Future Cars

2008 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Bluetec Hybrid

Based on the new , the Bluetec Hybrid uses what the company claims to be the “cleanest diesel in the world.” A process called Selective Catalytic Reduction–literally the use of urea (that’s urine to you and me) injected into the exhaust–neutralizes gases and reduces nitrogen oxide emissions by 80 percent. Like hybrids sold by Toyota and Honda, this S-Class deactivates the internal combustion engine when it is not needed and reclaims electric energy during braking and coasting. The hybrid system allows a twenty-percent reduction in fuel consumption compared to a conventional S-Class diesel.

The Bluetec’s 243 combined horsepower isn’t anything to write home about, but the 400-plus lb-ft of torque is enough to propel the Benz battleship from zero to sixty mph in just over seven seconds–about as fast a gasoline-powered V-6 S-class. While this vehicle is cool in concept, Mercedes-Benz has made it clear that fuel cells are potentially more effective, so the Hygenius concept–also shown here in Tokyo–is a clearer indication of Mercedes-Benz’s future.

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EPA MPG:

14 City / 21 Hwy

Horse Power:

382 @ 6000

Torque:

391 @ 2800