Before long--in 2010--Mercedes-Benz will launch its slick new hybrid for the high-end executive set: the S400 Bluetec Hybrid sedan. Hailed by its maker as the world's most fuel-efficient luxury four-door, the gas/electric model will be preceded by a diesel/electric hybrid model in 2009. If you can afford to wait, the S400 is exceptional for its breakthrough lithium-ion battery technology, which is more compact than the nickel-metal hydride batteries currently found in other hybrids. The S400 provides better fuel efficiency, a long service life, reliability and optimal performance. Built on the same platform as standard S-Class models and with similar features, including parking guidance, blind-spot assist and the same elegant, luxurious interior appointments, pricing for the S400 will be determined in mid-2009. Its only competitor: the Lexus LS 600h L.
Jill Amadio is an international award-winning automotive journalist and author.