The 2012 Mercedes S Class will offer a plug-in Hybrid option offering electric-only running and 80+ mpg
I know, if you read here regularly you know this isn’t exactly news. We reported on the Mercedes S500 Plug-in Hybrid back in September and expressed some surprise at the claims Mercedes were making for the Plug-in. But the truth is – plug-in or not – this is not a milk float designed to do city duty, but a clever way to offer more (performance and power) for less (emissions and fuel) and appease the green lobby at the same time.
But Autocar has been interviewing Mercedes head of R&D – Thomas Weber – who says Mercedes aren’t looking at the plug-in hybrid as a cheap way in to a Mercedes S Class. In fact , he said that “…it makes a lot of sense to bundle the high-price tech option to the sort of customers willing to pay for this sort of thing.” Making it pretty clear that Mercedes see this sort of tech – at least in S Class terms – as something to aspire too. In other words, you can have it if your pockets are deep enough.
And it is good tech. It will make every ‘Merchant Banker’ owner able to assert – completely truthfully – that his 2012 S Class is zero emissions around the city (18 miles electric only mode from a plug-in recharge) and even when he has to go further than from Canary Wharf to Bishopsgate he will still average 80mpg and have CO2 emissions under 100g/km.
Thankfully, all this ‘Green-ness’ won’t come at the expense of performance. Mercedes are planning a new generation of direct injection V6 and V8 engines sporting turbos and stop-start. These will offer 10% more power; will be 25% more efficient and have an extra 25% torque.
All our favourite things – more for less. As long as you can afford it.