The National Motorists Association blog sums up the 2017 Mercedes-Benz S550e this way: "Beyond sumptuous. A Taj Mahal that rolls. The 550e is the hybrid version of Mercedes’ S-Class uber sedan. It’s basically the same chariot-of-the-gods as the S550, but instead of a turbocharged V8, there’s an electrically-boosted twin-turbo V6. The reason here isn’t so much saving gas – the overall difference in MPGs is only about 5 MPG – but rather to extend the lease on life for cars like this, which are being targeted for termination in das Heimat (that’s Germany) and other EU countries, where there are already IC engine No-Go zones. Where it is illegal to operate a car that isn’t a “zero emissions” car. Only electric cars – and hybrids that can operate for a while as electric cars – qualify. Hence the 550e."
Confronted with new government standards mandating alternative fuel driving modes, European car manufacturers have begun to create "e" versions of all their models. It's a certainty that it in next 3 to 6 years, Mercedes-Benz will be adding hybrid choices to all their popular lines. The S550e is one of the first.
The luxury sedan accelerates from 0 to 60 in 5.2 seconds and has a top speed of 130 mph. Its all-electric range is around 20 miles and it has an electric-only maximum speed of 68 mph. Its combined gas and electric range is around 450 miles. The 5-seat hybrid comes with a standard self-driving feature and wireless 3G internet access via a wireless hotspot.
The S550e plug-in hybrid features several drive modes, including Hybrid, E-Save, and Charge. Hybrid is the most efficient. Employed with the E+ transmission mode, the car’s radar system begins recuperating battery charge more strongly when approaching another car from behind. The gas pedal gives the driver’s accelerator foot a haptic buzz when it’s prudent to lift. The E-Save mode runs the gas engine just enough to keep the battery at its current state of charge, while the Charge mode fires up the V-6 more extensively to top off the battery.
Car And Driver says of the interior: “The cabin is an oasis of luxury and comfort. A vast array of telemetrics and assistance systems makes sure the driver is safe, pampered and fully informed.” As part of its facelift for 2017, the S550e can be installed with optional Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging – the first commercial application of a WEVC system on a hybrid. The available WEVC will be supplied by a Tier 1 power electronics company that has licensed Qualcomm Halo technology. S550e hybrids equipped with the wireless charging option can park over a special charging pad to begin powering up. Halo uses resonant magnetic induction to transmit energy, a process that’s comparable to conductive charging’s 90-percent efficiency rating, according to Qualcomm.
The base model starts at around $95,325.
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