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Mercedes S550 Plug-In Hybrid Has Prius-Beating MPG 16-09-2014

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Mercedes-Benz has added the first plug-in hybrid model to its lineup. The German automaker unveiled the S550 Plug-in Hybrid today as a more fuel-efficient option among its family of flagship sedans. Powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine with 329 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque, Mercedes paired the engine with an electric motor generating 114 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque. Combined, the hybrid powertrain has a total system output of 436 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque while getting an all-electric range of 20 miles. The S550 Plug-in Hybrid will be the brand's first hybrid model in the U.S. for the new S-Class. "The S550 Plug-in Hybrid is the first luxury sedan with the performance of a V8 and the fuel consumption of a compact model," said Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, member of the Daimler Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. "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." The S550 Plug-in Hybrid will also sport a world premiere standard feature: the extended pre-entry climate control. Just as it sounds, the S550 Plug-in Hybrid is able to take advantage of the electric powertrain to either start the air conditioner and have the vehicle's cabin reach a preset temperature before the passengers get in or to preheat the vehicle including the seats, steering wheel, armrests in the doors and center console. Also standard on the flagship sedan are LED headlights and tail lights, leather upholstery, COMAND Online, touchpad, dual-zone automatic climate control, Memory package for driver and front passenger seats, ambient lighting in seven colors and air suspension AIRMATIC with continuously variable damping system. A seven-speed automatic transmission will be standard on the S550 Plug-in Hybrid and while EPA estimates for fuel economy are still unavailable, it will return 2.8 l/100 km on the European cycle. That is equal to a staggering 84 MPG, but those numbers will also drop considerably under the stricter U.S. EPA tests. For example, the Toyota Prius (non-plug-in hybrid) is rated for a combined 3.9 l/100 km or just over 60 MPG according to the European test cycle, but American tests render a 50 MPG average rating. Other performance specifications that were revealed include a 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time of 5.2 seconds and a standard top speed of 130 mph. In all-electric mode, the S550 Plug-in Hybrid will top out at 87 mph.
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