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Mercedes-Benz ML450 HYBRID SUV
Mercedes-Benz announced today that on Nov. 16 it will launch the ML450 HYBRID SUV, first European full hybrid vehicle to be offered in the US.The ML450 HYBRID joins Mercedes-Benz’s existing lineup of fuel-efficient and environmentally compatible vehicles that includes the S400 HYBRID and the BlueTEC diesel models.
The new ML450 HYBRID will be offered as part of a special lease only option (no purchase) for a monthly lease price of $659 per month for 36 months and $549 per month for 60 months.
Featuring V8-like power with four-cylinder fuel economy, the ML450 HYBRID comes with two electric motors and a 275-hp V6 gasoline engine that work together to provide impressive hybrid power with fuel economy estimated at 21 miles per gallon around town and 24 mpg on the highway.
Integrated within the modified automatic transmission, each electric motor serves a specific purpose. Dedicated to pulling away under electric power, the motor on the transmission output shaft generates 80 hp and 192 lb.-ft of torque. Located closer to the gasoline engine, the other electric motor is set up specifically for acceleration and is rated at 83 hp and 173 lb.-ft of torque. Working with both electric motors when full power is needed, the gasoline engine develops 275 hp and 258 lb.-ft. of torque.
During parking and low-speed operation, the ML450 HYBRID runs on the electric drive only. On hard acceleration, the gasoline engine is started automatically, and it works seamlessly with the two electric motors for surprisingly good performance. The hybrid system includes a convenient start-stop function that turns off the gasoline engine – for example, when coasting up to a red light – and re-starts it during acceleration. When the ML450 HYBRID is at a traffic light, for example, the gasoline engine is off, but the AC compressor and steering pump are operated electrically, so air conditioning and power steering are fully operational.
Mercedes-Benz engineers optimized the 3.5-liter V6 engine for good fuel economy by taking advantage of the Atkinson principle. By delaying the closing of each intake valve, the intake stroke effectively becomes longer than the compression stroke, increasing thermal efficiency, which reduces fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.
The ML450 HYBRID fulfills the same crash test requirements and offers outstanding active safety with stability control systems such as ESP, ABS and BAS, as well as 4MATIC all-wheel drive. The integration of the hybrid technology has been engineered to require no additional packaging space that would compromise comfort or functionality. The space available in the passenger cabin is as generous as before and the trunk capacity remains fully intact. From the outside, the ML450 HYBRID is recognizable by its modified hood, the BlueEFFICIENCY logo on the fender and by the HYBRID badge on its tailgate.
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