Now How Much Would You Pay?: Mercedes ML Hybrid Offered As Lease-Only
The “Two-Mode” hybrid system jointly developed by GM, Chrysler, Daimler and BMW is turning out to be quite the albatross. Chrysler’s Two-mode Durango and Aspen were discontinued before Bob Nardelli had the chance to drive one to last year’s bailout hearings. GM’s hybrid Escalade has been dead in the water, and BMW and Mercedes have said that only their X5 and ML SUVs will receive the expensive, overly-complicated drivetrain. Now Mercedes is signaling even further ambivalence toward the technological dead-end by announcing [via Autoblog] that the ML450 Hybrid will be a lease-only option. The 21/24 MPG ML Hybrid will be available at $659 per month for 36 or $549 per month for 60 months. Since this is the only vehicle M-B will sell with the two-mode technology, the limited number of batteries needed was a major factor in driving the cost up. “We are offering this vehicle as lease only due to a limited supply of batteries available. We felt a lease only program offered the best option for customers,” say Mercedes spokesfolks. The real message: the billion-dollar Two-Mode development program has been a colossal waste.