For its first attempt at a plug-in hybrid, Mercedes-Benz isn’t pulling any punches. The Mercedes S 500 Hybrid is packed with all kinds of high-tech goodies that make for some impressive fuel economy and performance numbers…though it all comes at a shockingly high price.
If you want to get behind the wheel of the Mercedes-Benz S 500 Hybrid, prepare to pony up at least $146,000, with the first units going on sale in Europe this September.
That’s a lotta money, I’ll granted you, but the S 500 Hybrid is a whole lotta car. The bi-turbo 3.0 liter V6 engine is mated with an electric motor to deliver 436 horsepower and a 0 to 62 MPH time of just 5.2 seconds. While not quite as quick as the Tesla Model S, the Mercedes S 500 has a higher top speed of 155 MPH, and it can drive up to 21 miles on electricity only, and on the European testing cycle it is rated at 84 MPG.
The S 500 Hybrid even takes the time to learn your driving routes, applying the electrical power to maximize efficiency or performance when you need it…and let’s not forget about the suite of autonomous driving technologies that allow you to take your hands off of the steering wheel. There’s also the promise of wireless recharging down the road thanks to a collaboration with BMW, though it’s no available just yet.
At more than twice the cost of the Tesla Model S, I don’t expect the Mercedes S 500 to be a real rival for the electric luxury sedan…but once this technology trickles down into more affordable models (or at least as affordable as Mercedes gets), then buyers will have a real choice to make when it comes to their luxury green cars. Could the upcoming Mercedes C-Class plug-in hybrid be the real rival Tesla needs to worry about?