Mercedes to Go All-turbo by 2010
With even more stringent regulations looming on the near horizon, particularly in Europe, Mercedes believes its various forms of advanced turbo packages are the most effective way to maintain -- and even improve -- overall performance from lighter and more-compact, smaller-displacement engines while also reducing their respective carbon footprints. The automaker previously announced intentions to move towards a zero-emissions goal in the long run through the use of fuel cells and electric power. Prior to that, it will begin introducing various hybrid variants to its product mix. The U.S. rollout for those vehicles is slated to commence in late 2009, when the S400 Hybrid and ML450 Hybrid go on sale here. The S-Class is a mild-hybrid package that will pair a 279-horsepower gasoline V-6 with a 20-hp electric booster motor while the ML450 will be a true dual-mode setup that teams its 279-horsepower V-6 with a pair of motors integrated into the transmission that make 61 horsepower and draw power from a compact lithium-ion battery.