World's 1st Rear-Drive Hybrid Unveiled

Mercedes-Benz shows a rear-wheel-drive hybrid powertrain S-Class concept that reportedly gets 30 mpg with a V-6 gasoline-fueled engine and two electric motors. That adds up to a 20% reduction in fuel consumption, says Juergen Hubbert, DaimlerChrysler AG board member in charge of Mercedes cars Mercedes calls the unveiled car a Vision Grand Sports Tourer that's designed for the American market. We will

Mercedes-Benz shows a rear-wheel-drive hybrid powertrain S-Class concept that reportedly gets 30 mpg with a V-6 gasoline-fueled engine and two electric motors.

That adds up to a 20% reduction in fuel consumption, says Juergen Hubbert, DaimlerChrysler AG board member in charge of Mercedes cars

Mercedes calls the unveiled car a Vision Grand Sports Tourer that's designed for the American market. “We will inspire America with innovations,” Hubbert promises.

The hybrid has a combined power output of 309 hp and accelerates from 0-60 mph in about 7.5 seconds. Top speed is 155 mph.

When idling, parked or in stop-and-go traffic, the 6-seat S-Class concept car automatically switches to electric power. One or both electric motors are activated depending on power requirements.

Hubbert says the hybrid is bridging technology until fuel-cell vehicles are ready for prime time. That won't happen until 2010-2012, he predicts. “We are working intensively to develop the RWD-hybrid technology for specific markets.”

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