Frankfurt 2013: Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-In Hybrid

By John Beltz Snyder

September 11, 2013

At the Frankfurt Motor Show, Mercedes-Benz has added a new powertrain to the 2015 S-Class lineup with the S500 Plug-In Hybrid.
The hybrid drive combines a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery. The gasoline engine on its own produces 329 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. The electric motor puts out another 107 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque. The two motors can work together or separately, and when combined can push the S500 PHV from 0-60 miles per hour in 5.4 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 miles per hour.
The S500 Plug-In Hybrid is capable of traveling solely on electric power for distances up to 18 miles. To assist in the most efficient driving possible, the accelerator offers haptic control, and will give resistance to let the driver know when the combustion engine is close to firing up. The engine can also be switched off at any time, and the deceleration works to recharge the battery.
The S500 PHV has various transmission modes and hybrid modes, so the driver can be in control of how much performance and efficiency are available. The hybrid modes include Hybrid (normal driving), E-Mode (electric only), E-Save (saves charge in battery for later use), and Charge (charges the battery while driving).
The Intelligent Hybrid system takes account of a pre-planned route to make the most of the energy on hand. It anticipates when it will be able to make the most of energy recovery during deceleration.
The S500 hybrid also offers pre-entry climate control, so the car is a comfortable temperature before the driver even gets inside.
Scroll down for more details in the press release, below.
All-New 2015MY S500 PLUG-IN HYBRID
An All-New Powertrain for the S-Class
September 10, 2013 - MONTVALE, NJ
The all-new 2015MY S500 PLUG-IN HYBRID sets new benchmarks in efficiency as well as powertrain and comfort. The 107 hp electric drive with externally rechargeable battery provides emission-free driving for about 18 miles. It is combined with the new 3.0-litre V6 turbocharged engine. Mercedes-Benz will present the 2015MY S500 PLUG-IN HYBRID at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) and it will be in U.S. showrooms in late 2014.
The 2010MY S400 HYBRID was the first automobile in the world to feature a standard-specification hybrid drive system with a lithium-ion battery in 2009. The second-generation hybrid drive systems are seamlessly integrated into the powertrain. The combustion engine can be completely decoupled from the electric motor. Further features are the second-generation recuperative braking system and the anticipatory Intelligent HYBRID energy management system.
"With the S500 PLUG-IN HYBRID Mercedes-Benz sets another milestone on the road to emission-free mobility on the basis of our modular hybrid matrix," explains Prof Dr Thomas Weber, responsible on the Daimler Board of Management for Group Research and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Product Engineering. "In this way the S-Class turns into a genuine three-liter car with generous space and superlative drive-system comfort."
The new high-voltage lithium-ion battery of the S500 PLUG-IN HYBRID has ten times the energy content of other hybrid batteries and offers the option of being recharged from an external source with a charging socket located on the right side of the rear bumper. With the help of the electric synchronous motor (107 hp/251 lb-ft) the S-Class can drive for up to around 18 miles on electric power alone.
Four hybrid operating modes can be selected at the push of a button:
  • E-MODE: electric power only
  • E-SAVE: fully charged battery is reserved to be able to drive on electric power alone later
  • CHARGE: battery is charged while driving
The S500 PLUG-IN HYBRID delivers top efficiency figures without restrictions in power, passenger comfort or operating range and offers a high level of climate comfort thanks to the pre-entry climate control functions.
The most important benchmark data of the S500 PLUG-IN HYBRID:
  • Power output of 329hp of the combustion engine plus 107hp electric motor and torque of 354 lb-ft of the combustion engine plus 251 lb-ft of the electric motor
  • Operating range on electric power alone about 18 miles
  • Top speed 155 mph, 0-60 mph in 5.4 sec.
  • Intelligent HYBRID: anticipatory energy management system with optimal use of recuperation during deceleration
  • Individualization possible as the result of the combination of the transmission modes with the four hybrid operating modes – HYBRID, E-MODE, E-SAVE and CHARGE.
  • Haptic accelerator pedal for superior vehicle control: A point of resistance on the accelerator pedal provides feedback about the activation of the combustion engine and helps in metering the power output.
  • Fast external charging of the high-voltage traction battery
  • Pre-entry climate control of the interior
Intelligent HYBRID: anticipatory energy management system
The second-generation S-Class hybrid features an anticipatory energy management system and thereby improved energy efficiency. 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 five miles. Intelligent HYBRID uses the navigation data from COMAND Online to manage the charging and discharging of the high-voltage battery. For example, the car will use the energy content of the battery for propulsion ahead of a downhill stretch in order to recharge it while going downhill using recuperation.
Recuperative braking system: the electric motor as alternator
The largest potential for lowering the energy consumption of hybrid drive systems lies in maximizing energy recovery during coasting and braking. Upon depressing the brake pedal the deceleration is initially provided by the electric motor, not by the disc brakes. The new S-Class is the first to use a recuperative braking system (RBS) of the second generation. It ensures an unnoticeable overlapping of the conventional mechanical brakes and the electric braking performance of the electric motor in alternator 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 by the RBS dependent on the current recuperation potential of the powertrain.
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." The combustion engine is to be used for charging the battery as little as possible and only at suitable and most efficient operating points.
Hybrid pioneer in the luxury segment
The world's first production hybrid drive with lithium-ion battery debuted at Mercedes-Benz as early as 2009: the 2010MY S400 HYBRID was the most fuelefficient gasoline-powered luxury sedan for a long time. It was also the most successful hybrid in its segment: some 20,000 buyers worldwide opted for the S400 HYBRID.
With the 2015MY S500 PLUG-IN HYBRID, as well as the European-market S300 BlueTEC HYBRID and S400 HYBRID, Mercedes-Benz now continues its comprehensive hybrid offensive.
Preliminary Quick Reference Guide: 2015 S500 PLUG-IN HYBRID
Customer Availability:
  • 2015 S500 PLUG-IN HYBRID – Late 2014
  • 2015 S500 PLUG-IN HYBRID
  • Combustion Motor: 3.0-liter biturbo V6 with 329 hp, 354 lb-ft.
  • Electric Motor: 107 hp, 251 lb-ft.
  • Pure Electric Range: 18 miles
  • 0-60: 5.4 seconds
Pricing (excluding D&D):
  • 2015 S500 PLUG-IN HYBRID - $TBA
Standard Feature Highlights:
  • 6.1 KWH Lithium Ion Battery
  • Bumper-mounted charging socket
  • Intelligent HYBRID technology: anticipatory energy management
  • Four Hybrid Modes: HYBRID, E-MODE, E-SAVE, CHARGE
  • Recuperative braking
  • Pre-Entry Climate Control
  • mbrace2™
  • Panorama roof
  • Soft-close doors
  • Burmester Surround Sound System
  • LED Ambient Lighting with choice of 7 colors, 5 dimming levels & 4 different dimming zones
  • Two 12.3" high-resolution screens for central display & instrument cluster
Optional Feature Highlights:
  • ENERGIZING massage function: Unique seat massage function based on the hot-stone principle
  • Rear Seat Package: Rear seatbelt airbags, PRE-SAFE® Rear, 4-Zone Climate Control, Executive Rear Seat PLUS
  • Warmth & Comfort Package: Heated steering wheel, heated front/rear armrests, heated & active ventilated rear seats, power rear seats, memory rear seats, rear heated seats
  • Air Balance Package: Fragrance, ionization and filtration of air through the HVAC system
  • New generation Driver Assistance Package: DISTRONIC PLUS® with Steering Assist & BAS PLUS® with Cross Traffic Assist, PRE-SAFE® Brake with Pedestrian Recognition, Active Lane Keeping Assist with additional functionality on slower/standing cars, crash barriers, overtaking cars, and oncoming traffic
  • New generation Active Parking Assist: Semi-automatic curbside parking function