Shortly after the successful market launch of the S 400 Hybrid, currently the most fuel-efficient luxury-segment sedan with a gasoline engine, Mercedes-Benz will be presenting the first "three-liter car" in the premium class - the Vision S 500 Plug-in Hybrid - at the 63rd Frankfurt Auto Show.
The 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 30km solely on electricity 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 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers. With CO2 emissions of only 74g/km in the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle), the experimental vehicle demonstrates the long-term viability of 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: comfort, safety and performance. The drive system in the concept car consists of three main components: a powerful V6 gasoline engine with a next-generation direct-injection system, a 44kW/60hp hybrid module and a lithium-ion battery with more than 10kWh of storage capacity that can be recharged at charging stations. The Vision S 500 Plug-in Hybrid accelerates from 0-62mph 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. "Although it will take some time before this model can go into series production, our engineers will be working to carry out the necessary integration measures and ensure all components can meet the demands of a luxury long-distance sedan." The electrical drive components of the Vision S 500 Plug-in Hybrid demonstrate the versatility of Mercedes-Benz’ hybrid systems, which has a scalable range of performance. The hybrid module’s design does not differ much from the compact, disc-shaped 15kW electric motor of the S 400 Hybrid, even though it is three times as powerful.
Whereas the compact lithium-ion battery in the S 400 Hybrid (0.9kWh) can be housed in the vehicle’s engine compartment, the higher-performing lithium-ion unit in the Vision S 500 Plug-in Hybrid (over 10kWh) requires more installation space. The battery is located behind the rear seats in the trunk. The location above the rear axle provides crucial benefits, since it ensures that the vehicle has a balanced weight distribution and that the gasoline tank remains adequate for long-distance cruising. In addition, the protected position of the tank ensures it is as safe as possible during crashes.
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 electric motor. This device decouples the two components in the pure electric drive mode, ensuring the highest level of efficiency.
Another key difference between the S 500 Plug-in Hybrid and conventional hybrids involves the plug-in battery, which can be charged at stations, enabling the S 500 Plug-in Hybrid to travel up to 30km on electric power.
The rapid charge cycle takes less than 60 minutes with a charging capactiy of 20kW. A standard charge cycle at a conventional household socket with 3.3kW takes about 4.5 hours to recharge a completely discharged battery.
The model is also equipped with a compact onboard charger: Housed behind the side trunk wall, it controls the recharging process and is protected against short circuits, voltage reversal and surges. The charging system also protects the battery by monitoring voltage, charging level and charging time.
The vehicle’s hybrid module also provides additional energy when the car is in motion through regenerative braking. 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.
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-prduction study combines a new 2.2-liter, four-cylinder diesel engine with the 15kW/20hp hybrid module that is also used in the S 400 Hybrid, but which also enables pure electric driving. This system enables the Vision E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid to travel 100km on only 4.5 liters of fuel. This corresponds to CO2 emissions of 119g/kmwith an output of 224hp - 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 with AdBlue injection.