Mercedes will bring 10 new plug-in hybrid models to the market by 2017, according to a board member speaking at the launch of the Mercedes S 500 Hybrid, reports CarAdvice.com.au. A new model will debut every four months, and this rapid-fire expansion will make Mercedes a major player in the plug-in market in short order all thanks to modular motor setup that can fit into multiple models.
Next up is a C-Class plug-in hybrid, which has already been spotted testing on roadways, and every Mercedes model from the C-Class on up can be fitted with the modular plug-in drivetrain.
“In principle, the [plug-in hybrid] system is suitable for all Mercedes models with rear-wheel drive and 4MATIC drive,” said Daimler AG board member Dr. Thomas Weber “This modular approach enables high volumes and therefore economies of scale … a first-class, standardised modular hybrid system with individual components.These modules can be freely combined with gasoline and diesel engines and also with all engine types, starting withour four and six cylinders.”
Down the road, the system can also be adapted to smaller front-drive models like the A-Class and B-Class, the latter of which currently uses a Tesla-developed electric drivetrain. The S 500 Hybrid is the vanguard of a new generation of plug-in Mercs. Using a 3.0 liter twin-turbo V6 engine paired with a powerful electric motor and 8.7 kWh of lithium-ion batteries for a total output of 436 of Tesla-rivaling horsepower. Throw in some of the most advanced autonomous driving technologies, the promise of wireless charging, and a world-renowned brand name, and you’ve got the first of what Mercedes says is many plug-in hybrids.
Does that mean they’re giving up on pure electric vehicles for now?