Mercedes is adding a hybrid model to its line of S-Class luxury autos in June 2009, BusinessWeek reports, promising nearly 30 miles to the gallon and adding $14,000 to its $88,000 base sticker price. The model—which, unlike some other hybrids, can’t run exclusively on battery power—should hit showroom floors in the US by next September.
The new model comes to a market clamoring for more options. Mercedes has focused instead on its highly efficient diesel engine that delivered almost as much fuel economy as the Toyota Prius and is nearly as clean. “We have to ensure that people in six years will be able to drive a big car without sacrifices or a bad conscience," one exec says.