Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-In Hybrid First Drive Review

3 years ago by Mark Kane 14

Mercedes-Benz S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID

Mercedes-Benz S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID

Mercedes-Benz S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID

Mercedes-Benz S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID

Autocar recently tested the new Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-In Hybrid, which went on sale this August in Germany with a price tag well above 100,000.

With favorable winds (going down a hill), it could go up to 33 km (20 miles) on a 8.7 kWh battery pack.

To move, the S500 PHEV uses a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 direct injection petrol engine (245 kW) and an 85 kW electric motor.

“What is it like?”

“Its hi-tech driveline operates with Swiss watch-like precision and whisper quiet properties in all modes. The transition between pure electric running and the engagement of the petrol engine as it switches into hybrid state is virtually imperceptible.”

Mercedes-Benz S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID

Mercedes-Benz S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID

Mercedes-Benz S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID

Mercedes-Benz S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID

“Despite the weight burden brought on the large battery and all its various ancillaries, Mercedes-Benz says the S500 Plug-in Hybrid is capable of accelerating from 0 to 62mph in 5.2sec and reaching a top speed limited to 155mph. By comparison, the 45kg lighter Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid offers respective figures of 5.5sec and 167mph.”

“I got close to the prescribed consumption figure over an average of 88mpg over a 48-mile route, although 14 miles of it was achieved on electric power alone and it was all at a fairly moderate speed over relatively flat terrain. For the record, the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid is claimed to deliver 91.1mpg and 71g/km.”

The Mercedes-Benz S 500 Plug-In Hybrid, like many other plug-in hybrids, has a charge mode (Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV for example), which enables it not only to save EV mode for later use, but uses the engine to generate electricity and charge battery.

“At one point during our first drive of the S500 Plug-in Hybrid  its digital instrument display indicated the battery charge had dipped to just 25 per cent, suggesting its electric range was limited to around five miles. But when I placed it into Charge mode, the energy store was replenished to 85 per cent within 25 minutes, giving it almost 18 miles of electric range.”

Mercedes-Benz S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID

Mercedes-Benz S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID

Mercedes-Benz S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID

Mercedes-Benz S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID

According to Autocar, the 2,140 kg (4,718 lbs) of weight hasn’t affected the ride, with the S 500 Plug-In Hybrid being comparable in this department to other S-class models.

Mercedes-Benz S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID

Mercedes-Benz S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID

Mercedes-Benz S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID

Mercedes-Benz S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID

Batteries are located in the back reducing total luggage capacity by almost 20% to 395 litres.

For those who might consider buying this model, Autocar states:

“The S500 Plug-in Hybrid is a very convincing proposition, offering a truly impressive electric range and stout combined petrol-electric performance together with outstanding refinement and the sort of economy you might expect from a compact hatchback rather than a fully loaded luxury saloon.”

“If you have the financial means and commute into central London, it is likely to appeal. Otherwise, the S350 BlueTEC is an attractive alternative at a price of £62,905 and without the hassle of having to find a socket to plug in to.”

Mercedes-Benz S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID

Mercedes-Benz S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID

Autocar.co.uk

Tags: , ,

14 responses to "Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-In Hybrid First Drive Review"

  1. DaveMart says:

    ‘However, in an age when even Audi’s A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid delivers 50km of pure electric driving, the S500 Hybrid manages only 33km.

    Oddly, the car will need to increase its electric range to 50km within two years so that it can meet China’s minimum range rules for plug-in hybrids.

    Dr Uwe Keller, Mercedes-Benz’s technical project manager for powertrain hybrids explained that the Magna Steyr-built battery pack had room for developments, which were coming thick and fast.

    “We don’t just want an electric car, but the best real hybrid. Its role is to deliver a car that is everything, not just an electric car.

    “We will have to fit a larger battery for the Chinese market in two years, approximately, because of their laws so we will look at larger capacity in the same power packet and space,” he explained.’

    http://www.motoring.com.au/news/prestige-and-luxury/mercedes-benz/s500/benz-s500-hybrid-plug-in-to-be-wireless-44657

    Lets hope other manufacturers can match that sort of energy density increase.

  2. DaveMart says:

    About the only downside other than the price:

    ‘Unlike the battery of S300 BlueTEC and S400 Hybrid which resided underneath the bonnet, the battery used by the S500 Plug-in Hybrid is mounted within the forward section of the boot. This robs 95 litres of luggage capacity, reducing it to a total of 395 litres.’

    http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-review/mercedes-benz/s-class/first-drives/mercedes-benz-s500-plug-hybrid-first-drive-review

  3. Alaa says:

    I think it is very nice to be able to identify those who are polluting and are on the side of sending our kids to wars to protect the oil wells! They are easily identifiable especially when they show off with a large Mercedes like this one!

    1. DaveMart says:

      Yep, those taxi drivers are bad men!

      1. Alaa says:

        I understand that Oslo will ban ICE and diesel taxis in particular. So those taxi drivers are not so bad after all si, I feel sorry for them as UBER and the like is taking away their business!

        1. Mikael says:

          Well, every business has it’s time. And the business of being a professional driver is on it’s way out.
          Uber is just a reaction on taxi’s being too expensive. But in a not too distant future a self-driving car will take you where you want instead of one with a driver.

          Different kind of jobs disappears and some new are created.

  4. JOHN T SHEA says:

    ALL hybrids can use their engine to charge the traction battery.

    Autocar fails to mention that this car nears both the S350 BLUETEC diesel’s economy (mpg and tax-wise) and the V8 S500L’s performance even if you NEVER plug it in. So no inconvenience at all.

    1. AZM-Volt says:

      Plugging in is not an inconvenience. Going to a gas station is .

  5. Chris O says:

    Curious product: why would people who spend $100K+ on a large executive vehicle like this take a hit in luggage capacity for a few miles of AER?

    Guess it’s incentive regimes that create demand for cars like this but that probably means owners will rarely bother to plug them in for a few miles of AER meaning vehicles like this will contribute little to meeting the goals the incentives were created for.

    1. DaveMart says:

      Commutes in many countries are typically shorter than in the US, and this sort of range would cover, for instance, most German commutes.

      Executives at the level to get one of these could in any case order a workplace charger to be installed.

      In addition, as my link shows, Mercedes plan to increase the AER anyway within two years to 50km on the NEDC.

      Some boot space is lost, but it remains pretty big anyway.

  6. GSP says:

    the S350 BlueTEC is an attractive alternative at a price of £62,905 and without the hassle of having to find a socket to plug in to.”

    Why do journalists perputate this myth? It is no hassle at all to plug in at home. The hassle of going to the filling station is less frequent or eliminated completely.

    Auto journalists should all live with an PEV for a month. Otherwise they remain ignorant anout automobiles.

    GSP

  7. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

    Running the engine to charge up the battery is a gimmick, and given how much you pay per kWh for engine power vs. mains power, a fairly stupid one. Just imagine the idiots who think you _need_ to do this if you can’t find a socket to plugin to.

    Incidentally, the Volt will do this if you run its battery below IIRC 40% and engage Mountain Mode. It’ll run the engine to get its SoC back up even if you’re at a full stop. I call it a ‘stupid Volt trick’.

  8. MDEV says:

    I like the China minimum to sell plug-in of 50 kms. Do we have a minimum is US?

  9. John Goolkasian says:

    Are car manufacturer’s just plain stupid??
    Why place the battery pack in the trunk at the sacrifice of luggage space. I guess I will continue to keep my E class for long trips and my Cadillac ELR as a daily driver. I was hoping to buy the hybrid S to get down to one car. That’s not possible with the S plug in as designed.