Mercedes-Benz will launch the next S-class with a plug-in hybrid model, and will the roll out the technology across the rest of the range.
“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,” said Mercedes R&D boss Thomas Weber.
With weight reductions and aerodynamic improvements anticipated for the next-generation S-class, the plug-in version is likely to turn in impressive economy figures: over 80mpg and less than 100g/km of CO2 are being talked about by insiders.
There won’t be a purely electric version, though; Weber ruled such a car out due to concerns over the car’s range. “It could be possible, but no,” he said. “Our customers expect a certain range and a level of comfort, safety and space; such things lead to a certain weight and that won’t mean a good [battery] range.”
Less expensive versions of the next S-class will also be offered with Mercedes’ next generation of six and eight-cylinder petrol engines. All will have direct injection, use stop-start and will be capable of being turbocharged or used in conjunction with electric motors. The company claims they will provide 10 per cent more power, 25 per cent more torque and 25 per cent better economy than existing petrol motors.