W223 Mercedes-Benz S580e on sale in Europe – 510 PS from 3.0L PHEV straight-six, 100 km electric range

During the reveal of its W223 S-Class last year, Mercedes-Benz promised it would offer a plug-in hybrid variant of the luxury sedan sometime later on. That time is now, as Stuttgart has put the S 580 e on sale in Europe, announcing some staggering numbers in the process.

The powertrain consists of two parts, the first being M256 3.0 litre turbocharged straight-six from the S 450, producing 367 PS from 5,500 to 6,100 rpm and 500 Nm of torque between 1,600 and 4,500 rpm. The second part is the 150 PS/480 Nm electric motor that adds to a total system output of 510 PS (the same as the outgoing W205 AMG C 63 S) and 750 Nm, up 34 PS and 50 Nm over the previous W222 S 560 e.

Equipped with a nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic gearbox, this two-tonne leviathan is able to sprint from zero to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds. The 28.6 kWh lithium-ion battery has more than double the capacity of the one in the S 560 e, leading to a commensurate increase in range to around 100 km. Fuel consumption is rated at an astonishing 0.6 to 1.0 litres per 100 km on the WLTP cycle.

In Europe, the S 580 e comes as standard with an 11 kW onboard charger that can be used with a three-phase AC wallbox charger. Alternatively, the car supports up to 60 kW of DC charging, which can fill a flat battery to full in just 30 minutes.

The efficiency of the electric motor is optimised through an intelligent route-based operating strategy, taking to account the navigation data, topography, speed limits and the traffic conditions along the route. It also uses the sensors for the driver assistance systems to detect, for example, if the car is in an urban area, and increases the usage of the electric motor to suit. The number of drive modes has been reduced to suit.

Mercedes has also improved the transition between recuperative braking (up to 120 kW) and conventional friction braking, with the amount of recuperation able to be adjusted in three levels via the steering wheel paddles. The most aggressive setting effectively allows for one-pedal driving, the company said.

The addition of a battery under the boot floor has traditionally impacted boot space, but this time a number of measures have been put in place to alleviate this. The rear axle, for instance, has been lowered by 27 mm compared to other S-Class models, allowing the battery to sit lower down. This eliminates the stepped floor on the previous car and allows a ski hatch to be fitted between the adjustable rear seats. Luggage capacity has still been affected, however, reduced from the standard 550 litres to just 330.

Aside from the addition of the S 580 e variant, there have also been some minor updates to the wider S-Class range for 2021. There are four new colour options for the exterior (designo cashmere white magno, designo kalahari gold metallic and designo selenite grey magno), as well as black crystal-look centre console trim with dotted lines.

Other new options include the E-Active Body Control air suspension with 48-volt roll stabilisation and preparation for car sharing. You also get some new functions from the Maybach version, including a rear MBUX Interior Assistant – this detects occupants at the back and raises the headrests at the back automatically; it also allows them to use hand gestures to operate the sunroof and window blinds.

Also now available are an automatic rear seat belt feeder, dimmable reading lights and a calf massage function in conjunction with the plush executive rear seat option. The updated S-Class is available in Europe now, with the S 580 e priced starting from €123,736 (RM616,800).

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