Drive system: Class-leading efficiency in every output category

May 15, 2013
In its first year the new S-Class line-up features two hybrid versions, a petrol model and a diesel variant: S 400 HYBRID, S 500, S 350 BlueTEC and S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID. All models boast class-leading efficiency and up to 20 percent lower fuel consumption than the predecessor model. All the engines already meet the requirements of the Euro-6 emissions standard. In addition to this, the S 400 HYBRID and S 350 BlueTEC meet the strict criteria of efficiency class A, while the S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID even has an A+ rating.
"The new S-Class achieves consumption and emissions figures that only a few years ago would have seemed utopian even in the intermediate class," says Prof. Thomas Weber, member of the Daimler Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. "And this is just the start of our 'Green Leadership' initiative: soon to be followed by the S 500 Plug-In HYBRID – the first S-Class with a fuel consumption lower than four litres per 100 kilometres." The S-Class line-up therefore includes the full range from petrol and diesel models to petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrids for the first time.
Effective helpers: ECO start/stop function and ECO display
The excellent consumption and emission figures are also due to the ECO start/stop function specified as standard for all S-Class models. The ECO start/stop function switches the engine off as soon as the vehicle stops – for example at traffic-lights – and the driver keeps the brake pedal depressed after coming to a halt. The engine restarts immediately when the driver releases the brake pedal.
One of the features that assists the driver is the ECO display in the instrument cluster. If required, three bar charts give the driver feedback about the economy of their driving style. The ECO display responds positively if the driver accelerates moderately, drives smoothly in an anticipatory manner and avoids unnecessary braking. The three bar readings stand at 100 percent if driving is particularly economical according to these criteria. When starting off all the values are at 50 percent, and a particularly unfavourable driving style causes them to decline. The aim is to arouse a competitive desire in the driver to achieve 100 percent if possible.
Further efficiency-enhancing measures include outstanding aerodynamics, intelligent lightweight construction, second-generation low-rolling-resistance tyres, an electronically controlled refrigerant compressor, and the new "ECO Thermo Cover" engine compartment encapsulation in the S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, which reduces cold-starting losses and consists of insulating partitions in the engine compartment and the radiator shutter, which closes when the engine is stopped.
The "energy-transparent vehicle" tool created in-house by Mercedes-Benz was used as part of the S-Class development process. This method detects the possibilities for optimisation in even the most minute component. An exact and meticulous examination of the flow of energy throughout the vehicle (tank to wheel) helps the development engineers to optimise every single assembly that has an impact on fuel consumption, right down to individual wheel bearings.
S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID: energy efficiency class A+
Mercedes-Benz has practically halved fuel consumption in the 150 kW output category within ten years: the S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID has a combined fuel consumption of just 4.4 litres per 100 km (CO2: 115 g/km) and meets the criteria of energy efficiency class A+.
In the S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, Mercedes-Benz has combined the 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine developing 150 kW (204 hp) with a powerful hybrid module. Its 20 kW electric motor, positioned between the internal combustion engine and the 7-speed automatic transmission, assists the diesel engine when the car is accelerating (boost effect) and, in alternator mode, is used for the recuperation of braking energy, although it is also suitable for driving under electric power alone.
S 400 HYBRID: 20 percent more economical than the preceding model
Even in the previous model series, the S 400 HYBRID was the world's most economical petrol-engined luxury saloon for some time. With the hybrid model, which combines a V6 petrol engine with a compact hybrid module, the Mercedes‑Benz engineers have made further advances in efficiency: the new S 400 HYBRID boasts NEDC (combined) fuel consumption of just 6.3 litres per 100 kilometres – a reduction of 20 percent compared to the preceding model. The CO2 emissions figure of 147 grams per kilometre is likewise a new record in this vehicle segment. These exemplary figures are coupled with outstanding performance potential: the petrol engine develops 225 kW (306 hp) – and the electric motor adds another 20 kW. The peak torque is 370 Nm (+250 Nm).
The compact hybrid module is a disc-shaped electric motor that also acts as a starter and generator. The system offers a double benefit, as it both helps to save fuel and, due to the booster effect of the electric motor, powerfully backs up the internal combustion engine during the high-consumption acceleration phase. The S 400 HYBRID accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds and reaches an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h. The S 400 HYBRID can drive all-electric up to half a kilometer.
When the vehicle decelerates, the electric motor acts as a generator and can recuperate the braking energy. The recuperated energy is stored in a compact yet highly efficient lithium-ion battery in the engine compartment and made available when required.
S 500: the most efficient V8 petrol model in the luxury class
The V8 biturbo unit in the S 500 has a displacement of 4663 cc and an output of 335 kW (455 hp) – making it more powerful than its 320 kW (435 hp) predecessor. Its peak torque is 700 Nm, while NEDC fuel consumption is just 8.6 litres per 100 km (premium unleaded) – 0.7 litres per 100 km lower than its predecessor. CO2 emissions are 199 g/km.
The excellent efficiency goes hand in hand with superior performance: the S 500 sprints from zero to 100 km/h in an impressive 4.8 seconds. Its top speed is 250 km/h (electronically limited).
S 350 BlueTEC: V6 with the fuel consumption of a four-cylinder engine
The V6 diesel engine in the S 350 BlueTEC has a displacement of 2987 cc, an output of 190 kW (258 hp) and a torque of 620 Nm. Its combined fuel consumption of 5.5 or 5.6 litres per 100 kilometres (diesel fuel; figures for short/long wheelbase versions) makes it the world's most economical V6 diesel and puts it on a par with the previous four-cylinder S 250 CDI model.
The S 350 BlueTEC has CO2 emissions of 146 or 148 grams per kilometre (figures for short/long wheelbase versions), and it is equipped with the second-generation AdBlue® emission-control system.
Model data at a glance:
S 500
S 350 BlueTEC
Number of cylinders/arrangement
Displacement (cc)
Rated output
(kW/hp at rpm)
at 6500
at 5250
at 3600
at 4200
Rated output of electric motor (kW)
Rated torque (Nm at rpm)
370 at
700 at
620 at
500 at
Rated torque of electric motor
Combined fuel consumption
from (l/100 km)
Combined CO2 emissions
from (g/km)
Efficiency class
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s)
Top speed (km/h)
1 Figures for short/long wheelbase
7G-TRONIC PLUS: outstandingly smooth gear changes as standard
All new S-Class models feature the 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission with DIRECT SELECT lever as standard. The features of the latest version to emerge include a new torque converter with reduced slip, an ECO shift mode with a wider ratio spread and an auxiliary oil pump to maintain the operating pressure during automatic stops. Low-friction components and low-viscosity oil help to reduce the operating pressure.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class, S 350 BlueTEC, V6-diesel engine
Mercedes-Benz S-Class, S 400 HYBRID, V6-Gasoline engine