S500, the plug-in hybrid Mercedes S-class is here

Unveiled last year at the Frankfurt motor show, the Mercedes S500 plug-in hybrid is now available to German customers. Many were wondering about its price, and Mercedes answered with logic. The S500 plug-in hybrid will retail for exactly the same money as the regular S500. €108,944.50 in Germany. So customers have the choice. A turbocharged 4.7-liter V8, making 455-hp, or a turbocharged 3.0-liter with an electric motor and a battery making a total of 442-hp with a 20 miles range in zero emission mode.

Sure, 20 miles are not much, but the plug-in Prius has even less than that, and it sells, so there might be a market for a super luxury sedan with a short range on battery power. Interestingly, the S500 plug-in hybrid is only available with the long wheelbase.

Another surprise is in the warranty. Mercedes has historically been modest on that side. When some Asian brands offer five years of warranty, or more, Mercedes has always stuck to the legal requirements of two years (in the European Union). This will change for all electric related parts in the S500 plug-in, which will get a six-year coverage. At the very least, it shows that Mercedes is keeping up with the competition. Every carmaker which sells a plug-in offers extended coverage for electric parts.

Finally, Mercedes is very keen to highlight the similarities between this production model and its very successful Formula 1 race cars. See that in the video below.