The Mercedes ML450 SUV Dispels ‘Hybrid is Green’ Myth
The term hybrid is usually synonymous with going green. But the large-sized 2010 Mercedes-Benz ML450 Hybrid SUV seems to have disproved that theory.
Introduced last week at the New York International Auto Show, the ML450, utilizing a V-6 and two electric motors integrated into the transmission, boasts just 21 m.p.g. in the city and 24 m.p.g. on the highway.
The pair of electric motors combined with a 275-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 produce 335 horsepower for the SUV.
The vehicle, which will be sold exclusively in the U.S. and Canada, “offers V-8 torque with 4-cylinder fuel economy,” proclaims Ernst Lieb, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA. “That is ‘responsible luxury’ at the very highest level. And that is why the new ML450 Hybrid is the perfect extension to our family of S.U.V.’s.”
If 21 miles per gallon city driving is considered “‘responsible luxury’ at the very highest level,” Mercedes is leaving much to be desired, and frankly has a very large hill to climb with their first full hybrid vehicle.
The all-wheel-drive ML350 with a standard gasoline engines gets 15 m.p.g. city / 20 m.p.g. highway, although the V8 version doesn’t do as well.
Another interesting note worthy of pointing out is that the ML450 hybrid SUV, expected to hit dealer showrooms later this year, is yet to have an official price tag.
The two-mode hybrid technology in the ML450 Hybrid, whose drive architecture supports purely electric operation and purely combustion engine operation or any combination of the two, takes its lead from the fundamental work undertaken by the “Global Hybrid Cooperation”. This group brought together research and development work undertaken by the companies Daimler AG, BMW Group, General Motors and Chrysler.
Ernst claims that the hybrid SUV has “88 percent of the power and 94 percent of the torque of the V-8 versions, but uses 50 percent less fuel.”
Fuel saver or not, far from green it definitely is.
So the next time you’re in the market for a new vehicle, and are considering on going the hybrid route, double-check to see that it’s also fuel-efficient.