Mercedes Debuts S500 Plug-in Hybrid, GLA-Class, B-Class Electric Vehicle at Frankfurt Show

By Dan Collins on 11 September 2013
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DSC_0088FRANKFURT—Mercedes-Benz unveiled the all-new, eleventh-generation S-Class sedan at the 2013 Frankfurt Internationale Automobil Ausstelling (International Motor Show) in Frankfurt, Germany. The luxury automaker also exhibited a concept coupe version of the S-Class to replace the CL, the GLA-Class compact crossover, and a production-ready all-electric B-Class hatchback.

The new S-Class is larger, more luxurious, and more efficient than ever before. Highlighting the range is the S500 Plug-In Hybrid, with projected fuel economy of 78 mpg (3.0 l/100 km) and that gives off only 69 grams of CO2 per kilometer. The S500 plug in hybrid combines a 3.0-liter, 333 horsepower turbocharged V6 with a 108 horsepower electric motor, and can drive up to 18 miles (30 kilometers) on electric power alone.

The S-Class will be offered with a range of other gasoline, diesel, and hybrid powertrains as well, regular and extended wheelbase options, and rear or all-wheel drive.

Alongside the new S-Class, the all-new GLA-Class was introduced in Frankfurt, and set to compete with the BMW X1 and Audi Q3, and it’s lateness to the party was excused by Daimler-Benz CEO Dieter Setscrew, saying some things take a little bit longer to be good.

The GLA will be available with a choice of two diesel and two gasoline powerplants, ranging 136 to 211hp. Orders start in November for the European GLA, with deliveries in 2014, the GLA is expected in the U.S. for the 2015 model year.

Looking at the zero-emission vehicles, Mercedes-Benz moved ahead with the presentation of the all-electric powered B-Class. After its world premiere at the New York Auto International Show in March 2013, the European premiere followed at this year’s IAA. The electric batteries of the B-Class are good for a maximum driving range of 115 miles (200 km) with a total power output of 310 Nm (228 pound-feet) of torque. The maximum speed of the B-Class is electronically limited to 100 mph (160 km/h). Mercedes-Benz will launch the all-electric B-Class in the U.S. in 2014; this will also mark the first time that the B-Class will be offered in the U.S.

The 2014 S-Class will be available in the U.S. this October, with pricing starting in the low to mid $90,000 range.

Christian Stampfer contributed reporting to this article.

(Photos: Accura Media Group)