My colleagues have already addressed my few minor complaints with the S400. Although non-linear brake pedal feel isn't really a deal breaker on what is otherwise an impeccable luxury sedan, those offended by these typical hybrid quirks will soon have another way to eke additional fuel economy from the hefty S-Class.
The 2012 S350 Bluetec, slated to launch this fall, pairs Mercedes-Benz's 3.5-liter turbo-diesel with a seven-speed automatic. Finalized numbers are still forthcoming, but officials have suggested the diesel-powered model will achieve roughly 20/30 mpg (city/highway), provide nearly 455 pound-feet of torque, and cost roughly the same as the S400. Better yet, it will also come standard with the superb 4Matic all-wheel-drive system (a feature unavailable with the hybrid).
Will a diesel-powered S-Class fly with the jet set, particularly those who desire the green cachet of a hybrid emblem? That remains to be seen.
Evan McCausland, Web Producer