The 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class BlueHybrid is a gasoline-electric take on the company's flagship sedan. Targeting environmentally conscious Americans who love to save fuel, this hybrid is focused on fuel efficiency and the minimizing of atmosphere-destroying pollutants. CO2 emissions are measured at 190 g/km. And it maintains that focus while refusing to sacrifice traditional Mercedes levels of luxury and solid performance.
Unlike the Lexus LS 600h, the 2010 Mercedes S400 hybrid is unable to be operated from electric power alone. It also lacks the option to plug in for recharging. It's considered a "mild" hybrid and claims to be the first vehicle on the planet to utilize a lithium-ion (LI) battery instead of the more popular nickel/metal/hydride (NiMH) class. LI batteries are pricey, but they are able to store considerably more energy than their NiMH counterparts. They also weigh less and take up less space. Additionally, the S400 hybrid's LI battery system has earned 25 separate patents for its technology - knowledge that Mercedes is protecting closely.
Acting as both a generator and a starter, the LI battery of the 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class BlueHybrid is snugly positioned between the tranny and the engine. The gasoline engine automatically shuts off when the vehicle is not in motion. This of course is advantageous for fuel economy and lessening idle-time emissions. Sensing when the brakes are released, the engine is fired back up for acceleration. The LI is kept juiced up by an innovative regenerative breaking system.
The gasoline engine of the hybrid S400 Mercedes for 2010 is a 3.5L 279hp 258 lb-ft V6. Its combined overall horsepower rating is increased to 295 with the help of the 15-kW electric motor. The S400 utilizes a 7-speed automatic gearbox - the same used in non-hybrid versions. It can travel from sitting still to 60 miles per hour in just a hair over 7 seconds and features a top speed that is electronically controlled to peak at 155 miles per hour. EPA estimations for fuel economy have been reported at 19/26 mpg urban/rural. Base MSRPs begin at $89,000.
The next major redesign for the Mercedes-Benz S Class is scheduled for 2013. However this year it shows off new tweaks to the exterior including a freshened grill and lower-positioned fascia in the front. Overall exterior measurements in length, width and height are 206.5 x 73.7 x 58.0 inches with a 124.6 inch wheelbase. Its 4519 pounds of curb weight rides 5.8 inches off the ground. On the inside, you will find 38 inches of headroom in the front (39 rear), 59 inches of shoulder room in the front and rear, 60 inches of frontal hip room (59 rear) and 41.9 inches of frontal legroom with 42.3 in the rear. 16.4 cubic feet of cargo capacity resides in the trunk space.
The 2010 Mercedes S-Class BlueHybrid is raising eyebrows and setting trends and the hybrid market. As sophisticated hybrid technologies continue to evolve, Mercedes-Benz will continue to be a top competitor. Innovative engineering, loaded luxury, powerful performance and leading fuel economy are givens.