2010 Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid
The 2010 Mercedes Benz S400 Hybrid represents a departure from other hybrid models. Specifically regarding pricing. Most hybrid models carry a premium over non-hybrids in the lineup of vehicles, but not so with the S400 Hybrid. This vehicle, technically the entry level S Class comes in at $88,825, a price that undercuts the next least expensive S Class by $4,000.
Though no S Class should really be considered entry level, the pricing indicates Mercedes is intent on making hybrids relatively affordable. But the S400 offers more than just an attractive price to luxury car buyers.
The S400 comes with the same freshened exterior look as seen on other S Class models for 2010. The only elements that set the hybrid apart from the rest of the model lineup is discreet hybrid badges on the rear and BlueEfficiency badges on the front quarter panels
Unlike most hybrid models, the S400 comes with a lithium-ion battery that is small enough to fit into the engine compartment. The 120 volt li-ion battery only outputs .9 kilowatt hours, but still makes a difference at fill up time. Due to its small size and engine compartment location, the battery does not rob interior or cargo space from the vehicle. The battery has a steel housing and its own individual cooling unit to keep it protected. Additionally, it is isolated from road shock via a gel pad located underneath. The small battery size limits the S400 to mild hybrid status meaning it does not move out on electricity alone.
The Mercedes hybrid setup utilizes a 20 hp magneto electric motor mounted in the torque converter housing between the engine and transmission. Its capable of putting out 118 lb-ft. of torque and acts to aid the gasoline engine under hard acceleration. The 3.5 liter V6 outputs 275 hp and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. Combined, the electric motor and gas fed engine perform on par with the S 550 which sports a much larger engine. However, the S400 overs a 30 percent improvement in gas mileage and is rated at 19 city, 26 highway.