Mercedes S 500 plug-in hybrid hits Frankfurt auto show

As the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show inches closer, the number of green vehicle previews which will be showcased at this event goes up. The latest comes fromMercedes-Benz, which has announced plans to unveil next month the new S 500 Plug-In Hybrid, which is the third hybrid model of the S-Class.

The S 500 Plug-In Hybrid, according to Mercedes, follows in the footsteps of the S 400 Hybrid and S300 BlueTEC Hybrid. As a plug-in hybrid it is designed to try and capture the best of both worlds in hybrid and electric vehicle technologies. To this end it sports an 80 kW electric drive with externally rechargeable battery that lets one drive for up to 30 km in EV mode only. It is mated to a 3.o-liter V6 turbocharged engine.

image via Mercedes-Benz

Four “hybrid operating modes” exist on this vehicle, all of which can be selected manually by the driver. Technical specifications of this hybrid rate it at generating 69 g CO2 per kilometer, fuel  consumption equivalent to 3 liters per 100 kilometers, a top speed of 250 km/h and a 0-100 km/h of 5.5 seconds.

One particular feature of note on the S 500 is an anticipatory energy management system called Intelligent HYBRID that

not only accounts for the current driving condition and driver input, but also adjusts to the likely route (inclines, downhill stretches, bends or speed limits) for the next eight kilometres. Intelligent HYBRID uses the navigation data from COMAND Online to manage the charging and discharging of the high-voltage battery. The goal is, for example, to use the energy content of the battery for propulsion ahead of a downhill stretch in order to recharge it while going downhill using recuperation.

Like other hybrids, regenerative braking also exists to return energy to the vehicle’s battery. The S 500 Plug-In Hybrid, after its Germany debut, is set for a formal market launch sometime in 2014.

* Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling