Mercedes has unveiled a facelift for its flagship S Class sedan, along with its first lithium-ion-backed S400 Hybrid model, according to the UK's Car magazine.
The visual clues for the new model are slight. They include a more aggressive, arrow-shaped grille design, along with a chrome strip on the front bumper beneath the air intakes, and standard bi-xenon headlights. Inside, the car features a 6.5-inch color display, an upgraded COMMAND system, and Zagat restaurant reviews on board.
The S400 Hybrid's powertrain mates a 275-horsepower 3.5-liter V6, a small electric motor that contributes 20 hp and 18 lb-ft of torque, and a seven-speed automatic transmission. The car is expected to average 29 mpg on the combined EPA cycle--a stunning figure for such a large, heavy vehicle.
Even so, I'm still more excited about the smaller, clean diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTEC model that debuted in New York at the auto show last week. If Mercedes decides to build that one, it would be much more attainable than the S400 Hybrid, which goes on sale this August in the U.S. for an as-yet-unannounced price somewhere around the $100k mark. (The non-hybrid S Class starts at $88k.)
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