Mercedes-Benz S500e equals efficiency and performance

SEPTEMBER 19, 2016

The Mercedes-Benz S500e combines an ultramodern hybrid drive concept with the unique innovations and luxurious equipment and appointments of the S-Class. This long-wheelbase luxury saloon impresses with its exceptional dynamism and efficiency.

Thanks to the standard-specification pre-entry climate control system it also offers outstanding climate comfort. The first certified three-litre luxury saloon in the world is a further milestone on the road to emission-free mobility.

The Mercedes-Benz S500e offers a system output of 325 kWwith 650 Nm of torque, accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds and has an all-electric range of up to 33 km. The certified consumption is 2.8 litres/100 km, which corresponds to 65 g CO2/km emissions. Key elements of this impressive output are the V6 biturbo and the intelligent hybrid drive.

Following the S400 HYBRID, the S500e is the third hybrid model in the new S-Class. Its new high-voltage lithium-ion battery with an energy content of 8.7 kWh can be externally recharged via the charging socket in the right side of the rear bumper.

The hybrid transmission is based on the 7G-TRONIC PLUS 7-speed automatic transmission. The plug-in-hybrid system in the S-Class is based on the Mercedes-Benz parallel hybrid modular system. The common system-specific feature is the additional clutch integrated between the combustion engine and the electric motor.

On the one hand this decouples the combustion engine during purely electric operation, while on the other it allows the vehicle to use the combustion engine to move off, drawing on the performance of a wet start-up clutch. The clutch here is a substitute for the torque converter and requires no additional space owing to its complete integration in the torque converter housing.

In order to strengthen customers' trust in the new, innovative plug-in drive technology, for the S500e Mercedes-Benz is for the first time issuing a certificate which provides an undertaking regarding the performance characteristics of the high-voltage battery and PLUG-IN HYBRID components (e.g. electric motor and power electronics).

This ensures that every technical malfunction within a period of six years after initial delivery or registration, or up to a mileage of 100,000 kilometres, is corrected by Mercedes-Benz.

Haptic accelerator pedal: support for the driver

Climb in, start the engine, drive off and, as well as exemplary efficiency, you can if you so wish experience via kickdown the special acceleration of the electric motor – this is how easy hybrid driving with the new S500e is. Indeed, in everyday use it is just as straightforward to drive as any other vehicle with automatic transmission.

The intelligent operating strategy works automatically in the background to select the ideal combination of internal combustion engine and electric motor, thereby not only adapting its strategy to the load status of the battery but also anticipating the traffic situation or the route. But anyone wanting to can also intervene manually and regulate the hybrid interplay themselves, with the help of four operating modes and three transmission modes.

The haptic accelerator pedal, as it is known, can signal via a double impulse when the driver should take their foot off the accelerator for the purpose of sailing and recuperation. During electric operation it can supply the driver with feedback on the switch-on point of the combustion engine. The energy flow is shown in all operating states in the instrument cluster and in the central display, if this is selected by the customer.

Extensive standard equipment, extended pre-entry climate control

The standard equipment in the S500e is extensive and offers a world premiere: extended pre-entry climate control. This is target value controlled. In other words: the S-Class is air-conditioned to the preset temperature ready for the start of the trip, assuming the driver has entered the departure time, for example via Mercedes connect me.

This is possible due to the electrically driven refrigerant compressor and electric heating elements for the heated air. In addition to this, when preheating it is not just the interior air but also the seats, steering wheel and armrests in the doors and centre console that are heated, and when cooling the seat ventilation is also activated if the respective optional extra is on board.

Also standard in the S500e, which is available only with a long wheelbase, are for example LED High Performance headlamps and LED tail lights, leather upholstery, COMAND Online, touchpad, THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control plus seat heating also in the rear, Memory package for driver and front passenger, ambient lighting in seven colours and the AIRMATIC air suspension system with continuously variable damping control.

The basic safety equipment includes PRE-SAFE®, COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS (collision warning including Adaptive Brake Assist), ATTENTION ASSIST, PRE-SAFE® impulse and Crosswind Assist. Over and above this a multitude of unique optional extras is available.

The Mercedes-Benz hybrid strategy: emphasis on plug-in drive systems

Hybrid drive systems, the combination of internal combustion engine and electric drive, help cut overall fuel consumption and boost performance, since the electric drive system replaces or supports the combustion engine – normally at part load when little power is required.

The greatest potential for lowering the energy consumption of hybrid drive systems lies in maximising energy recovery on overrun and during braking. When the brake pedal is depressed, deceleration is initially effected by the electric motor and not by the disc brakes.

The hybrid models of the new S-Class are the first to use a regenerative braking system of the second generation. This ensures the imperceptible overlapping of the conventional mechanical brakes and the electric braking performance of the electric motor in generator mode.

Intelligent operating strategy

For efficient motoring, foresighted driving that avoids unnecessary braking or accelerating manoeuvres has always been the best strategy. This gains an all new importance in a hybrid model: because braking manoeuvres serve not only to deliver deceleration, but can also be used to recover energy.

The route, too, has considerable influence on the most efficient charging and discharging of the high-voltage battery.

The intelligent operating strategy supports the driver comprehensively yet unobtrusively to achieve the most efficient driving style. The control strategy, for example, seeks to ensure that the battery, if at all possible, is flat at the end of an uphill stretch so that it can be recharged going downhill.

Another key point is the requirement that urban areas should be reached with a fully charged battery if possible, so that the vehicle can be driven efficiently in stop-and-go traffic - and frequently in electric mode.

In the S500e the energy management system basically covers these three areas:

  • route-based: automatically or by way of four operating modes
  • driver-based: by way of three transmission modes
  • traffic-based: with the aid of radar

Charging: power from a socket

The battery in the S500e is safely fitted into the rear end of the 
S-Class to save space. An intelligent on-board charging system enables the battery to be charged at any conventional domestic power socket. The supply of electricity to the car will be made even easier in future through inductive, cableless charging.

The S500e stores electric energy in a lithium-ion battery on lithium-iron phosphate basis. The water-cooled energy storage unit has an overall capacity of 8.7 kWh, a total weight of 114 kg and a spatial volume of 96 litres.

To ensure highest levels of crash safety and dynamic handling as well as maximum boot space, the housing is made of die-cast aluminium, while the high-voltage battery is located in the rear of the vehicle above the rear axle. The space available there is put to optimal use, and the S500e thus takes first place among the plug-in hybrids in terms of boot capacity (395 litres) and luggage compartment accessibility.

The high-voltage battery of the S500e can be charged via external mains electricity using a 3.6 kW on-board charger. The unit is permanently installed in the vehicle and charges single-phase up to 16 A. The connection point for the charging cable is located behind a flap in the rear bumper, underneath the right-hand tail light.

An automatic lock ensures that the charging cable cannot be disconnected from the vehicle by unauthorised persons. The new S-Class can be charged in two hours anywhere in the world, e.g. at a wallbox or charging station (400 V, 16 A). Alternatively, charging via a standard domestic connection is of course also possible. Depending on the connection, a charge time of e.g. two hours and 45 minutes is possible (at 230 V and 13 A)[1].

Next step: S500e - unplugged

One of the next steps on the road to the perfect electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid is cableless charging. Inductive battery charging will make the handling of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids even more convenient. Mercedes-Benz will test this "unplugged" technology with the S500 e in order to develop a genuine S-Class solution, in terms of comfort and ease of operation, for the charging of the high-voltage battery.

The S500e is introduced at R1,875,500 with the class-leading PremiumDrive maintenance plan.


[1] The charge time ranges between 2 hours (400 V/16 A, e.g. at a wallbox) and 4.1 hours (230 V/ 8 A, e.g. at a household power outlet). Through settings on the control element of the charging cable, shorter charge times can be realised even at domestic sockets, provided that the power supply system is designed for this. The voltage and current ratings indicated refer to the power supply infrastructure and can be limited by the car. All charge times refer to the charging of the battery from 20% to 100%.