Jeremy Clarkson raised an interesting topic on Sunday’s Top Gear when he took the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive out for a spin. With today’s hybrid cars appearing in all shape and sizes, named after a multitude of plants and flowers, it’s usually the butt of Mr Clarkson’s jokes.
Whilst in some cases the marriage of old and new fuel technologies has not been a fairy tale romance, it’s fair to say Mercedes-Benz has taken a different, more successful approach. Hybrid cars are having a bit of an identity crisis and performance is questionable far too often, but Mercedes-Benz has a more natural evolutionary approach towards this new generation of car.
There’s nothing radically different in aesthetics, no space-age lunar-module-inspired vehicles in its designs. Mercedes-Benz already knows how to please its sophisticated, image-conscious consumer, so why change?
The introduction of the E-CELL in the A-Class back in 2010 and BlueTEC technology appearing in the E-Class, GL-Class and the Sprinter vans, shows how Mercedes-Benz is coping, not only with the challenges of the road ahead, but with the expectation management of its loyal and cherished customers.
Mercedes-Benz first toyed with the concept of a hybrid S-Class back in 2009, and now, four years on, the S 500 will be revealed at the 65th Frankfurt Motor Show this September. The S 400 from 2009 was a mere concept, a suggestion of what could be achieved, but the S 500 will be a fully functioning production car.
Maybe this is a sign that hybrid cars don’t need to look eco-friendly or be named by flicking through a horticultural hand-book. Mercedes-Benz isn’t messing around when it comes to hybrid technology. And on that bombshell Mr Clarkson, I am sure it won’t be long until you are behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz hybrid again soon, enjoying your ride.
For more information about Mercedes-Benz hybrid technology, click here.