On a face of it, cars like a Mercedes S-Class are an peculiar choice for electrification; we cruise of them as long-distance luxury cruisers. But in truth, many limos spend lots of their time regulating during low speeds around places like airports and city-centre destinations – so a new Mercedes S 560 e plug-in hybrid might in fact be easily timed.
This is not a initial S-Class hybrid, of march – we’ve had non-plug-in and plug-in electrified versions before. But nothing of them was means to pattern many of an electric-only range. Improvements in battery tech have authorised Merc to squeeze in some-more appetite firmness with a S 560 e, yet – to a indicate where a 13.5kWh battery is means to keep a limo rolling yet any explosion engine division for adult to 50 kilometres, or usually over 30 miles.
• Best oppulance cars on sale
The engine itself is a 3.0-litre V6 petrol unit, producing 362bhp and 500Nm – yet this is supplemented by a 121bhp electric engine to give a sum complement outlay of 469bhp and 700Nm. That’s adequate to broach a 0-62mph lurch in 5 seconds flat, along with a 155mph tip speed and CO2 emissions of between 57g/km and 59g/km, depending on that trim turn and circle distance we go for.
Image 2 of 12
Image 2 of 12
Perhaps some-more poignant is that electric-only operation and a fact that a S 560 e can transport during some-more that 80mph yet regulating a dump of petrol.
That’s a theory, during least. But on a basement of a brief exam in Germany, we reckon a numbers are indeed flattering realistic. We gathering a S 560 e for some-more than 40km, including stretches of motorway regulating during 60-70mph, and still had a few miles of electric-only operation remaining when we got to a finish of a journey.
Beyond a maths, though, a S 560 e is an impossibly convincing thing. It has all of a common S-Class tricks, of march – pleasing interior quality, that hi-tech multi-screen dashboard and a balmy float peculiarity that manages to soak adult a misfortune highway imperfections yet losing all lane of physique control (although there is a teeny bit some-more heft to a whole set-up, interjection to a battery pack).
Then on tip of that, you’ve a limo that can proceed and skip from locations in nearby sum silence, with usually a faintest bemoan and tyre sound on whichever highway aspect happens to be concerned during a time. The energy smoothness takes a small removing used to, as your right feet acclimatises to a stifle modulation for a present torque smoothness of a electric motor, yet once you’re over that, we can slip around uniformly and quietly.
• Best plug-in variety available
That’s a fantastically appealing thing to a uninitiated; to a form of chairman who frequently sits in a behind of a S-Class, or who creates their vital pushing people around in one, it’s a intensity game-changer.
Image 6 of 12
Image 6 of 12
Of course, as a long-distance tool, a 560 e isn’t going to be utterly as fit as a diesel stablemates – nonetheless again, that increasing battery distance means it gets closer than ever before on all yet a many impassioned journeys. The PHEV systems need a bit some-more impasse from a driver, really; we need to follow a car’s superintendence if you’re going to remove a best operation of your sum energy sources.
It positively isn’t bashful about call you, with a engorgement of on-screen displays and even a occasional ‘tap’ by a stifle pedal as it uses navigation and camera information to work out that we could – or should – be subsidy off for an imminent corner, downslope or change in speed limit. It’s fiddly, yes, and asks we to make decisions that a diesel S-Class simply doesn’t need to worry about. But we can see because lots of people would cruise this a cost value profitable for those longer spells of wordless (and cheaper) running.
Niggles? Precious few. Although it’s a tad unsatisfactory that a S 560 e usually gets a 7.2kW horse built in. Yes, a medium battery means that a full assign during a car’s limit speed will usually take about 90 mins – yet a ability to use DC fast-charging would have given it additional coherence for those who wish to use it as an electric-only option.