The folks over at AutoCar have recently spotted the S400 Hybrid testing in Germany, showing that development is well on schedule for a 2009 market launch. This will make Mercedes the first auto maker to bring a hybrid car that uses lithium ion batteries to the roads, putting it a well ahead of Toyota and GM who plan to have a their lithium-ion powered cars on the market in late 2010.
The Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid’s 279 horsepower V6 engine will be mated with a 20 horsepower electric engine that will allow for an average fuel-economy of 27mpg. That puts the S400 hybrid well ahead of the Lexus LS hybrid which gives an estimated fuel-economy of 20mpg in the city and 22 on the highway.
However, performance wise the S400 will take 7.3 seconds to go from 0-60, while the Lexus LS takes 5.5. But let’s not forget that when shopping in this segment, performance figures are not a buyer’s first priority.
The Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid will also feature other fuel-saving technologies such as an automatic star-stop system, similar to the BMW Efficient Dynamics program.
You can expect to see the S400 on the market in mid-2009. The Mercedes ML450 hybrid will arrive first in early 2009.
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