Mercedes-Benz S 580 e: electrified flagship

It has become a habit: Mercedes-Benz has opted to offer a plug-in hybrid version of almost its entire range. The S-Class, the manufacturer’s flagship, escapes even less, as this offer was already offered to the previous generation. The new S 580 e (whose generation code is W223) obviously aims to set the bar higher than its predecessor S 500 e (generation W222). Following the trend with the star manufacturer, it aims to record range, up to 113 km in the European standard WLTP cycle. This, thanks to a battery, quite huge, 28.6 kWh. It’s almost exactly the capacity of a Honda e, with the difference that the Japanese city car doesn’t have a gasoline engine to take over when its range runs out.

Despite a 150 hp electric motor, which may seem weak on paper to grab this heavy 2,400kg limousine, the liveliness seems decent in electric mode. In fact, the synchronous motor with permanent magnets benefits from the nine reports of the automatic transmission, which helps it to express itself better. Only in start-up is the inertia noticeable. A phenomenon amplified by a mapping of the accelerator pedal a little too focused on smoothness, which requires frank pressure to fit into urban traffic. In a mixed course, we have succeeded drive 84 km without starting the petrol enginewhich seems remarkable: only the little sister C 300 e does better in the current market.

Fast upload, as long as you’re looking for an on-screen menu

Like the GLE 350 tested just over a year ago, this S 580 e is one of the few plug-in hybrids that offers the possibility of a fast charge dc. Our attempt at a Fastned station was disappointing, with a maximum reading of 21 kW … Which would have taken more than an hour to refuel. The second attempt was the right one: we ended up freeing ourselves from this limit by shuffling the charging menu on the center screen, where we should tick the “fast charging” box, which brings the power to 60 kW for almost the entire duration . of the operation (we found a maximum of 63 kW). In this case, we just put 25 minutes to refuel, which is excellent. We can legitimately ask ourselves about the choice of Mercedes-Benz: fast charging is turned off every time the car is started, and you have to go through a screen that does not appear automatically when connected to a socket. In short, everything is done so that the user is limited to 20 kW … Officially, the manufacturer states that this is a desire to save battery. This ambivalence is, in our opinion, to blame: a 20 kW DC load does not provide much comparison with an AC load (as standard, the on-board charger is 11 kW). The manufacturer should guarantee the reliability of its cells, or not offer any fast charge, if it is not able to charge it.

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