Mercedes-Benz To Offer Lease-Only ML 450 Hybrid SUV

By dancurranjr On December 6th, 2009

Mercedes_ML_450_hybridThe first full-hybrid Mercedes-Benz, an ML450 sport-utility vehicle, will be available to customers Monday in the United States.

Using two-mode technology developed with General Motors and BMW, the ML450 Hybrid combines a 3.5-liter, 275-horsepower V-6 gasoline engine with two electric motors for a total power output of 335 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque.

The all-wheel-drive SUV will not be available for purchase. Customers will be allowed to lease the vehicle for $659 a month for 36 months, or for $549 a month for 60 months. Mercedes officials did not say what would be done with the vehicles once the lease period is over.
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The German manufacturer says the hybrid system will provide fuel economy of 21 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. That’s an improvement of 46 percent over a comparable V-8 powered ML 550 SUV.

The ML 450 hybrid can operate on electric power alone up to 34 miles per hour. During parking and low-speed maneuvers it also operates exclusively on electric power.

The gasoline engine and electric motors team up seamlessly when maximum acceleration is required.

The two electric motors are housed within the modified automatic transmission.

One motor, on the transmission output shaft, is used when pulling away from a stop. It generates 80 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque.

The second motor, located closer to the gasoline engine, assists primarily with acceleration. It produces 83 horsepower and 173 pound-feet of torque.

The electric motors get their power from a liquid-cooled, 288-volt nickel-metal hydride battery that is housed under the cargo floor. It does not diminish passenger or cargo space.

As is the case with other hybrids, the electric motors act as generators during coasting and braking to replenish the battery. The ML 450 Hybrid also has an automatic stop-start function that turns the gasoline engine off during stops at traffic signals and then automatically restarts it when the driver’s foot moves from the brake to the accelerator.

The ML 450 Hybrid follows the S400 mild hybrid sedan into Mercedes-Benz showrooms.


Mercedes ML450 Hybrid To Be Released In North America First

By dancurranjr On April 22nd, 2009

mercedes_ml_450_hybrid2The Mercedes ML450 Hybrid, a crossover sport utility vehicle unveiled at the New York Auto Show, will be released in the U.S. and Canada prior to the release throughout the rest of the world.

The ML450 Hybrid will go on sale here later this year.  The hybrid power-train comes from the joint venture between Chrysler, BMW, GM, and Mercedes.  A similar 2 mode hybrid power-train will be available in the Dodge Ram HEMI Hybrid when it comes to market.

The ML450 is capable of operating solely on electric power at low speeds.  Beyond that speed, the V6 engines provides additional go power.  Combined, the v6 engine and the hybrid power-train system can output 335 hp and 381 lb. ft. of torque.

According to Mercedes, the ML450 consumers 50% less fuel that a V8 powered M-Class and 30% less fuel than a V6 powered M-Class.

The ML450 Hybrid is rated at 24 mpg city and 21 mpg highway.

The ML450 Hybrid will go on sale elsewhere after its release later this year in the U.S. and Canada.  For once, we get a first from a European manufacturer and don’t have to sit around and wait fro the great vehicles to make their way over here.

SOURCE: All Cars Electric

2010 Mercedes-Benz ML450 Hybrid Bows in NYC

By dancurranjr On April 17th, 2009

mercedes_ml_450_hybrid2Mercedes-Benz took to the stage earlier today at the New York International Auto Show to introduce its first-ever full hybrid, the ML450 Hybrid. Tailored specifically for the hybrid-friendly North American market, the ML450 Hybrid achieves most of the standard ML550’s power – but it is capable of diesel-like fuel economy.

Mercedes’ preliminary figures put the ML450 Hybrid at 21 mpg in the city and 24 on the highway. Under its hood, an Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V6 engine with 275 horsepower that combines with a pair of electric motors to produce a total of 335 horsepower and 381 lb-ft. of torque.

The liquid-cooled, high-voltage nickel metal hydride battery is located under the rear cargo area. It weighs 183 pounds and features 240 cells for a total electrical output of 45 kW.

The ML450 Hybrid is capable of running on just electric power at low speeds and at a complete stop. The air conditioning system runs off of an electrical compressor, meaning that it doesn’t turn off when the gas engine turns off.

Mercedes hasn’t announced pricing or an on-sale date for the ML450 Hybrid.

SOURCE: LeftLane

Mercedes Rolls Out Two Mode Hybrid M-Class at New York Auto Show

By dancurranjr On April 13th, 2009

mercedes_ml_450_hybrid2Having thrown its hat into the hybrid ring with the advanced S400 Hybrid, Mercedes-Benz on Wednesday went public on its second production gasoline-electric model, the ML450 Hybrid.

Unveiled at the New York auto show, the ML450 is to go on sale exclusively throughout North America this fall. It uses a vastly different yet equally complex hybrid setup compared with the S400 Hybrid, which is planned to hit U.S. showrooms by the end of summer.

The ML’s Two Mode hybrid powertrain was developed in partnership with BMW and General Motors. At low speeds around town and when maneuvering during parking, it uses an electric motor with 92 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque, mounted at the rear of the gearbox, as the sole source of propulsion.

Under hard acceleration and at higher speeds during cruising, a second electric motor with 84 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque, mounted at the front of the gearbox, springs to life in combination with a 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine boasting 172 hp and 259 lb-ft of torque to provide added performance.

Electricity used to run the electric motors is supplied by nickel-metal-hydride battery pack mounted in a specially designed cradle under the floor of the cargo area–a further departure from the S400 Hybrid, which boasts a much smaller lithium-ion battery mounted under the hood.

Weighing 183 pounds, the ML450 Hybrid’s battery collects energy from regenerative braking. Channeling drive to all four wheels is an electrically operated continuously variable transmission that boasts three planetary gear sets and four clutches–all aimed at providing smooth progress. Drivers can choose between economy and sport modes, the latter of which allows the driver to shift gears manually.

Mercedes-Benz claims 0 to 62 mph in 7.8 seconds, a standing-quarter-mile time of 15.8 seconds and a 131-mph top speed. The big advantage of the new hybrid system, however, can be seen in the combined fuel-consumption figure, which is put at 22 mpg on the North American cycle, to provide a theoretical range on the standard 23.4-gallon fuel tank of more than 520 miles.

The new model is differentiated from other M-class models by a subtle hood bulge, together with ML450 Hybrid badges. Mercedes-Benz claims there is no compromises in packaging; both interior accommodation and luggage capacity remain the same as standard versions of the ML.

Among the competition the ML450 Hybrid will face when it goes on sale in North America this fall are upcoming hybrid versions of the Porsche Cayenne and the Volkswagen Touareg.

SOURCE: Autoweek

Mercedes Benz will Showcase Production ML450 Hybrid in New York

By dancurranjr On April 7th, 2009

mercedes-benz-ml-450-hybridNext week’s New York Auto Show will see the debut of three brand new Mercedes Benz models, as well as the U.S. debuts of the 2010 model year E-Class Sedan and Coupe. The trio of world firsts includes the recently revealed E63 AMG performance saloon, a facelifted GL-Class, and the production version of the ML450 Hybrid SUV.

Set to join the S400 BlueHybrid sedan in showrooms later this year, the new ML450 Hybrid will arrive as a 2010 model and is claimed to offer similar performance to the V8-powered ML550. The ML450 Hybrid will be based on the concept version unveiled at 2007’s Frankfurt Motor Show and will come with a 3.5L petrol V6 mated to an electric motor.

The system is the same one found in the S400 BlueHybrid, which means power comes from a 279hp (205kW) 3.5L V6 engine and a 20hp (15kW) electric motor running on lithium-ion batteries. Fuel efficiency gains are made through a combination of technologies, including stop-start functionality, which helps to cut fuel use while standing still at traffic lights or jams. Around town the ML450 Hybrid will also be able to cruise on electric power alone for short distances and low speeds.

But improved efficiency isn’t the only effect the hybrid system has – it can also boost performance for brief periods. By kicking in the electric motor’s full 118lb-ft (160Nm) of torque as the fuel-intensive acceleration phase kicks in, it speeds take-off while minimizing fuel use. Regenerative braking helps to maximize efficiency and recapture energy that would otherwise be lost. All of the operation of the hybrid system is displayed for the driver’s convenience in a single display in the instrument cluster.

More details, including actual fuel-economy estimates, should be released at the car’s unveiling at next week’s show.

SOURCE: Motor Authority