Luxury car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz is getting set Monday to deliver to American dealerships one of its European hybrid SUVs. It is the ML450 Hybrid, which will get a decent fuel economy of 21 miles per gallon around town and 24 mpg on the highway.
Mercedes says the ML450 Hybrid will sport two electric motors and a 275-hp V6 gasoline engine that work together in typical hybrid fashion. Each electric motor is said to do different functions, with one dedicated to pulling away under electric power and the other set up specifically for acceleration. During parking and low-speed operation the SUV runs on the electric drive only, and can do so up to 34 mph.
Like other hybrids, the ML450 regenerates battery power during braking and coasting. Mercedes seems to be very proud of this hybrid of theirs, crowing that it produces “46 percent better fuel economy than a comparable V8-powered ML550 model.” We won’t argue with them on the math on this, but we’ll also say we are never overly large fans of SUVs either. They are necessary we suppose under some circumstances though, so we welcome hybrid inroads into what are typically gas guzzlers.
Mercedes-Benz [via press release]