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Early 2015 launch for Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-In Hybrid, C-Class Plug-in Hybrid to follow

Green-car fans with chauffeurs will be happy to know that the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-In Hybrid is slated to go on sale in the United States next year.

During a roundtable interview at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Daimler’s R&D chief for Mercedes, told Green Car Reports that the S-Class Plug-in Hybrid will hit showrooms in Europe later this year, and will make it to the U.S. in early 2015. That’s around the same time as the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrid.

Announced last summer, the S500 Plug-in Hybrid features a 328hp 3.0-liter turbocharged gasoline inline-six and and a 80kW electric motor, which combine to get the car from 0 to 60mph in 5.5 seconds. Electricity comes from a lithium-ion battery pack, which provides 19 miles of range on the European cycle. Expect US-cycle efficiency numbers to be a little lower.

The big news, however, is that Mercedes will follow up the S500 Plug-in Hybrid with a C-Class Plug-in Hybrid, with an electric-only range closer to 31 miles. Mercedes will offer a plug-in and a normal hybrid, both of which will be based on the redesigned 2015 C-Class unveiled last week in Detroit.

The C-Class Plug-in Hybrid may use the same powertrain as the bigger S500 Plug-in Hybrid, as Mercedes attempts to modularize components used in its rear-wheel drive sedans.

Meanwhile, Mercedes will launch a C300 BlueTEC diesel-hybrid in Europe later this year.
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