Category Archives: GREEN CAR

2015 Honda Fit

2015 Honda Fit RS

2015 Honda Fit RS

The 2015 Honda Fit, unveiled for the United States in January 2014 and going on sale sometime in the spring, is a fully updated and all-new version of Honda’s subcompact five-door hatchback. It packs more interior volume into the same footprint, and sports crisper, more aerodynamic lines and a new and more fuel-efficient powertrain.

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTE

2015 VW Golf GTE

2015 VW Golf GTE

There are no plans to bring it to the United States at least not yet, but a plug-in hybrid version of the 2015 VW Golf will be introduced at the upcoming Geneva International Motor Show. It’s called the Golf GTE, and no, that name doesn’t signal a renaissance for General Telephone & Electronics; it leverages the ol’ brand equity of the GTI hot hatch.

2015 Kia Soul EV

2015 Kia Soul EV

2015 Kia Soul EV

Kia is set to join the fully electric vehicle space this year, with the fresh-faced 2015 Soul EV. The all-electric Soul made its debut at the Chicago Auto Show earlier this month, and Autoblog west coast editor Michael Harley had a chance to speak with Orth Hedrick, Kia’s vice president of product planning, about the new electrified hatchback.

2015 Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug In Hybrid

Mercedes-Benz first hinted at the launch of an S-Class with plug-in hybrid capability as far back as 2009 when it unveiled the Vision S500 Plug-In Hybrid concept. Here was a full-size luxury sedan capable of 0-60 mph runs in under 6.0 seconds and gas mileage of 70 mpg or better, but the best part was that it was destined for production.

A production version has now been revealed in the form of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-In Hybrid, based on the latest-generation 2014 S-Class. The car is set for a world debut next month at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show and is targeted for a market launch sometime next year.

2015 Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug In Hybrid

2015 Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug In Hybrid


The S500 Plug-In Hybrid is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 engine paired in parallel with an electric motor that’s powered by a lithium-ion battery stored in the trunk. The engine delivers 328 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque while the electric motor adds an extra 80 kilowatts (107 horsepower) and 250 pound-feet of torque.  This enables the vehicle to accelerate to 62 mph in just 5.5 seconds and see it easily reach its governed top speed of 155 mph.

Thanks to the ability of the power sources to work independently, the car offers multiple driving modes. They are “HYBRID” (mix of power sources), “E-MODE” (electric power only), “E-SAVE” (fully charged battery is reserved to be able to drive on electric power alone later) and “CHARGE” (battery is charged while driving).

2015 Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug In Hybrid

2015 Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug In Hybrid

In the E-MODE setting, the range is approximately 18 miles, though this will depend on how heavy your right foot is and how often the car’s regenerative system is used. Setting off for a drive with the battery fully charged and the HYBRID mode activated, Mercedes says fuel economy can reach as high as 78 mpg (based on the European combined cycle).

The key is the automaker’s Intelligent HYBRID energy management system, which automatically selects the optimal mix of power sources and regenerative systems in order to maximize efficiency. This not only relies on current driving conditions and driver input, but also adjusts to the likely route (inclines, downhill stretches, bends or speed limits based on satellite data) for the five miles of travel.

2015 Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug In Hybrid

2015 Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug In Hybrid

The aim, for example, is to use up part of the battery’s charge and aid the engine when approaching a downhill stretch and then switch into regenerative mode on the way down to help top up the battery once more. To further maximize efficiency, the engine can be switched off any time the vehicle is coasting.

To ensure the driver is aware of what’s going on, display screens show which power sources are activated and/or whether the battery is being charged. Haptic feedback is also offered by the accelerator pedal: resistance on the accelerator provides feedback about the activation of the combustion engine and helps in metering the power output.

2015 Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug In Hybrid

2015 Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug In Hybrid

With the new S500 Plug-In Hybrid, the number of hybrid S-Class variants now grows to three. Mercedes also offers its S400 Hybrid and overseas buyers can also opt for a diesel-electric S300 BlueTEC Hybrid…