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Monday, June 29, 2009

Daimler launches first hybrid car.

German luxury car maker Daimler has launched its first hybrid model, almost 10 years after the market leader, Toyota.

The 2010 Mercedes-Benz S Class is powered by the 3.5-liter Mercedes V6 gasoline engine and produces 279 hp and is mated to a Mercedes seven-speed automatic transmission. The small 900 watt hour (0.9 kWh) lithium-ion battery is the first to be offered in a hybrid. Although it is still not a plug-in the battery is guaranteed for the life of the car. The electric motor has only 20 hp but delivers 160 Nm of torque which gives a combined torque of 385 Nm.

The S400 can do 0 to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds, run off electricity alone at speeds 9 mph and below, and Mercedes estimates that the S400 will get 23 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.

Daimler recently acquired a battery company and a 10 percent stake in the US electric car maker Tesla—so the next step for the German auto maker should be fully electric automobiles.

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