While Mercedes-Benz, through its AMG unit, is toying with its Project One hypercar, it has unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show the newest and cleaner addition to its S-Class model range – the 2018 Mercedes-Benz S560e next-generation plug-in hybrid.
Meant to replace the S500e plug-in hybrid of the pre-Facelift S-Class, the new Mercedes S560e boasts of having more power and being able to travel longer distances. These capabilities are centered on the S560e’s more dynamic hybrid drive system that employs a more powerful V6 engine and electric motor as well as a higher capacity lithium-ion battery.
The hybrid system that propels the new Mercedes S560e makes use of a 3.0-liter V6 engine that delivers 270 kW (367 hp) of max output and 500 Nm (369 lb.-ft) of peak torque. For other vehicles, this amount of power is already enough, but Mercedes has adjudged that this conventional mill wasn’t enough to make the S560e not just powerful, but also efficient. As a plug-in hybrid, the new S560e also makes use of an electric motor – developed in collaboration with Bosch -- that generates up to 90 kW of output and 440 Nm of instant torque.
Power is sent to the wheels through a third-generation hybrid transmission derived from the 9G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission. The compact hybrid drive unit accommodates the torque converter, clutch and electric motor. The electric motor in the new Mercedes S560e is especially designed for 9G-TRONIC plug-in hybrid transmission.
Completing the hybrid setup of the new Mercedes-Bensz S560e is its new lithium-ion battery that employs lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt (Li-NMC) instead of lithium-iron-phosphate (LiFePo). Although the battery of the S560e is as large as the one on the S500e, the new cell chemistry allows it to offer an increased rated capacity of 13.5 kWh. Cell capacity has been increased from 22 Ah to 37 Ah.
As a result, the new S560e is empowered to accelerate from standstill to 100 km/h in just 5.0 seconds and achieve a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). It consumes just 2.1 liters of fuel per 100 km (combined) and emits only 49 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer (combined). It also consumes 15.5 kWh of power per 100 km (weighted). If the driver wants to enjoy a zero-emission purely electrically driven trip, he or she could do so up to 50 km of distance. When the electric power runs out, the battery can be recharged (fast charging) through an on-board 7.2-kW charger, in conjunction with the Mercedes-Benz Wallbox.
In addition, since the power electronics is now accommodated in the engine compartment, the new S560e offers a boot capacity of 410 liters, up from 395 liters in the S500e.
As a member of the S-Class range, the new Mercedes S560e offers a wide array of standard equipment. These include the pre-entry climate control that could pre-set the cabin temperature of the S560e to the desired level, even before the driver enters the vehicle.