Mercedes-Benz will launch the ML450 HYBRID (earlier post) in the US on 16 November. Mercedes-Benz will offer the two-mode ML450 HYBRID as part of a special lease only option (no purchase) for a monthly lease price of $659 per month for 36 months and $549 per month for 60 months.

The new Mercedes-Benz ML450 HYBRID uses a 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine, optimized via the Atkinson cycle, and the two-mode hybrid system to produce 46% better fuel economy than a comparable V8-powered ML550 model. EPA rating is 21 mpg city, 24 mpg highway.

Integrated within the modified automatic transmission, each of the two electric motors serves a specific purpose. Dedicated to pulling away under electric power, the motor on the transmission output shaft generates 80 hp (60 kW) and 192 lb-ft (260 Nmiddot;m) of torque. Located closer to the gasoline engine, the second electric motor is set up specifically for acceleration and is rated at 83 hp (62 kW) and 173 lb-ft (235 Nmiddot;m) of torque. Working with both electric motors when full power is needed, the ML450 HYBRID has a total system performance of 335 hp (250 kW) and 381 lb-ft (517 Nmiddot;m) of torque.

The electric motors are powered by a liquid-cooled, 2.4 kWh 288-volt NiMH pack thatrsquo;s enclosed under the rear cargo floor.

During parking and low-speed operation, the ML450 HYBRID runs on the electric drive only. The ML450 HYBRID can drive solely on electric power up to a maximum speed of 34 mph.