Super saloon - and

super frugal

Mercedes-Benz S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID, profile
Mercedes-Benz S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID

IT'S one of the most advanced saloon cars in the world - and it can top the ton for miles per gallon.

What's more, it boasts ultra low emissions of 65g/km, is exempt from road tax, free of congestion charging and yet can rocket from zero to 62 in just five seconds and hit 155mph.

Sounds like the most desirable car on the road. Only problem is the Mercedes S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID will set you back a princely £87,965.

That's the starting price for this latest S-Class which in the UK will be offered in long wheelbase form and be subject to a Benefit-in-Kind rate of just five per cent.

The model's equipment is based on the conventional S 500 L AMG Line and among the highlights fitted as standard are 19-inch AMG alloy wheels, AMG body styling for the front and rear bumpers, the LED intelligent light system, COMAND Online, noise insulating glass, leather upholstery and a front seat memory package.

Powered by a V6 biturbo petrol engine producing 333bhp and an electric motor developing 116bhp, the S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID generates a total of 442bhp and 650 Nm of pulling power.

Despite this savage performance, the luxury Benz can travel more than 20 miles on purely electrical power.

Based on the steel and aluminium chassis of the conventional S-Class, the PLUG-IN HYBRID is the third hybrid model in the line-up, following on from the S 300 BlueTEC and S 400 hybrid variants.

But unlike its predecessors, the 8.7 kWh lithium-ion batteries can be topped up using external charging devices such as fast chargers, a full charge on a typical public power point taking around two hours.

Mercedes says the technology in the S 500 ensures as little energy as possible is wasted - the COMAND system looking ahead of where the car's travelling to predict where energy can be recuperated, like on downhill sections.

Similarly the car will look to regenerate as much power as possible in advance of entering urban areas where the electric-only driving mode can be deployed.

Comfort features available include a choice of seven different ambient interior colours, seats that can replicate a hot stone massage as well as either heating or cooling you, seatbelt-mounted airbags, a perfume diffuser system called Air Balance that also cleans the air entering the cabin, gently heated armrests and Magic Body Control - which uses stereo cameras to read the road ahead and iron out any imperfections through making tiny alterations to the suspension system.

First production of the car starts next month with deliveries in the UK due in late November.

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