The days of associating the S-Class with big, grumbly, fuel-gulping engines could be over. Mercedes-Benz has announced details of its eco-friendly S 500 Plug-In Hybrid.
A V6 biturbo petrol engine that develops 333hp is paired up with an electric motor that produces 116hp, giving the S 500 Plug-In Hybrid a healthy 442hp and 650Nm of torque. No slouch, then.
The impressive bit, however, is that Mercedes claims the most efficient S-Class ever will return 100.9mpg while emitting just 65g/km of CO2 emissions. That means it’s free to tax, is exempt from the London congestion charge and is cheaper to run than just about any petrol or diesel car on the road.
A big change to the S 500 Plug-In Hybrid compared with its S 300 BlueTec and S 400 Hybrid brethren is that, as the name suggests, you can plug it in to top-up the 8.7kWh battery, which can be used for a 20-mile electric-only range.
Away from a socket, Mercedes has utilsed the COMAND system to try and save as much juice as possible. The S 500 Plug-In Hybrid will, for instance, try and recuperate as much power as it can before entering a stop and start urban environment. It can even look ahead on a journey to see if there are any downward slopes for maximising regeneration.
COMAND can also alert you to when the ‘sailing mode’ (combustion engine off) should be engaged by sending a pulse through the accelerator and will even change the gear ready for an overtake if the radar sensor thinks the car in front will slow you down unnecessarily.
Clever touches elsewhere help Mercedes back up its claim the S 500 Plug-In Hybrid is ‘the most advanced saloon’ in the world. The Connect me app lets you pre warm or cool the car using a smartphone or tablet and let you know what range you have from wherever you are.
Still not impressed, your highness? You can get a massage in the front and back of the S 500 Plug-In Hybrid, enjoy one of seven different ambient lighting colours, sniff whatever you want via the perfume diffuser and enjoy a smooth ride while Magic Body Control looks at the road ahead so it can make alterations to the suspension.
Equipment for the new hybrid stems from the S 500 L AMG Line so you can expect 19-inch AMG alloys, AMG bodykit, COMAND Online infotainment system, leather upholstery, noise-insulating glass and front seats with memory function.
The Mercedes S 500 Plug-In Hybrid will start from £87,965. UK deliveries are expected to begin in late November 2014 – stay tuned for our review.