Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-In Hybrid First Drive Review
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.”
“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.”
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.
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.”