luxury-class, no, what we mean is the price, to be more precise, the price comparison with a 'normal' petrol driven car. In this case, the long saloon with a V8-engine costs exactly the same amount as a V6 with an additional electric motor which gives 85 kW (116 HP), has a 13,5 kWh Li-Io battery and all the controlling- and charging electronics. As far as the standard equipped cars are concerned, each one has it's favourable differences.
Can one here, really believe in the equality of the offer, or has Daimler either consciously pushed the price of the V8 higher or set the price of the V6 more reasonably? In the end of course, they both arrive at the same system-performance, whereby the plug-in carries 200 kg more weight, 114 kg for the battery alone. This is where it's obvious, just how much more expensive material has been used here.
An interview with Audi boss, Stadler, may throw some light on the situation in which the manufacturers of larger and more luxurious vehicles find themselves. When asked, whether he feels sufficiently supported by politics in the aim for achieving the target set for 2020, of 95g/km, he pointed out, that one probably depends more on the consumer, than on politics. If the consumer doesn't accept the electric- or hybrid technology, in particular the more ambitious targets, after 2020, will hardly be able to be realised.
This is why Daimler boss, Zetsche, announced a plug-in-hybrid initiative for 10 vehicles of the Group until 2017, starting with the largest and most expensive, right down to the more reasonable models. Indeed, whether the B-Class, widely considered because of its price and the amount of space offered, will be among them, has unfortunately, been left open. In addition, it would also appear that a price-restraint is in force, something unusual at Mercedes.
Let's move on to the innovations in the new plug-in S-Class. The system-performance can be seen in the specifications shown above. An RPM-max. has even been stipulated for the electric motor. The NEDC-values can only be accepted for the first 100 km, then you can either believe them or not. It is clear, that with this car, one can either drive for 33 km or one can drive at a speed of 140 km/h. In this respect, there are probably no real hidden innovations.
There are however, the foresighted features. The distance to the car ahead is not only used for the cruise-control but also informs, through the accelerator pedal, the less concentrated driver of the situation. It starts off by trembling slightly, giving the driver a reminder in good time, to ease off into a more consumption-favourable mode. Nearly just as important, is the planning of recuperation phases, which succeed better because of the foresighted sensors. Thus the navigation-system can also help, to ensure that there is sufficient electric energy available when driving through the next town. 10/14