Mercedes-Benz is expanding its S-Class lineup for 2015 with a plug-in hybrid version, joining the S400 Hybrid and the S300 BlueTEC Hybrid. The S550 Plug-in Hybrid features an extreme level of technical innovations all working together to produce the most efficient driving experience while still offering all the posh buyers expect from Mercedes.
The sedan uses a twin-turbocharged, V-6 engine and a high-voltage, 8.7 kWh lithium-ion battery to motivate the car. A super-compact electric motor fits in place of the seven-speed automatic’s torque converter, allowing for easy fitment under the S-Class’ floor pan.
Four drive modes allow the driver to chose between Hybrid, E-Mode (electric only, E-Save (less electric, more gasoline) and Charge (charges the battery while driving). The S550 Plug-in Hybrid also uses recuperative braking system to slow the car. The system works to eliminate the noticeable transition between the conventional brakes and the electric motor in generator mode.
On top of recuperative braking, the S550 Plug-in Hybrid lives up to its name by offering a receptacle in the rear bumper for charging from a power source. What’s more,Mercedes is working alongside BMW on a wireless, inductive charging system. Mercedes hasn’t revealed when inductive charging with be available, but expect it in the future.
Mercedes has managed to make a very capable hybrid out of its largest sedan. Of course, the S550 Plug-in Hybrid isn’t the most cost-effective way to save on fuel, but it surely is one of the more luxurious and exciting ways. With tons of tech and comfort far beyond the norm, the S550 is a rich nerd’s dream machine.
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