Mercedes-Benz Vision S 500 Plug-in HYBRID Concept - First Official Details

Mercedes-Benz Vision S 500 Plug-in Hybrid Concept - hi res
Mercedes-Benz Vision S 500 Plug-in Hybrid Concept - hi res

Exclusive first details

A WCF source has sent us exclusive information about the Mercedes Vision S 500 plug-in hybrid.

Set to be officially unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the concept will feature a V6 petrol engine connected to an advanced lithium-ion battery that has a storage capacity of more than 10 kWh. This unique setup will allow the S-Class to travel up to 30km (18.6 miles) on electricity alone. When the battery is depleted, the 44 kW (60 hp) hybrid module will activate the petrol engine. While the specifics are still kind of murky, the car will rocket from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.5 seconds.

In terms of efficiency, the Vision S 500 plug-in hybrid will consume just 3.2L/100km (73.5 mpg) while emitting 74 grams of CO2/100km. This easily beats the Fisker Karma's estimated rating of 3.5L/100km (67.2 mpg) and 83 grams of CO2/km.

According to Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, "The Vision S 500 HYBRID is a new milestone on our path toward zero-emission mobility. It is a luxurious and safe S-Class vehicle that offers superior driving performance while at the same time consuming less fuel than current compacts. All of this shows that our top models will also be able to combine automotive fascination with responsibility for the environment."

Look for more information to be released when the car officially debuts in Frankfurt.

Source: Daimler

Near series-production S?Class technology vehicle with plug-in hybrid

Mercedes-Benz Vision S 500 Plug-in HYBRID

The luxury class on the road to the three-litre car

Shortly after the successful market launch of the S 400 HYBRID, currently the most fuel-efficient luxury-segment saloon with a petrol engine, Mercedes-Benz will be presenting the first "three-litre car" in the premium class - the Vision S 500 Plug-in HYBRID - at the 63rd IAA in Frankfurt. The technology vehicle will display the future of Mercedes-Benz' modular set of hybrid systems. The Vision S 500 Plug-in HYBRID can drive for up to 30 kilometres solely on electricity and therefore without producing any local emissions. The efficient drive system combined with the CO2 bonus for the battery-electric driving mode enables the vehicle to achieve a certified consumption of only 3.2 litres of petrol per 100 kilometers. With CO2 emissions of only 74 grams per kilometre in the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle), the experimental vehicle developed in Sindelfingen demonstrates the long-term viability of future S?Class generations. The outstanding values are made possible by the combination of a plug-in hybrid with the efficiency-boosting BlueEFFICIENCY measures. At the same time, the Vision S 500 Plug-in HYBRID has all of the strengths that are typical of the S?Class: top comfort, outstanding safety and masterful performance. The drive system in the concept car consists of three main components: a powerful V6 petrol engine with a next-generation direct injection system, a 44 kW/60 hp hybrid module and a lithium-ion battery with more than 10 kWh of storage capacity that can be recharged at charging stations. The Vision S 500 Plug-in HYBRID accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.5 seconds.

"The Vision 500 Plug-in HYBRID is a new milestone on our path toward zero-emission mobility," says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. "It is a luxurious and safe S?Class that offers superior driving performance while at the same time consuming less fuel than current compacts. All of this shows that our top models will also be able to combine automotive fascination with responsibility for the environment."

"Although it will take some time before this model can go into series production, our engineers will be working full steam to carry out the necessary integration measures and ensure that all components can meet the tough everyday demands required of a luxury long-distance saloon," says Dr. Thomas Weber, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG with responsibility for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. "We've already got all the key technology we need for such a dream car, which is why I see it being included in the next generation of the S?Class. The important thing now is that our development work be accompanied by the establishment of a full-coverage infrastructure that will allow the potential of this innovative drive system to be fully exploited."

The electrical drive components of the Vision S 500 Plug-in HYBRID demonstrate the versatility of Mercedes-Benz' intelligently organised set of hybrid systems, which has a widely scalable range of performance. The hybrid module's design does not differ much from the compact, disc-shaped 15-kW electric motor of the S 400 HYBRID, even though it is three times as powerful. As a result, the hybrid module can be elegantly incorporated into the housing of the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission, allowing this model variant as well as the S 400 HYBRID to retain the S?Class' spacious interior. Future model generations will orient themselves on this system architecture.

Vision S 500 Plug-in HYBRID: Compact full hybrid system architecture

Whereas the extremely compact lithium-ion battery in the S 400 HYBRID (0.9 kWh) can be housed in the vehicle's engine compartment, the significantly higher-performing lithium-ion unit in the Vision S 500 Plug-in HYBRID (over 10 kWh) requires more installation space. The battery is located behind the rear seats in the boot. The lithium-ion battery's location above the rear axle provides crucial benefits, since it ensures that the vehicle has a balanced weight distribution and that the petrol tank remains adequate for long-distance cruising. In addition, the protected position of the tank ensures it is as safe as possible during crashes.

Additional clutch decouples the hybrid module and combustion engine

In accordance with the modular concept, the powertrain design for the Vision S 500 Plug-in HYBRID is basically the same as that for the S 400 HYBRID. One system-specific attribute is the presence of an additional clutch integrated between the combustion engine and the electric motor. This device decouples the two components in the pure electric drive mode, thereby ensuring the highest level of efficiency in the latter. Moreover, because it is fully integrated into the vehicle's converter housing, the clutch does not take up any additional space.

Electrical outlet as a filling station: Powerful plug-in battery

Another key difference between the S 500 Plug-in HYBRID and conventional hybrids involves the plug-in battery, which can be charged at charging stations, thereby enabling the S 500 Plug-in HYBRID to travel up to 30 kilometres on electric power. The rapid charge cycle takes less than 60 minutes with a charging capactiy of 20 kW. A standard charge cycle at a conventional household socket with 3,3 kW takes about four-and-a-half hours to recharge a completely discharged battery.

The model is also equipped with a compact onboard charger: Housed behind the side boot wall, this unit controls the recharging process and is protected against short circuits, voltage reversal, and voltage surges. The charging system also protects the battery by monitoring voltage, the charging level and charging time. The total weight of the electrical components in the current experimental vehicle is 215 kilograms, whereby the lithium-ion battery weighs approximately 130 kg. That's much less than a conventional NiMH battery with the same capacity, as the weight of such batteries ranges from 180 - 200 kg.

The vehicle's hybrid module also provides additional energy when the car is in motion through regenerative braking - the recovery of energy when braking. Here, the clutch enhances efficiency as well, as it enables complete energy regeneration without engine drag losses.

Range of up to 30 kilometres with all-electric driving

The high-performance battery and the 44 kW/60 hp hybrid module enable the vehicle to drive up to 30 kilometres purely on electricity. That is completely sufficient for many trips within cities, where the Vision S 500 Plug-in HYBRID is quick and very comfortable without producing any local emissions. The petrol engine automatically adds its power to that of the electric motor when travelling at high speeds or driving up steep inclines. Before closing the clutch in such cases, the vehicle electronics synchronises the engine speed with the hybrid module's rotational speed so that the engine is activated extremely smoothly without the driver noticing.

What's more, the hybrid module's sophisticated interplay with the combustion engine enables numerous additional functions that positively impact fuel consumption, emissions and vehicle agility. Like the system employed in the S 400 HYBRID, the hybrid module in the Vision S 500 Plug-in HYBRID also comes with the ECO start/stop function. This feature also enhances safety and driving pleasure because of its boost effect, which has the electric motor providing powerful support to the combustion engine during the high-consumption acceleration phase. This system has already proved its practical viability in a slightly different configuration in the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.

Extensive electronic safety and control components

The lithium-ion battery not only serves as an energy storage device for the electric motor in the S 500 Plug-in HYBRID; it is also linked via a DC-DC converter to the 12-volt on-board network, which provides power to standard consumers such as the headlamps and various comfort devices. To ensure a consistently high level of electrical efficiency, the voltage transformers are water-cooled via an additional low-temperature circuit.

Special power electronics are required for operating the three-phase AC electric motor in the high-voltage direct current grid, and the inverter for this task is housed in the engine compartment. Because the power electronics system itself is heated by the electric current thus created, it too is integrated into the low-temperature cooling circuit. Mercedes-Benz employs standardised components for the power electronics system as well, enabling them to be efficiently combined with different electric motors and battery types across all model series.

On the road to plug-in hybrids: Diesel-hybrid concepts

An important milestone on the road to plug-in hybrids is the recently unveiled Vision E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID diesel hybrid. Like the S 400 HYBRID and the Vision S 500 Plug-in HYBRID, it is based on the Mercedes-Benz modular hybrid concept. This near-series vehicle study combines a new 2.2-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine with the 15 kW/20 hp hybrid module that is also used in the S 400 HYBRID, but which here also enables pure electric driving. This drive system configuration enables the Vision E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID to travel 100 km on only 4.5 litres of fuel (preliminary value). This corresponds to CO2 emissions of 119 grams per kilometre with an output of 165 kW/224 hp and superior torque of 580 - 600 newtonmetres (combined in both cases), more or less the same performance as today's six-cylinder diesel engines. Exhaust gas treatment is handled by the combination of an oxidizing catalytic converter, a diesel particulate filter and BlueTEC mit AdBlue® injection. The Vision E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID thus also has the potential to meet the world's most stringent emission standards.

Vision S 500 Plug-in HYBRID - Technical data

Combustion engine (petrol)  
No. of cylinders/arrangement:        V6, 4 valves per cylinder
Displacement:                              3.5 l
Hybrid module  
Type:                                               Permanently excited synchronous machine
Rated output:                                   approx. 44 kW/60 PS
Rated torque:                                   250 Nm
Performance and fuel consumption  
Acceleration 0 - 100 km/h:                5.5 s*
Top speed:                                           250 km/h
Fuel consumption:                          3.2 l/100 km (combined)*
CO2 emissions:                                  74 g/km (combined):
*preliminary values

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Comments (19)

It has still an engine, so why no tailpipes?
Sep 11th, 2009 4:29am
0 0
unknownuser unknownuser
Plugging these beasts into the US power-grid fueled 50% by coal is a truth the PR guys in Germany and the politicians both in the US/Europe won't be sharing with the public at any future car show. The total CO2 emmissions on these "green" cars will be far greater than advertised by these manufacturers.
Sep 10th, 2009 3:27am
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arash84v arash84v
I agree with CDspeed.....
Sep 10th, 2009 2:26am
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scratchy996 scratchy996
poor GM , they thought their Volt will be something special when it comes out , but now everyone is building serial hybrids and the Volt isn't even out yet.
Sep 10th, 2009 1:52am
0 0
2010S5 2010S5
If this is a hybrid why does it have the body of a pre-facelift S class
Sep 10th, 2009 1:46am
0 0
ExoticCarOwner ExoticCarOwner
I noticed that aswell.
Sep 10th, 2009 4:56am
0 0
BrianWCF BrianWCF
Official photos added to article.
Sep 10th, 2009 1:33am
0 0
norther norther
bbbbbaaaaaaaallloonnnnyyy. im so sick of this green c.ap
Sep 10th, 2009 1:05am
0 0
CDspeed CDspeed
So it's the BMW Vision EfficienctDynamics Concept at 75.1mpg, the S-class plug-in concept gets 73.5mpg, and the Fisker is now bringing up the rear at 67.2mpg. I'll take the BMW the S-class is great but it's not a new design. Even though I love all three.
Sep 9th, 2009 11:00pm
0 0
cnpgs cnpgs
Remember, though, that the S-Class is a heavy luxury saloon, while the BMW concept is alight 'coupe' sort of car...so the Merc system is probably more efficient: the 1.6mpg difference is small to start with. As to the future of propulsion of automobiles...I think hybrid is a good system if used well. However, hydrogen-powered cars will also prove to be a solution. However, I'm still waiting for the first diesel-hybrid and the DiesOtto engine...those, I think, will be great system too.
Sep 10th, 2009 3:32am
0 0
scratchy996 scratchy996
i think they stopped working on the DiesOtto.
Sep 10th, 2009 6:07am
0 0
benz_man benz_man
They've invested a lot of money in HCCI, I doubt the DiesOtto is through. Financial constraints may have slowed Mercedes R&D down a bit, but HCCI engines are only a few more years away and will enhance efficiency considerably. Interestingly, GM may beat Mercedes to the punch.
Sep 11th, 2009 9:12am
0 0
Prince_Ash Prince_Ash
Sep 9th, 2009 10:51pm
0 0
PeterRdrgz PeterRdrgz
Love it. Hybrids are the future.
Sep 9th, 2009 10:47pm
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Shyne Shyne
no. electric cars are. if you live in a city hybrid is great, but if you dont have that much stop and go + long distances a diesel is way better. still waiting for a diesel-hybrid or mercs diesotto..
Sep 9th, 2009 11:18pm
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nederina nederina
i rather have the S 250 CDI instead if i want to go green. skip the hybrid and go for elctrice, at the meantime.. diesels
Sep 10th, 2009 12:12am
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sideskraper sideskraper
The problem with diesels are that no stereo that you could possibly fit into a car could ever drown out the KLACK KLACK KLACK KLACK KLACK KLACK of the engine. If my car is going to draw attention to myself, I'd rather be from a hot girl in the passenger seat or failing that great styling, not the click klack sound of a diesel engine.
Sep 10th, 2009 12:36am
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afterace2 afterace2
maybe it's something wrong with me, but I actually like the sound of a diesel engine :)
Sep 10th, 2009 4:38pm
0 0
benz_man benz_man
sideskraper, you should drive a "modern" diesel...
Sep 11th, 2009 9:06am
0 0