Judging by how long we waited to get a clear shot of the Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-in Hybrid, you’d have thought hybrid cars were only driven by Terminators and that the technology arrived only 48 hours ago through a wormhole in the Mercedes stand. The newest member of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class hybrid band – joining the S400 Hybrid and S350 BlueTEC Hybrid, it hits notes like a 5.5-second sprint from standstill to 62 miles per hour, up to 19 miles of ion-powered running and uses three liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers in Europe (78.41 mpg US, but our mpg test cycle is different than their mpg test cycle).
The lump up front is a turbocharged, 3.0-liter V6, the lump in back – note the reduction in trunk space – is a pack of lithium-ion batteries that juice an 80-kilowatt electric motor. Other than having four drive options for controlling electric drive and battery usage, it’s all S-Class all the time, with leather-covered everything and those mountainous thrones that bring to mind words like “Archduke” and “Papal.”
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Frankfurt: 2014 Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-in Hybrid for fat cats frugal with fuel