Mercedes introduces the S500

Mercedes-Benz feel that its new plug-in hybrid, the S500, will set a new standard for saloons after it was revealed to the world in the Frankfurt Motor show earlier this month. This is the company's third hybrid car in the new S-Class and follows on from the extremely successful S 400 Hybrid and the S300 BlueTEC Hybrid.

The new addition of the hybrid range will give its owner an incredible 94.2 mpg and an average of 69 g/km CO2 emissions, which set a high standard for its competitors to follow. The performance of the S500's 3-litre turbocharged V6 engine and 80 KW electric motor gives 0-62 mph in 5.5 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph. Electric power will take the car 19 miles, and the new breed of lithium-ion batteries store 10 times more energy than previous S-class models.

The great thing about the S500 is that you can recharge the battery from a port in the back bumper. You can select between four drive options: toggle between using the battery only or using the petrol engine as well, and choose one of two options for battery management.

Other features of this model include recuperative braking that allows you to recover energy whilst coasting and braking, along with the "anticipatory intelligent" system for hybrid energy management. This system utilises data from the navigational system to maximise efficient high-voltage battery charging and discharging, such as recharging the cells of the battery when the car is going downhill, thereby utilising energy that has been previously recovered.