Mercedes-Benz is launching an innovative S400 HYBRID model for the 2010 model year. Featuring V8-like power, the S400 HYBRID comes with the world's first lithium-ion battery designed specifically for automotive use. The light-weight, high-capacity lithium-ion battery works with a 20-horsepower electric motor and a 275-hp V6 gasoline engine to provide hybrid power with impressive fuel economy estimated at 30 miles per gallon on the highway.
The company's flagship sedan, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is viewed in many circles as the finest car in the world. The S400 HYBRID joins the restyled 2010 S-Class line, which includes the 382-hp V8-powered S550 and all-wheel-drive S550 4MATIC as well as the high-performance 518-hp S63 AMG. V12 cars include the 510-hp S600 and the 604-hp S65 AMG.
All 2010 S-Class Sedans Feature Freshened Styling
All S-Class sedans for 2010 feature freshened styling that includes a more streamlined front grille, larger outside mirrors and a new front bumper with a chrome strip below the air intakes. New active bi-xenon headlights include LED turn signals along the lower edge.
All S-Class models except the S400 HYBRID now come with LED daytime running lights on each side of the bumper. Other exterior changes include LED tail lights and exhaust outlets integrated within a recontoured rear bumper.
Inside, the 2010 S-Class comes with an upgraded wood / premium-leather steering wheel. Standard ambient lighting can be selected in three hues – polar (ice-blue), neutral (white) and solar (amber). A rear-seat entertainment system is now also available.
Six New Safety Features
The 2010 S-Class sedan incorporates six new and potentially life-saving safety features that include ATTENTION ASSIST, Lane-Keeping Assist, Nightview Assist Plus with pedestrian detection, Adaptive Highbeam Assist and PRE-SAFE Brake – now with full 100-percent braking in emergencies. The ABC active suspension now also incorporates a new crosswind stabilization system.
Among its many features is the innovative ATTENTION ASSIST system (standard on all S-Class models except the new S400 HYBRID) that can alert the driver to the first signs of drowsiness, a factor that causes more than 100,000 accidents a year in the U.S. A steering sensor is coupled to smart software that uses 70 parameters to establish a unique driver profile during the first 20 minutes of driving. Between 50 and 112 mph, the system identifies the erratic steering corrections drivers make as they begin to get drowsy and triggers an audible warning, and a "Time for a rest?" message with a coffee cup icon appears in the instrument cluster.
More New Safety Systems Assist the Driver
Other examples of trailblazing innovations include: Lane Keeping Assist, which alerts the driver by simulating rumble strip vibrations in the steering wheel if the car drifts from its lane without the turn signals on. At speeds above 37 mph, the system recognizes lane markings, thanks to a multi-purpose camera in the windshield and a computer that analyzes the images.
Adaptive Highbeam Assist uses the same camera to detect both headlights and taillights, then softly and automatically transitions between high and low beams to avoid dazzling other drivers. With this system, the range of the headlights can be infinitely varied from 220 feet to up to 1,000 feet.
Night View Assist PLUS can now allow a driver to see pedestrians up to 325 feet earlier than before. When the system recognizes pedestrians, they appear in the display with an outlined frame highlighting each person. In contrast to passive systems that rely on thermal imaging, this active system bathes the road ahead with invisible infra-red light from two beams mounted in the headlights. Extending the driver's ability to see ahead to nearly 500 feet, Night View Assist PLUS uses an infra-red camera in the windshield and displays the reflected images as highly detailed black & white video images in the instrument cluster.
PRE-SAFE® Brake Can Automatically Apply 100 Percent Braking in Emergencies
All cars equipped with the radar-based DISTRONIC PLUS system reap the benefit of another revolutionary Mercedes-Benz safety feature – PRE-SAFE® Brake. To reduce accident severity, the latest version of PRE-SAFE Brake applies full braking automatically in emergencies.
When PRE-SAFE Brake senses an impending collision with the help of DISTRONIC PLUS, the system sounds three warning tones. About 1.6 seconds before impact is likely, partial braking is automatically initiated, and PRE-SAFE occupant protection measures are activated. If the driver still fails to react, full-power braking is initiated about 0.6 seconds before the collision, reducing the impact and effectively acting as an "electronic crumple zone."
PRE-SAFE Brake builds on the original PRE-SAFE system that Mercedes-Benz launched on the S-Class sedan in 2002. Standard on all S-Class models, the "basic" PRE-SAFE® system automatically tightens the front seat belts during those valuable seconds just before a possible impact, and the front passenger seat (and optional power rear seats) move to positions that can provide better protection. If the system senses an impending rollover, the sunroof closes as well. Side windows also close to provide better support for the window curtain air bags, and special seat cushions can inflate to provide greater lateral support for occupants and to help the side air bags provide even better collision protection.
The Distronic Plus system also includes Blind Spot Assist, which monitors both blind spots behind the vehicle. Whenever a turn signal is activated with a vehicle in the blind spot, the driver gets visual and audible warnings.
The radar-based Distronic Plus also makes possible a new feature as part of the Parktronic system – Parking Guidance, which utilizes six radar sensors mounted behind the front and rear bumpers. At low speeds, the system scans available parking spaces and displays a "P" in the dash if the car will fit in the space. When the car's in reverse, Parking Guidance displays a top-view pictogram of the car and provides helpful steering guidance.
For the 2010 model year, S-Class models with ABC active suspension come with a new crosswind stabilization feature that's part of the ABC system software. If the car is affected by a crosswind, in a split-second, the ABC system uses its suspension servo pistons at each wheel strut to change wheel load distribution and stabilize the car. The ABC crosswind stabilization feature depends on networked signals from the ESC yaw and lateral-acceleration sensors.
Also new for the 2010 model year, Direct-steer uses variable-ratio gearing in the steering rack to provide impressive on-center steering feel, with even higher responsiveness beyond the first five degrees of steering angle. In contrast to the electronics of ATTENTION ASSIST, Direct-steer is purely a mechanical system that reduces steering input during cornering and in low-speed maneuvers such as parking.
Standard on all S-Class models except the new S400 HYBRID, a new Torque Vectoring feature within the ESC stability control system is specifically designed to sharpen steering response during spirited driving. When sharp, aggressive steering inputs from the driver are sensed, brief braking pulses at the inside rear wheel help pivot the vehicle and improve active handling response.
30 Percent Better Fuel Economy with S400 HYBRID
The new Mercedes-Benz S400 HYBRID uses a 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine, a magneto-electric motor and sophisticated hybrid electronics to produce 30 percent better fuel economy than a comparable S550 model. Not only does the electric motor make 20 horsepower, but it also produces an impressive starting torque of 118 lb.-ft., while the gasoline engine develops 275 hp and 258 lb.-ft. of torque.
A powerful computer controls the hybrid system, recalculating the best operating mode 160 times a second. Capable of up to 50 million calculations per second, the system works to maintain an ideal balance between fuel economy and performance.
The 120-volt lithium-ion battery weighs less than most other batteries and takes up less space, but has high energy density for its size. As a result, it can be installed in the engine compartment, so the car's ample trunk capacity and spacious interior are not affected. The lithium-ion battery has a high-strength steel housing, a separate cooling circuit, and its cells sit in a special gel that dampens any jolts and vibration.
Characterized as a "mild hybrid," the S400 HYBRID's gasoline engine and electric motor work together for responsive performance, and its driveline includes a specially configured seven-speed automatic transmission, a transformer to power the 12-volt vehicle system and intelligent operating electronics. The disc-shaped electric motor is mounted in the torque converter housing, between the engine and transmission.
The hybrid system includes a convenient start-stop function that turns off the gasoline engine below nine mph when braking to a stop. When the S400 HYBRID is at a traffic light, for example, the gasoline engine is off, but the AC compressor and steering pump are operated electrically, so air conditioning and power steering are fully operational. When the brakes are released, the gasoline engine is started automatically, and works with the electric motor for seamless performance.
During braking, the electric motor acts as a generator, recovering kinetic energy and storing it in the lithium-ion battery. Under heavy braking, the vehicle's conventional brakes also come into play. Recovered energy is stored in the battery and re-used whenever the electric motor is running.
Hybrids Ideal For Atkinson-Cycle Engine
Mercedes-Benz engineers optimized the 3.5-liter V6 engine for good fuel economy by taking advantage of the Atkinson principle. By delaying the closing of each intake valve, the intake stroke effectively becomes longer than the compression stroke, increasing thermal efficiency, which reduces fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.
Although Atkinson engines inherently produce less low-speed torque and throttle response, they are ideal for hybrid vehicles because the electric motor compensates for this disadvantage by working with the V6 to provide excellent throttle response on acceleration. The Atkinson-cycle V6 engine has different cylinder heads, pistons and camshafts as well as modified variable valve timing control and a low-load oil pump for good fuel economy.
No Sacrifice in Convenience or Roominess
The S400 HYBRID has the same interior room, luxury and convenience features as other S-Class vehicles. The new model is differentiated by unique seven-twin-spoke 18-inch wheels and HYBRID logos on the trunk lid and dash as well as BlueEfficency badging on the front fenders. A special hybrid pictogram within the speedometer shows the energy flow, energy recovery and battery charge.
Distronic Plus Helps in Stop-and-Go Traffic
The DISTRONIC PLUS adaptive cruise control system uses radar sensors to help maintain a pre-set following distance behind the vehicle ahead. The latest system can actually brake the car to a full stop and accelerate it again. DISTRONIC PLUS works at speeds up to 125 mph and can be especially helpful in stop-and-go traffic.
Short-range 24-gigahertz radar sweeps the first 33 yards in a fan-shaped 80-degree pattern, working in tandem with a narrower nine-degree beam of 77-gigahertz radar. The two radar frequencies complement each other to cover a full range of more than 160 yards – more than 1½ football fields. During approval of the 24-gigahertz radar frequency, government agencies cited its potential to improve traffic safety, reduce injuries and ultimately save lives.
Brake Assist Now Teams Up With Distronic Plus
In the early 1990s, Mercedes-Benz engineers conducting simulator tests discovered that many drivers don't push the brake pedal hard enough in emergencies, a discovery that led to the development of Brake Assist, standard equipment on all Mercedes-Benz vehicles since late 1990s. Brake Assist has proven itself a million times over, and tests show that vehicles equipped with Brake Assist are involved in 26 percent fewer accidents!
On the latest S-Class equipped with Distronic Plus, the Brake Assist Plus system not only supplies braking assist in emergencies as soon as the driver applies the brake pedal, but also measures the distance to the vehicle ahead and adjusts brake pressure if the driver doesn't brake hard enough. While conventional Brake Assist is only triggered by the speed of the brake pedal, Brake Assist Plus also considers the closing speed to the vehicle ahead based on radar signals from Distronic Plus.
The Industry's First Adaptive Brake Lights
The S600 and S65 AMG models are equipped with adaptive brake lights that can flash rapidly during emergency braking, a feature that's expected to reduce rear collisions. Another industry first from Mercedes, the rapidly flashing LED brake lights are triggered primarily by the car's Brake Assist system (standard on all Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles since 1998), which automatically provides full-power braking assist whenever it senses faster-than-usual brake pedal application.
More Useful Technology Abounds
Among the many advanced features of the S-Class is an audio head unit that can read data from a USB stick or SD card. Such devices never need to be charged, and some versions can hold thousands of digital songs. Its data can be displayed on the screen of the COMAND system, and music titles can be selected through the multifunction steering wheel controls. The latest audio head unit features integrated Bluetooth, HD radio, a 7.2-gigabyte Music Register, SIRIUS-XM satellite radio with real-time traffic data and Zagat hotel, restaurant and golf rating information.
Exclusive AMG Styling, Inside and Out
The S63 AMG comes with special body styling, alloy wheels, sports suspension and high-performance brake system – all designed by AMG. A muscular front bumper with large air intakes houses LED daytime running lights trimmed in chrome, and a "6.3 AMG" badge enhances each front fender. Contoured side skirts carry the aggressive lines of the front bumper to the rear, where an AMG rear apron emphasizes the width of the vehicle. A pair of twin tailpipes completes the exclusive look and sound of the S63 AMG.
Inside the S63 AMG, drivers are greeted by an AMG sport steering wheel with distinctive aluminum shift paddles and AMG multi-contour leather sport seats. Completing the interior package is an exclusive analog clock modeled on the design of the "IWC-Ingenieur" series in the center of the dashboard.
The S63 AMG suspension and brake systems are designed for high-performance driving. AMG makes good use of the Mercedes-Benz ABC active suspension, tuning it for even flatter cornering and less body movement when accelerating and braking. A Sport-Comfort-Manual button on the center console allows the driver to choose between three different transmission shift programs that also fine-tune accelerator pedal response. The driver can also choose a separate Sport function for the ABC active suspension.
V12 Power for the S-Class
Turning to the V12-powered half of the S-Class family, the S600 marks the renaissance of the legendary 600-Class "Grand Mercedes." Fitted with greater levels of wood and leather trim, the V12-powered flagship comes with virtually all S-Class options as standard equipment.
Powered by a twin-turbo V12 engine that generates 510 horsepower and an astonishing 612 lb.-ft. of torque, the S600 model blends the whisper-smooth performance of the flagship Mercedes-Benz four-door sedan with the astonishing power of a twin-turbo V12 engine. At the same time, the bi-turbo V12 comes clothed in refinement that defines this rarified market segment. The 60-degree V12 engine provides effortless thrust with turbine-like smoothness, featuring a vast torque band with peak torque beginning as low as 1,800 rpm. With the high-tech engine, Direct-Select five-speed transmission and state-of-the art aerodynamics, the new S600 can reach 60 miles per hour in less than 4.5 seconds, quicker than many sports cars.
AMG-Developed V12 Powers World's Most Powerful Four-Door
The S65 AMG blends the whisper-smooth performance of the flagship Mercedes-Benz four-door sedan with the astonishing power of AMG's six-liter twin-turbo V12 engine. With 0-60 mph test track times of about 4.2 seconds, the S65 AMG is the world's quickest four-door sedan. AMG is the renowned high-performance division of Mercedes-Benz that combines its ingenuity and performance tuning expertise with the global technology resources and car-building expertise of Mercedes-Benz to take engine, braking and handling performance technology to the highest level.
AMG designers made subtle enhancements to the S65 AMG body while remaining true to the car's fundamental design. First, an AMG front apron with large cooling air intakes and integral LED daytime running lights gives the vehicle a distinctive appearance. The dynamic side view of the S65 AMG is emphasized by AMG side skirts, which follow the line of the front apron, and by a chromed "V12 Biturbo" badge on each front fender. The powerful lines of the AMG rear apron are finished off by two sets of AMG chrome twin tailpipes, and eye-catching 20-inch AMG light-alloy wheels complement the car's overall appearance (this marked the first use of original-equipment 20-inch wheels and tires on a Mercedes-Benz).
When the driver's door is opened, a specially contoured AMG sport steering wheel covered in premium leather greets the driver, and an "AMG" start screen fills the instrument cluster. AMG leather sport seats are finished in an eye-catching diamond pattern, while the dashboard and door panels are covered in leather as well.
About Mercedes-Benz USA
Mercedes-Benz USA, headquartered in Montvale, New Jersey, is responsible for the sales, marketing and service of all Mercedes-Benz and Maybach products in the United States. For more than forty years, MBUSA has taken pride in its commitment to the customer by providing superior quality luxury vehicles coupled with outstanding customer support. More information on MBUSA and its products can be found on the Internet at www.mbusa.com and www.maybachusa.com