2014 Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-In Hybrid is a 3 litres per 100 kilometres car

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 20, 2013

The third hybrid model of the brand new 2014 S-Class arrived today and as expected it is the S500 Plug-In Hybrid. Set to make its world debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA), the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-In Hybrid. The new vehicle is powered by a 3.0-liter V6 petrol engine delivering 328 hp and 480 Nm of torque, paired with an electric motor that offers 107 hp (80 kW) and 340 Nm of torque.

With these numbers, the S500 Plug-In Hybrid is able to hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.5 seconds and has a top speed electronically limited to 250 km/h or 155 mph. Now here is the cool part: the 2014 S500 Plug-In Hybrid has a fuel consumption of just 3 liters per 100 km and emits just 69g of CO2.

Furthermore, the 2014 S500 Plug-In Hybrid offers four hybrid operating modes: Hybrid, E-Mode, E-Save and Charge. In the E-Mode, the S-Class can act as a pure electric car and has a range limited to 30 km, while in the E-Save mode, the fully charged battery is reserved to be able to drive on electric power alone later.

Charge mode means that the battery is charged while driving. The operating strategy of the hybrid drive system 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.

Press Release

Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-In Hybrid

The new Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-In Hybrid blends an ultramodern hybrid drive configuration with the unique innovations and the luxurious equipment and appointments of the S-Class. The luxury saloon with a long wheelbase impresses with exceptional dynamism and efficiency. Thanks to standard pre-entry climate control it also offers unique climate comfort. The first certified three-litre luxury saloon in the world is a further milestone on the road to emission-free mobility. The first S500 Plug-In Hybrid cars go to the customers this month.

"The S500 Plug-In Hybrid is the first luxury saloon with the performance of a V8 and the fuel consumption of a compact model. The greatest challenge in this is to translate efficiency into superior performance. In this respect there is a highly interesting parallel with our successful Formula 1 racing car, which likewise has a turbocharged V6 engine and a high-tech hybrid drive," says Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, member of the Daimler Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.

"The new S500 Plug-In Hybrid offers our customers the entire range of innovations that make our new S-Class so successful, and thanks to its intelligent operating strategy ensures outstanding driving pleasure and dynamism combined with the highest efficiency. Moreover, it allows completely emission-free driving for up to 33 km," adds Ola Källenius, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars.

The Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-In Hybrid offers a system output of 325 kW and 650 Nm torque, sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in just 5.2 seconds and can drive up to 33 km purely electrically. The certified consumption is 2.8 litres/100 km, which corresponds to 65 g CO2/km emissions. Key elements of this impressive output are the V6 biturbo and the intelligent hybrid drive.

Following the S 400 HYBRID and S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, the S500 Plug-In Hybrid is the third hybrid model in the new S-Class. Its new high-voltage lithium-ion battery with an energy content of 8.7 kWh can be externally recharged via the charging socket in the right side of the rear bumper.

All three hybrid S-Class models have environmental certificates. These document the models' environmental performance from development through to recycling, across the entire lifecycle, and the performance is certified to internationally recognised standards by independent experts. Regarding CO2 emissions the certificate of the S500 Plug-In Hybrid states: "Over the entire lifecycle, comprising manufacture, use over 300,000 kilometres and recycling, clear advantages result compared with the S 500. External charging with the European electricity mix can cut CO2 emissions by some 43 percent (35 tonnes). Through the use of renewably generated hydroelectricity a 56 percent reduction (46 tonnes) is possible."

The hybrid transmission is based on the 7G-TRONIC PLUS 7-speed automatic transmission. The plug-in-hybrid system in the S-Class is based on the Mercedes-Benz parallel hybrid modular system. The common system-specific feature is the additional clutch integrated between combustion engine and electric motor. On the one hand, it decouples the combustion engine during purely electric operation; on the other hand, if the combustion engine is employed it affords the possibility to move off drawing on the performance of a wet start-up clutch. The clutch then substitutes for the torque converter and requires no additional space owing to its complete integration in the torque converter housing.

In order to strengthen the customers' trust in the new, innovative plug-in drive technology, for the S500 Plug-In Hybrid Mercedes-Benz is for the first time issuing a certificate and thus a promise to perform for the high-voltage battery and plug-in components (e.g. electric motor and power electronics). This ensures that every technical malfunction within a period of six years after initial delivery or registration, or up to a mileage of 100,000 kilometres, is corrected by Mercedes-Benz.

Haptic accelerator pedal: support for the driver

Climb in, start, drive off and, as well as exemplary efficiency, on request experience via kickdown the special acceleration of the electric motor - this is how easy hybrid driving with the new S500 Plug-In Hybrid is. For in everyday use it moves just as easily as any other automatic transmission car.

In the background, depending on the chosen operating mode the intelligent operating strategy automatically selects the ideal combination of internal combustion engine and electric motor and in so doing not only adapts its strategy according to the charge status of the battery; it also foresightedly adjusts it according to the traffic or route. But anyone wanting to can also intervene manually and with the aid of four operating modes and three transmission modes regulate the hybrid interplay themselves.

What is known as the haptic accelerator pedal can signal via a double impulse when drivers should take their foot off the accelerator for sailing and recuperating. During electric operation it can supply the driver with feedback on the switch-on point of the combustion engine. The energy flow is shown in all operating states in the instrument cluster and in the central display, if this is selected by the customer.

Extensive standard equipment, extended pre-entry climate control

The standard equipment in the S500 Plug-In Hybrid is extensive and offers a world premiere: the extended pre-entry climate control. This is target value controlled. meaning that at the start of the journey the S-Class is air conditioned to the preset temperature if the driver has entered the departure time, via Mercedes connect me, for example. This is possible due to the electrically driven refrigerant compressor and electric heating elements for the heated air. In addition to this, when preheating it is not just the interior air but also the seats, steering wheel and armrests in the doors and centre console which are heated, and when cooling the seat ventilation is also activated if the respective optional extra is on board.

Also standard in the S500 Plug-In Hybrid, which is only available with a long wheelbase, are for example LED High Performance headlamps and LED tail lights, leather upholstery, COMAND Online, touchpad, THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control plus seat heating also in the rear, Memory package for driver and front passenger, ambient lighting in seven colours and the air suspension AIRMATIC with continuously variable damping system. The basic safety equipment includes PRE-SAFE®, COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS (collision warning including Adaptive Brake Assist), ATTENTION ASSIST, PRE-SAFE® impulse, Crosswind Assist and Traffic Sign Assist (traffic sign recognition incl. wrong-way warning function and display of speed limits in the instrument cluster). Over and above this a multitude of unique optional extras is available.

The Mercedes-Benz hybrid strategy: emphasis on plug-in drives

Following the S 400 HYBRID and S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, the S500 Plug-In Hybrid is the third hybrid model in the new S-Class. The series production launch of this technology began at Mercedes-Benz in 2009. The company is up there among the leaders in the field of purely electric mobility, too. In the years to come the main emphasis will be on plug-in hybrids.

Hybrid drives, the combination of internal combustion engine and electric drive, help cut overall fuel consumption and boost performance, since the electric drive replaces or supports the combustion engine whenever the engine characteristics are unfavourable - normally in part-load operation when little power is required.

The largest potential for lowering the energy consumption of hybrid drive systems lies in maximising energy recovery during coasting and braking. Upon depressing the brake pedal the deceleration is initially effected by the electric motor and not by the disc brakes. The hybrid models of the new S-Class are the first to use a recuperative braking system of the second generation. It ensures an unnoticeable overlapping of the conventional mechanical brakes and the electric braking performance of the electric motor in generator mode.

Intelligent operating strategy

For efficient operation, foresighted driving, avoiding unnecessary braking and accelerating manoeuvres, has always been the best strategy. This gains an all new importance in a hybrid model: braking manoeuvres serve not only deceleration, but can also be used to recuperate energy. And the route has considerable influence on the most efficient charging and discharge of the high-voltage battery.

The intelligent operating strategy supports the driver comprehensively yet unobtrusively to achieve the most efficient driving style. The control strategy, for example, seeks to ensure that the battery, if at all possible, is flat at the end of an uphill stretch so that it can be recharged going downhill. Another key point is the requirement that urban areas be reached with a fully charged battery, if possible, so that the vehicle can be operated in stop-and-go traffic electrically - frequently and efficiently.

In the S500 Plug-In Hybrid the energy management system basically covers these three areas:

route-based: automatically or by way of four operating modes
driver-based: by way of three transmission modes
traffic-based: with the aid of radar.
Charging: power from a socket

The battery of the S500 Plug-In Hybrid is safely fitted into the rear end of the S-Class to save space. An intelligent on-board charging system enables the battery to be charged at any conventional household power socket. The supply of electricity to the car will be made even easier in future through inductive, cableless charging.

The S500 Plug-In Hybrid stores electric energy in a lithium-ion battery on lithium-iron phosphate basis. The water-cooled energy storage unit has an overall capacity of 8.7 kWh, a total weight of 114 kg and a spatial volume of 96 litres.

To ensure highest levels of crash safety and dynamic handling and also maximum boot space, the housing is made of die-cast aluminium and the high-voltage battery is located in the rear of the vehicle above the rear axle. The space available there is put to optimal use, and the S500 Plug-In Hybrid thus takes first place among the plug-in hybrids in terms of boot capacity (395 litres) and luggage compartment accessibility.

The high-voltage battery of the S500 Plug-In Hybrid can be charged via external electricity mains using a 3.6 kW on-board charger. The unit is permanently installed in the vehicle and charges single-phase up to 16 A. The connection for the charging cable is located under a flap in the rear bumper underneath the tail light on the right-hand side. An automatic lock ensures that the cable cannot be separated from the vehicle by unauthorised persons. The new S-Class can be charged in two hours anywhere in the world, e.g. at a wallbox or a charging pole (400 V, 16 A). Alternatively, charging via house connection is also possible, of course. Depending on the connection a charge time e.g. of two hours and 45 minutes can be attained (with 230 V and 13 A).

Next step: S500 Plug-In Hybrid - unplugged

One of the next steps on the way to the perfect electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid is cableless charging. Inductive battery charging will make the handling of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids even more convenient. Mercedes-Benz will test this "unplugged" technology with the S500 Plug-In Hybrid in order to develop a genuine S-Class solution, in terms of comfort and ease of operation, for the charging of the high-voltage battery.

Drive system: Efficiency = Performance

The Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-In Hybrid offers a system output of 325 kW and 650 Nm torque, sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in just 5.2 seconds and can drive up to 33 km purely electrically. The certified consumption is 2.8 litres/100 km, which corresponds to 65 g CO2/km emissions. The real-life consumption is also outstanding. Key elements of this impressive output are the V6 biturbo and the intelligent hybrid drive.

"The S500 Plug-In Hybrid is the first luxury saloon with the performance of a V8 and the fuel consumption of a compact model. The greatest challenge in this is to translate efficiency into superior performance. In this respect there is a highly interesting parallel with our successful Formula 1 racing car, which likewise has a turbocharged V6 engine and a high-tech hybrid drive," says Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, member of the Daimler Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.

Hybrid drives, the combination of internal combustion engine and electric drive, help cut overall fuel consumption and boost performance, since the electric drive replaces or supports the combustion engine whenever the engine characteristics are unfavourable - normally in part-load operation when little power is required. The experience gained with the previous vehicles from Mercedes-Benz has shown that though batteries with a higher energy content permit more frequent electric driving, they provide no added benefit from a consumption viewpoint. The capacity for braking energy recuperation determines the optimal design of the capacity and energy content of the traction battery. Recharging by the internal combustion engine cannot compensate for the additional vehicle weight resulting from an oversized battery.

For this reason, in the S500 Plug-In Hybrid Mercedes-Benz combines a high-energy battery with the ability to replenish the energy storage unit via the external electric mains. The advantages of emission-free electric driving thus are brought ideally into line with the tremendous consumption advantage of the parallel hybrid - and combined with a ride comfort and handling dynamics which meet the highest standards. And a range that imposes no restrictions whatsoever on the driver.

As with all hybrid vehicles from Mercedes-Benz, the ultraefficient drive system is integrated in the overall vehicle in a way that creates no space restrictions. Major adjustments to the packaging of the overall vehicle are unnecessary - this is a big advantage for the production of the hybrid vehicles, for example, but it also poses a huge challenge for the development of the electric motor and its integration in the power head of the transmission and for the development of the power electronics and the high-voltage battery.

The hybrid transmission is based on the 7G-TRONIC PLUS 7-speed automatic transmission. The plug-in hybrid system in the S-Class is based on the Mercedes-Benz parallel hybrid modular system. The common system-specific feature is the additional clutch integrated between combustion engine and electric motor. On the one hand, it decouples the combustion engine during purely electric operation; on the other hand, if the combustion engine is employed it affords the possibility to move off drawing on the performance of a wet start-up clutch. The clutch then substitutes for the torque converter and requires no additional space owing to its complete integration in the torque converter housing.

For the stop phases of the combustion engine the hybrid system has a high-voltage refrigerant compressor, and on the 12 V side an electrically assisted steering, an electric vacuum pump and an electric auxiliary oil pump for the transmission.

Completely integrated: the electric motor

The electric motor of the PLUG-IN HYBRID has been further developed from the previous hybrid vehicles. The modular design enabled longitudinal scaling from 6 to 9 rotor plate packs. Despite its compact design the electric motor delivers an output of up to 85 kW and torque of up to 340 Nm. The permanently excited synchronous motor is fully integrated into the hybrid transmission. Stator and rotor of the internal rotor motor are cooled by transmission oil.

Power electronics and voltage transformer

The high-voltage battery feeds the electric motor through a water-cooled DC/AC converter, the power electronics. This too is a component from the Mercedes-Benz modular system and was first developed for the technology platform SLS AMG E-CELL, which went into production as the SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive. The integration of the power electronics with an electric motor optimised for plug-in operation enables top performance in terms of comfort and output over the entire operating range.

The power electronics operate with a rated voltage of 325 V and supply 350 A maximum current, at the same time determining the position and status of the electric motor by means of a rotor position sensor as well as various component temperatures. Depending on operating situation, actuation of the electric motor is guided by the rotational speed or the torque, within the permissible limits. To optimise the effort for wiring, packaging and cooling, the DC/AC converter has been integrated into the engine space. A separate DC/DC converter at the rear of the vehicle supports the 12 V on-board power supply with an output of up to 3 kW.

With twin turbochargers: the internal combustion engine

For inherent design reasons, electric motors and combustion engines have different torque curves, which can, however, outstandingly complement each other. An electric motor makes its peak torque available as soon as it starts and can therefore compensate an internal combustion engine's weak torque in the low rev range. The electric motor and the V6 biturbo are thus ideal partners in the drive system of the S500 Plug-In Hybrid.

The V6 biturbo with a displacement of three litres comes from the M276 engine family and features the BlueDIRECT injection and combustion system. Cylinder heads and block are made of aluminium. To reduce friction, the cylinder barrels are coated with the aid of the innovative NANOSLIDE process. Other engine characteristics include four valves per cylinder, a particularly quiet chain drive system with silent chains and two camshaft adjusters each for the intake and exhaust sides.

The third-generation direct injection system has a fuel pressure of 200 bar and spray-guided multiple injection with piezo injection nozzles. The on-demand vane-type oil pump cools and lubricates the engine depending on engine load and engine speed. The volume control distinguishes between a low and a high pressure level and adjusts the volume flow as required. The weight of the components of the water circuit could be reduced through the systematic use of plastic. In an extended temperature range the heating supply for the interior is preferentially served. The desired temperature is thus very quickly reached during the warm-up phase. An electric heater element ensures rapid warming of the car interior also during electric driving.

Depending on the power requirement and battery charge status, the S500 Plug-In Hybrid drives in purely electric mode. Moving off from stationary also takes place in electric mode. This "silent start" is part of the exceptional driving experience and perfects the start/stop procedure, e.g. with noiseless starting at traffic lights. In transmission mode "S" electric driving can be excluded.

If more power is required, the internal combustion engine is started by means of a process developed specifically for hybrid drives with direct-injection petrol engines, and then is quickly and conveniently engaged by actuating the clutch, depending on operating conditions. The Mercedes-Benz starting procedure combines appropriate actuation of the starter with the ECO start/stop function of direct-injection petrol engines, in which starting is optimised by well-targeted injections and ignitions. This and the simultaneous actuation of the clutch, with its additional accelerating effect on the starting engine, make an extremely rapid start possible compared with a conventional starting procedure, ensuring a good transition from electric driving.

The internal combustion engine is shut off as often as possible for purely electric driving. But even so, in combination with the electric motor it delivers a total torque on the level of an eight-cylinder drive when such power is required.

Recuperative braking system: the electric motor as generator

The largest potential for lowering the energy consumption of hybrid drive systems lies in maximising energy recovery during coasting and braking. Upon depressing the brake pedal the deceleration is initially effected by the electric motor and not by the disc brakes. The hybrid models of the new S-Class are the first to use a recuperative braking system of the second generation. It ensures an unnoticeable overlapping of the conventional mechanical brakes and the electric braking performance of the electric motor in generator mode.

The driver's desired braking power is recorded by a pedal-travel sensor. The deceleration is dependent on the driving condition and is split into a recuperative brake-force portion and a portion to be supplied by the wheel brakes. The brake pressure on the rear axle is controlled dependent on the current recuperation potential of the drive system.

In addition, the combustion engine is switched off any time the vehicle is coasting, and its drag torque when rolling is used by the electric motor as recuperation torque. However, without depressing the brake pedal no additional deceleration torque is provided for charging the battery, and the vehicle can "sail".

Energy management and operating system: Intelligent operating strategy

Climb in, start, drive off and, as well as exemplary efficiency, on request experience via kickdown the special acceleration of the electric motor - this is how easy hybrid driving with the new S500 Plug-In Hybrid is. For in everyday use it moves just as easily as any other automatic transmission car.

In the background, the intelligent operating strategy automatically selects the ideal combination of internal combustion engine and electric motor and in so doing not only adapts its strategy according to the charge status of the battery; in transmission mode E+ it also foresightedly adjusts it according to the traffic or route. But anyone wanting to can also intervene manually and with the aid of four operating modes and three transmission modes regulate the hybrid interplay themselves. Here, what is known as the haptic accelerator pedal supplies the driver with feedback on the switch-on point of the combustion engine or signals via a double impulse when they should take their foot off the accelerator for sailing and recuperating.

For efficient operation, foresighted driving, avoiding unnecessary braking and accelerating manoeuvres, has always been the best strategy. This gains an all new importance in a hybrid model: braking manoeuvres serve not only deceleration, but can also be used to recuperate energy. And the route has considerable influence on the most efficient charging and discharge of the high-voltage battery. The intelligent operating strategy supports the driver comprehensively yet unobtrusively to achieve the most efficient driving style. The control strategy, for example, seeks to ensure that the battery, if at all possible, is flat at the end of an uphill stretch so that it can be recharged going downhill. Another key point is the requirement that urban areas be reached with a fully charged battery, if possible, so that the vehicle can be operated in stop-and-go traffic electrically - frequently and efficiently.

In the S500 Plug-In Hybrid the intelligent operating strategy basically covers these three areas:

route-based: automatically or by way of four operating modes
driver-based: by way of three transmission modes
traffic-based: with the aid of radar.
Four operating modes and three transmission modes

By means of operating mode and transmission mode switches next to the Controller on the centre console it is possible to switch between four operating modes. A display in the middle of the instrument cluster tells which mode is currently selected. Here an overview of all four operating modes:

Hybrid: As the name indicates, this standard mode offers hybrid driving, i.e. combines the operation of electric motor and combustion engine. The extent to which the electric motor is used to optimise consumption, or with boost function for especially dynamic acceleration, depends - apart from the customer's driving style - on the battery charge status and the chosen transmission mode. Three transmission modes are available in this operating mode and can be activated using the transmission mode switch:
Transmission mode E (Economy) is standard; the electric motor is used for both the benefit of efficiency and for driving pleasure. A power reserve is retained for the electric motor so that maximum additional thrust can be provided.
In transmission mode E+ (Economy +) the objective is maximum fuel economy; all features of the intelligent operating strategy are active in E+. The greatest possible advantage is taken of the hybrid's energy efficiency. For example, the vehicle sails as much as possible during coasting, while energy is increasingly recuperated only upon approaching another vehicle travelling ahead. Transmission mode E+ additionally makes use of radar technology - for details see the section below on "traffic-based operating strategy".
In transmission mode S (Sport) the sporty features of the drive system dominate. The transmission selects the shift points to benefit agility. This mode does without purely electric driving. The larger amount of electrical energy available because of this is used for the electrically supported boost function.
E-mode: In this operating mode the S500 Plug-In Hybrid runs purely electrically as much as possible. To ensure that the driver does not inadvertently engage the combustion engine by stepping on the accelerator, the haptic accelerator pedal with pressure point is automatically activated in this mode. The combustion engine engages only when the driver overcomes the pedal's distinct pressure point.
E-save: Here the charge status of the battery is preserved as it was when this operating mode was activated. For example, a fully charged battery can be held available if purely electric driving in a big city is on the agenda later. Electric driving in especially favourable situations, for instance after brief stops, is still permitted, but is metered so that the charge status does not fall below the value set by pressing the button.
Charge: Here the high-voltage battery is charged during vehicle operation with the aid of the internal combustion engine. Electric driving and boost operation are completely dispensed with. Under optimal conditions a run-down high-voltage battery can be fully charged in just about half an hour. As soon as the high-voltage battery is fully charged, the system automatically switches to E-save mode.
Route-based operating strategy

The route-based operating strategy takes the decision for the optimum sequence of operating modes for a route off the driver's hands. If the exact destination is known because the relevant data has been entered into the navigation system, charge and discharge of the high-voltage battery are controlled to ensure the optimal use of energy on the overall route, for as much as 1000 kilometres. One objective is to use the battery's energy content to drive uphill while recharging the battery through recuperation on the downhill stretch. The system uses data from the COMAND Online navigation system to calculate the recuperation potential of the road ahead. For example, the data provides information about the route profile and speed limits ahead in a one-metre grid for up to seven kilometres in advance.

If on the other hand the destination is not known, an assumed route is taken as a basis using likely turn-offs. In this case the system computes the probability depending on the road category. If, for example, the hybrid vehicle is travelling on a motorway, the system assumes that it will remain on the motorway for the next seven kilometres.

Traffic-based operating strategy

In transmission mode E+, during electric operation the overrun torque is reduced to a minimum to enable sailing as often and as long as possible. However, heavy braking after a long sailing phase, or premature sailing resulting in the need to restart the engine, are counterproductive. Consequently, the system makes use of radar information in bumper-to-bumper traffic in order to get its bearings from the vehicle travelling ahead.

The distance from the vehicle ahead and the speed difference are recognised with the aid of radar sensors. At exactly the moment when releasing the accelerator pedal would lead to optimally fuel-efficient "docking" onto the vehicle ahead, the driver receives a recommendation, in the form of a noticeable double impulse in the haptic accelerator pedal, to back off the accelerator.

If the driver accepts the recommendation and electric operation is available, the combustion engine is switched off and disconnected from the drive system. The vehicle then sails. If the vehicle ahead reduces its speed or the gap becomes smaller for some other reason, radar-based overrun torque control sets in. Increased recuperation by the electric motor correspondingly changes the gap to the vehicle ahead - and recovers energy.

Equipment and appointments: Extended pre-entry climate control

The S500 Plug-In Hybrid blends an ultramodern hybrid drive configuration with the unique innovations and the luxurious equipment and appointments of the S-Class. The luxury saloon with a long wheelbase not only displays exceptional dynamism and efficiency, it also offers unique climate comfort thanks to comprehensive, standard pre-entry climate control.

The standard equipment in the S500 Plug-In Hybrid offers a world premiere in the extended pre-entry climate control. Its functions are controlled by target values, meaning that at the start of the journey the S-Class is air conditioned to the preset temperature if the driver has entered the departure time, via Mercedes connect me, for example. This is possible due to the electrically driven refrigerant compressor and electric heating elements for the heated air. In addition to this, when preheating it is not just the interior air but also the seats, steering wheel and armrests in the doors and centre console which are heated, and when cooling the seat ventilation is also activated if the respective optional extra is on board.

The standard equipment of the S500 Plug-In Hybrid, which is only available with a long wheelbase, is indeed comprehensive. Standard features are for example LED High Performance headlamps and LED tail lights, leather upholstery, COMAND Online, touchpad, THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control plus seat heating also in the rear, Memory package for driver and front passenger, ambient lighting in seven colours and the air suspension AIRMATIC with continuously variable damping system. The basic safety equipment includes PRE-SAFE®, COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS (collision warning including Adaptive Brake Assist), ATTENTION ASSIST, PRE‑SAFE® impulse, Crosswind Assist and Traffic Sign Assist (traffic sign recognition incl. wrong-way warning function and display of speed limits in the instrument cluster).

Over and above this a multitude of unique optional extras is available - here is an extract:

LED Intelligent Light System with variable light distribution for rural roads and motorways, active light function, cornering light function, enhanced fog light function and Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus
Head-up Display
Driving Assistance package Plus including DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Pilot, PRE-SAFE® Brake, BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist and PRE-SAFE® PLUS, only in conjunction with Parking package including Active Parking Assist
Night View Assist Plus with early detection of people and large animals in the dark, including spotlight function
PRE-SAFE® rear package with illuminated seat belt buckle extenders, PRE-SAFE® belt tensioners and beltbags for outer rear seats
Seat Comfort package for driver and front passenger, comprising: active multicontour seats in the front with dynamic handling function (seat side bolsters are each adjusted via an air chamber) and with ENERGIZING massage function (massage function via 14 air chambers in the seat backrest, massage heating panels in the spinal area), fast-acting seat heating Plus and adjustable lumbar support via three air chambers
Rear seats electrically adjustable including Memory function comprising: three-seater bench seat with two electrically adjustable outer luxury seats, luxury head restraints with an additional cushion, front passenger seat operable from the rear, two ISOFIX child seat attachment points, two TopTether fastening points, armrest in the rear including double cup holder with wood trim and stowage space
AIR-BALANCE package including ionisation, improved air filtering and fragrancing
Warmth Comfort package comprising: heated armrest in the driver's and front passenger door as well as in the centre console, heated armrest in the rear doors, heated armrest in the centre armrest in the rear in conjunction with electrically adjustable rear seats (optional extra), heated armrest in the business console in conjunction with First-Class rear suite (optional extra), buttons for heating the seats and armrests in the door control panels in the doors, heated steering wheel
Panoramic sliding sunroof with convenience and automatic rain-sensor closing function, electric sunblind, obstruction sensor plus PRE‑SAFE® closing function
Burmester® high-end 3D surround sound system with 24 loudspeakers, 24 amplifier channels and a total system output of 1540 watts
Individual Entertainment System in the rear including two 25.4 cm (10") displays on the backrest of the driver's and front passenger seat, DVD player, two radio headphones and COMAND remote control
TV receiver for digital television reception with support from, i.a., multichannel sound, EPG (electronic programme guide) and teletext
High-voltage battery and on-board charger: Power from a socket

The battery of the S500 Plug-In Hybrid is safely fitted into the rear end of the S-Class to save space. An intelligent on-board charging system enables the battery to be charged at any conventional household power socket. The supply of electricity to the car will be made even easier in future through inductive, cableless charging.

The S500 Plug-In Hybrid stores electric energy in a lithium-ion battery on lithium-iron phosphate basis. A modular design with 120 serially connected VDA single cells (22 Ah/cell) supplies rated voltage of 396 V, which can vary between 270 V and 430 V depending on the operating point and consequently is optimally suited for the electric drive.

The water-cooled energy storage unit has an overall capacity of 8.7 kWh, a total weight of 114 kg and a spatial volume of 96 litres. An energy management system developed by Mercedes-Benz enables the best possible utilisation of the installed capacity, always makes the required output available and simultaneously protects battery life and availability.

To ensure highest levels of crash safety and dynamic handling and also maximum boot space, the housing is made of die-cast aluminium and the high-voltage battery is located in the rear of the vehicle above the rear axle. The space available there is put to optimal use, and the S500 Plug-In Hybrid thus takes first place among the plug-in hybrids in terms of boot capacity (395 litres) and luggage compartment accessibility. Owing to the modular design of the battery components, further use of the battery system in other vehicle model series can be easily realised.

Battery charged in around two hours

The high-voltage battery of the S500 Plug-In Hybrid can be charged via external electricity mains using a 3.6 kW on-board charger. The unit is permanently installed in the vehicle and charges single-phase up to 16 A. The connection for the charging cable is located under a flap in the rear bumper underneath the tail light on the right-hand side. An automatic lock ensures that the cable cannot be separated from the vehicle by unauthorised persons.

The new S-Class can be charged in two hours anywhere in the world, e.g. at a wallbox or a charging pole (400 V, 16 A). Alternatively, charging via house connection is also possible, of course. Depending on the connection a charge time e.g. of two hours and 45 minutes can be attained (with 230 V and 13 A).The operating data from the charge process and the available output are continuously transmitted to the vehicle's energy management system, which then controls the charge process. The on-board charger is located near the battery to ensure the optimal length of connecting cables and cooling water lines.

With its intelligent charge management the new S-Class supports the following functions:

optimised charging making allowance for customer input, vehicle data and charging infrastructure
reliable automatic calculation of the purchased energy quantity
provision and reception of charge-relevant data.
The S500 Plug-In Hybrid is delivered as standard with a four-metre-long spiral charging cable for household power sockets, type E/F (mode 2); on request an eight-metre-long smooth cable is available as an alternative. Four other, partly spiral charging cables for industrial power sockets, public charging stations and wallboxes are optionally available.

Next step: S500 Plug-In Hybrid - unplugged

One of the next steps on the way to the perfect electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid is cableless charging. Inductive battery charging makes the handling of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids even more convenient. Mercedes-Benz will try out this "unplugged" technology in a test fleet with the S500 Plug-In Hybrid in order to develop a genuine S-Class solution, in terms of comfort and ease of operation, for the charging of the high-voltage battery.

The system is comprised of two components: a secondary coil plus a floor plate with integral primary coil which is placed underneath the car, for example on the garage floor. The electric energy is transferred without contact, without a charging cable, with an output of 3.6 kW. The vehicle's high-voltage battery thus can be charged efficiently, conveniently and safely with an efficiency factor of more than 90 percent.

 

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