Mercedes-Benz ML 450 HYBRID: The perfect hybrid powertrain
The power of a V8 with the fuel economy of a six: 24 MPG Highway, 21 MPG City.
In the search for the optimum hybrid system for the premium motor car, the engineers were already sure of one thing right from the concept phase: a Mercedes-Benz SUV with a hybrid drive would have to share the same typical brand attributes as any other Mercedes vehicle. Essential elements such as the greatest possible active and passive safety, optimum ride comfort and ease of operation, uncompromising reliability over a long period and high-quality workmanship with select materials would have to be on a par with a comparable, conventionally powered standard-production vehicle. And all combined with the greatest possible efficiency. At the same time, the drive system should be testimony to the company’s innovative strength and cutting-edge technology. These objectives demanded a complete development cycle – the kind of process any new model family developed from scratch would undergo. Until the Mercedes-Benz ML 450 HYBRID reached series-production maturity, the engineers and technicians clocked up a total of four million kilometres, taking in some of the world’s most extreme climatic conditions to prove the system’s reliability, be it in the sub-zero Arctic circle, the searing heat of arid desert regions or in the sweltering, humid temperatures of the tropics. The work was supplemented by an extensive test-rig programme and detailed simulations as part of the “Digital Prototype”. An important aim during development was to optimally match the various subsystems within the powertrain. System matching enables the various drive modes to be easily used while the customer is driving.
- Compact 288-volt battery with high power density
- Sophisticated management system computes the most fuel-efficient operating mode in real time, 160 times a second with up to 50 million computing operations
- Consumption-optimised Atkinson V6 petrol engine developing 205 kW (279 hp)
- Classic benefits of the M-Class such as economy of space, high active and passive safety, ride comfort or the 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive system are fully retained
The two-mode hybrid technology in the ML 450 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.
Superior technology: two-mode hybrid for the most efficient drive system.