While the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is an old friend of Motorization we met in his debut at the headquarters of Airbus in Hamburg and we could drive on Canadian soil for its international launch in Toronto (Part 1 and Part 2), now comes a version which is perhaps the most important of all for what it means for the manufacturer: it is the first plug-in hybrid company.

This plug-in version of the flagship of the house is called Stuttgart Mercedes-Benz S 500 Plug-In Hybrid and reach the market this October with a price of 112,200 euros, VAT included. Course will be offered only with the long body. We have already conducted and tell you all the details.

AutoSince its launch in 2013, the quintessential saloon Mercedes-Benz has been a success thanks to the more than 80,000 units sold worldwide. In have sold nearly 300 Class S, a not inconsiderable number considering the price of the model and the market situation. Now, almost 80% of them have been diesel. With the plug-in hybrid that may change as it is expected to sell about 50 units in 2015.

Plug-In Strategy

The increasingly stringent emissions standards imposed by the European Union require manufacturers to rethink their strategies. Mercedes-Benz has set itself the goal of achieving an average CO2 emissions for its range of 125 g / km in 2016, to reach 95 g / km will require Europe back in 2020. Currently offer 50 versions emitting less than 120 g / km, but you have to counter the power of their models and their powerful AMG V8.

Daimler has opted to begin offering in the coming years a full range of plug-in hybrid models, which will certainly help to reduce the average emissions of its entire supply. The first is the S-Class, but many more will come. By 2017 the German brand and aims to have 10 plug-in models in the market, all with petrol engines.

From Stuttgart ensure that from now on a new plug-in hybrid will arrive every four months or so. If the first is the S-Class, the second will be the C-Class, specifically the C 350 Plug-In Hybrid ( see photo ) probably know more deeply into the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. So far we know that will be released next year and will combine a four-cylinder gasoline and 211 hp with a 60 kW electric engine (82 hp).

This technology will come after the ML (for Frankfurt, it is assumed) and many other models in the range. The goal is to get Mercedes-Benz hybrid models able to approve only 50 g / km of carbon dioxide, for which they will have to expand its electric range of plug to figures close to 50 kilometers (currently Class S can go 33 kilometers with electricity).

Finally, we should mention the wireless recharge wirelessly, in which Mercedes-Benz is working with other manufacturers like BMW to develop a system to recharge the hybrid system without connecting to the network directly. It is a technology that works by induction, and by an installation in the garage (home, work or even in malls, very long-term), and the associated equipment to the underside of the car, the battery is recharged ” by magic. ” However, still it will take a few years to see this technology on the street.

While moving the batteries and pure electric, plug-in hybrids are a realistic solution. For drivers who daily move in urban areas and do not do many miles, serves almost as an electric and can not spend a single drop of gasoline (recharging the batteries in a plug, of course), and can go on a trip without fear autonomy to run out, as the heat engine is responsible to bring them to where needed. For us, at least for now, is the perfect balance.
Mercedes-Benz S 500 Plug-in Hybrid, touchdown

S 500 Plug-In Hybrid: a background

Before you begin, it should be noted that the designation S 500 is given to follow the numbering of hybrid Class S and its power level, not because hiding a V8 under the hood. In fact, what’s under your body is a 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo diesel (333 hp) and an electric motor of 85 kW (116 hp) and 340 Nm integrated into the transmission itself. In total, generates a combined output of 442 hp and maximum torque of 650 Nm.

Its lithium-ion battery, located behind the rear seats, has a capacity of 8.7 kWh and is recharged via an outlet located in a compartment under the right tail light. The brand says that can be charged in 2 hours by a Wall Box that requires installation or through a conventional plug in about 4 hours. Furthermore, it is recharged on the fly in deceleration and braking, or through the heat engine when the operating mode is used Charge.

The operating modes are four: Hybrid (is the normal mode, always selected the vehicle is started, combining both engines to propel the vehicle), E-Mode (pure electric), E-Save (used only V6 gasoline to conserve battery power for when we need them) and Charge (thermal engine charges the battery, reaching 100% in just over half an hour). Then there are the E, E + and S programs, which allow you to choose between a quieter or more sporting character.

Strength does not lack precisely and its benefits are almost at the level of S 500 (455 hp) engine with eight cylinders: 0-100 km/h in 5.2 seconds for the hybrid, compared with 4.8 seconds gasoline. Where there was no comparison in the approved consumption is 2.8 liters per hundred kilometers compared to 8.6 liter V8. Yes, approvals have plug trick.

Although we may believe that plug-in hybrids go through the same approval process as other consumption vehicles, it is not. The truth is that it takes into account the level of emissions from the combustion engine (the V6 in this case) and a “bonus” that depends on the miles of electric range model in question is applied.

Let’s see the case study of the S 500 Plug-in particular: one starts from 149 g / km of CO2 V6 engine (corresponding to 6.4 l / 100 km), a figure which the corresponding bonus at 33 kilometers is subtracted of electric range (table imposed by the European Union gives us the stated equivalences). According to the table, 33 miles is a bonus of 56%, i.e. that the 149 g / km initial subtract 84 g / km (56%) and gives us the final figure: 65 g / km, or what it’s the same 2.8 liters per hundred kilometers.

Can I get those 2.8 liters per hundred kilometers in real driving? For hard, since it is not an actual consumption, but a mere form of benefit vehicles able to run without issuing carbon dioxide compared to the rest (tax bracket, etc …). If we make use of the combustion engine (fuel tank is 70 liters, by the way), we will never reach that figure, but instead circulate in town in electric mode, you can even not absolutely spend no gasoline, i.e. zero liters per hundred kilometers.

As far as equipment is concerned, the S 500 Plug-In Hybrid can incorporate almost everything that is offered to their brethren in range (assistance systems, 3D sound equipment Burmester, rear entertainment system, etc …), to except for three things: the amazing Magic Body Control, which is intended to only variants with eight-cylinder engine, the cooler the rear armrest (batteries occupy that space, which is no longer available) and the tow ball, also not you can equip.

The S 500 Plug-In Hybrid comes standard, along with everything inside of seven tones of standard equipment across the range, heated and ventilated front seats, charging cable, ambient lighting, memory seats, touch control, front head restraints comfort illuminated LED Intelligent Light System, AMG multi-spoke wheels, Runflat tires, etc … It also offers a guarantee of 6 years or 100,000 miles for the hybrid system (electric motor, batteries, etc …).

First contact

From the outset the typical comfort impresses Class S, which has not been lost. The interior is identical to any other, and offers the same materials and an atmosphere of genuine luxury. Find a comfortable position is a cinch. It only remains to get going and enjoy either a quiet, emission, or first level of benefits up. With activated S (Sport) program has nothing to envy his brother V8.

At startup, the program is always Hybrid, acting by itself, depending on the battery charge and what we weigh the right foot, which engine should act in each case. We have all tried, but especially the electricity. However, it is limited to 140 km / h (up to 250 km / h in normal mode). In addition, the pedal has a kind of stop (we can beat if we want) to tell us how far we get up and running without the heat engine. If we step forward to the pedal, even in electric mode, Hybrid and we will automatically charge the V6 life. However, the electric motor has sufficient force to move freely the car without using the gas.

On certain occasions, in electric mode or charging mode of the battery (although Mercedes says that only electric), makes an appearance called pedal hap tic accelerator that pulsed indicates that not accelerate, since it is not necessary. That is, if for example circulate road and taking a car accelerate forward flowing slower, slightly pushing our vehicle shows us the pedal to us that it is not necessary to speed, as it is not as efficient.

In real driving we have not been able to travel those 33 miles in electric, approving the Class S plug-in hybrid (flip, that is), but we were able to exceed 20 quietly. Everything depends on your driving style and touch to have. However, a distance of over 150 kilometers (like ours), you can only get to use the electric motor for a 40 or 50% of the time, depending on the circumstances.