DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes S-Class Most Powerful 'Hybrid' Yet
With its progressive P1/2 transmission, DaimlerChrysler is the world’s first manufacturer to develop hybrid technology that combines a powerful drivetrain with a highly efficient design concept, while at the same time meeting the highest demands in terms of driving dynamics and comfort. At this year’s North American International Autoshow (NAIAS) in Detroit, the company is presenting the latest generation of hybrid drive in the Mercedes-Benz S-Class "Hybrid" in combination with a highly efficient V8 CDI diesel engine.
With the P1/2 concept, DaimlerChrysler’s engineers have perfected the combination of internal combustion engine and electric motor to such an extent that the transition between operating modes now takes place almost unnoticed.
The hybrid concepts presented on the market until now have been suitable above all for small or medium-sized internal combustion engines. "Our technology is ideally matched to powerful engines. We thus ensure a high level of driving dynamics and enhanced comfort at the same time as significantly reduced fuel consumption," said Dr. Thomas Weber, member of the Board of Management of DaimlerChrysler AG with responsibility for research and technology and the development of the Mercedes Car Group.
This concept, now presented to the public for the first time, forms the basis for the advanced development of hybrid technology in association with General Motors. The two companies have announced a program which will serve to drive forward the use of state-of-the-art hybrid technology. Mercedes-Benz is to focus on the development of premium class rear-wheel drive cars with a hybrid unit.
The drivetrain in the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class "Hybrid" develops a maximum power of 241 kW/340 hp – a new record for cars with hybrid drive systems. The V8 CDI diesel engine develops 191 kW/260 hp and 560 Nm of torque. The two electric motors, which have a combined output of 50 kW/70 hp, make for optimized ride comfort and acceleration. Thanks to the second electric motor, the diesel can be started at any time without transition, independently of driving mode. The electric motors are powered by a 1.9 kWh nickel-metal hydride battery in the trunk of the S-Class vehicle. Energy is recovered during braking, and the V8 diesel engine recharges the battery while the vehicle is in motion.
The S-Class Hybrid accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 7.6 seconds.
The design of the drivetrain is surprisingly simple but highly efficient: Unlike many conventional hybrids, the system dispenses with a torque converter; this is replaced by the hybrid-specific components. The hybrid concept is based on the 7G-Tronic automatic transmission in combination with the P1/2 hybrid transmission, which thanks to its compact dimensions does not restrict interior space.
"The use of the 7G-Tronic automatic transmission makes for a comfort level that is unique in the world of hybrids," emphasized Weber. "Shifting is even faster and more convenient in continuously variable mode."
The quiet pace of progress
The efficient combination of electric drive with the 7G-Tronic automatic transmission ensures that the S-Class "Hybrid" constantly operates at the optimum level. Not only during accelerating from standstill, parking, in bumper-to-bumper traffic and when traveling slowly through restricted traffic areas, but also when driving at a constant speed, the hybrid concept ensures that the diesel can constantly operate in the most fuel-efficient range. "This reduces fuel consumption by 15 to 25 percent depending on the driving cycle, while at the same time enhancing comfort," says Prof. Herbert Kohler, Head of the Vehicle Body and Drive Systems Directorate at DaimlerChrysler AG. "Fuel consumption amounts to 34 miles per gallon, or about seven liters per 100 kilometers."
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