Interesting news today from the United States suggests that Daimler (owners of Mercedes-Benz) are considering a controversial plan to make the next generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class range a hybrid-only lineup.
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This would mean that all S-Class variants will come with hybrid drivetrains only, even the V8, V12 or AMG variants. The idea currently being considered by Stuttgart executives is drawing some criticism from some Mercedes-Benz dealers in the United States.

The dealers believe that hybrids are still not perceived as "true performers" and that S-class buyers don't see fuel economy as a major factor in their purchase decision.

AutoNews reports that the switch to a full hybrid lineup might take place when the all new S-Class is released in 2013.

Environmental credentials aside, Mercedes-Benz is also looking at reducing its emissions across the range thanks to stricter European CO2 emissions standards on top of harsher corporate average fuel economy standards in the United States. All of which come into play by 2015.

Given that cars such as the BMW 7 Series and the S-Class are the show pieces of the automotive world, highlighting technologies of the future decades in advance, a complete switch to hybrid variants will set a big precedent for the industry.

Ernst Lieb, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, told AutoNews USA that "It isn't how will we do it, yes or no. The question is: Do we need other variations?".

Mercedes-Benz currently sells a mild hybrid variant as the S400. The next-generation S-Class hybrid variants will be full hybrid and make use of lithium ion batteries.