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First Mercedes hybrid due 2009

Date: 23 October 2007

Mercedes-Benz will launch its first hybrid in 2009 with the arrival of the ML450, a large 4x4 that will emit just 185g/km of CO2 compared with the current ML350's 275, as exclusively revealed by BusinessCar in April.

The hybrid powertrain is being developed jointly by Mercedes, BMW and General Motors, and is described as a "two-mode" hybrid that unlike the Toyota or Honda systems offers economy and emissions benefits at higher speeds rather than just in urban scenarios.

Mercedes' second hybrid, however, will be its own system and a diesel, launching an S-class that it claims will emit just 154g/km of CO2 compared with the current diesel's 220g/km. The S400 is due to arrive in late 2009 or early 2010.

Other green initiatives by the German brand include next summer's E350CGI that will replace the E350 and reap the fuel economy and emissions benefits of sulphur-free fuel when it arrives in 2009.