Sep 20, 2008

Mercedes hybrid coming June 2009

The first ever Mercedes-Benz hybrid goes on sale next summer. Business Week reports that the S400 BlueHybrid will be available from June 2009 in Europe, with the US and China following later in the year. Mercedes-Benz's press office tells me it can't confirm Britain will get the luxury car; concrete word on a UK edition is expected next month.

While greener than some of Mercedes-Benz's current top-end models, the S400 is still effectively a small tank, so it's hardly the future of sustainable transport. It really just an efficient luxury model, akin to Lexus' LS600h.

The S400 is based on a lithium battery and a 'mild' hybrid system, meaning it can't run on electric power alone. Instead, the electric motors assist the petrol engine to improve its miles per gallon.

If a UK model gets confirmed, you'll read about it here.

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