As part of the Mercedes-Benz S Class refresh, Stuttgart is reworking the hybrid model. The reworking is significant enough to justify changing its name, which may be appropriate given its packing a sizable power increase and new battery technology.
For 2018 the S Class is known as the S560 e Plug-In Hybrid, a change from the more simple S550 Plug-In Hybrid name. The name change is partially due to a hefty power increase Mercedes has packed into the new one.
A 367 horsepower V-6 serves as the base in this plug-in hybrid, while a new electric motor generates about 120 horsepower on its own. For those who don’t want to do the math, that means the S650 e Plug-In Hybrid generates a total output of 487 horsepower, while the torque figure is at a staggering 550 pound-feet. This constitutes an increase of 51 horsepower over the old S550 Plug-In Hybrid.
Sending power to that new electric motor is a new battery pack. Mercedes has managed to pack a 13.5-kWh pack into the same physical space as the outgoing car’s battery. The key with the new one is that the chemistry of the battery has changed to a lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt formula. This formula–supplied by a wholly-owned Daimler supplier–is more power dense and gives the S560 e a total of 31 miles of electric range.
Mercedes has also added some technology to help drivers maximize that electric range. Through its ECO assist system, the car will coach drivers on how to drive in a manner to maximize range and fuel economy. The system even includes a haptic feedback mechanism on the accelerator so the driver is aware of when the car is on gas versus electric.
Of course, there’s some added luxury as well. S560 e includes a pre-entry climate control system that automatically cools or heats the cabin prior to passengers entering (when the car is plugged in). The pre-entry system pairs with all of the other S Class creature comforts so that hybrid buyers never have to sacrifice.
The S560 e Plug-In Hybrid does not have a price tag just yet, but one can expect it to be north of $110,000.