Given Mercedes-Benz is an automotive leader, this is a positive portent for plug-in hybrid supporters.
After previewing its first-ever plug-in hybrid last week, Mercedes-Benz has confirmed that the technology is going to spread through the rest of its line in the near future.
“We will have a plug-in hybrid version of every volume model,” said the company’s R&D Chief, Thomas Weber during a press preview of the S550 Plug-In Hybrid at Mercedes-Benz’ headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany.
The S-Class is the company’s executive-class car, and that it was chosen first to make a plug-in hybrid in itself shows commitment. While other automakers play their hands closer to their chests, Mercedes said that was just a start.
Next in line will be the recently introduced compact C-Class, then the next-generation E-Class, before working through to the replacements for the current GLK- and M-Class (tentatively called GLC- and GLE- respectively.)
The hybrid systems are designed exclusively for rear-drive architecture and use a “common hybrid toolbox” which makes adapting it to the various platforms a lot simpler.
“The modules can be freely combined with gasoline and diesel engines, and also with all the engine types, starting with our four and six cylinders,” Weber explained, also confirming that it’s also compatible with all-wheel drive.
While exact model timing wasn’t confirmed, Weber did say the company would launch 10 plug-in hybrids by 2017, and the smaller front-drive products like the CLA and GLA following suit by 2020.