S63 and S65 AMG versions to come sometime next year.
The Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-in Hybrid is powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged gasoline V-6 along with an 80 kilowatt electric motor which allows it to go up 18 miles on electric power alone. Mercedes’ hybrid powertrain features four modes, including normal Hybrid, electric-only, E-Mode, battery-charging Charge, and E-Save, which allows a fully charged battery to be saved for electric-only motoring later. Regenerative brakes are present as well, and Mercedes says the “Intelligent Hybrid” system uses navigation data to anticipate future driving conditions to anticipate things like hills to optimize energy storage and battery charging.
Mercedes says this powertrain makes for a fuel consumption equivalent of three liters per 100 km, which translates to approximately 78 mpg, a high number for such a large luxury sedan. This compares to 37 mpg in the S400 Hybrid and 53 mpg in the S350 Bluetec Hybrid, in European testing. We’ll see how the Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-in Hybrid fares on the U.S. test cycle, since European estimates cannot be directly compared with U.S. fuel economy numbers. For instance, the last-generation, 2013 Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid is rated at only 21 mpg combined by the EPA.
Thanks to the combined power of the 328-hp V-6 and the electric motor, the Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-in Hybrid still achieves surprisingly high performance marks of 0-62mpg in 5.5 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph. There is no word on pricing yet; we expect the S500 Plug-in Hybrid to sit above the S550, which is estimated to start around $99,000, but below the upcoming S63 and S65 AMG.