Mercedes to release S-Class performance PHEV

Following the plug-in hybrid offshoot of the C-Class, Mercedes-AMG is now also using the technology in the S-Class. The corresponding model is called the Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Performance and offers a system output of 590 kW.

That is another 90 kW more than in the C 63 S E Performance – which is hardly surprising since in the S-Class the electric drive is not combined with the two-litre AMG four-cylinder, but with a 4.0-litre V8.

The electric motor has an output of 140 kW and is installed on the rear axle (called the P3 arrangement), as in the hybrid layout presented by AMG in March 2021. There, the electric motor is integrated into a compact Electric Drive Unit (EDU) together with an electrically shifted two-speed gearbox and the electronically controlled rear-axle limited-slip differential. In this way, the EDU bypasses the nine-speed gearbox of the combustion engine, where the electric motors are usually located in plug-in hybrids. AMG expects this to allow the “torque of both drives to be fully utilised”. In addition, the P3 layout is said to offer a number of advantages, which AMG lists in the press release.

The electric drive system itself is a permanently excited synchronous machine, but here too with a special design. The rotor with the permanent magnets is hollow and can thus be installed around the output shaft to the left rear wheel. The electric motor is controlled by power electronics, also located on the EDU, which convert accelerator pedal commands directly into a suitable current supply to the PSM.

While the battery variant called HPB80 with a very manageable energy content of 6.1 kWh was installed in the AMG C-Class, the HPB130 version is used in the S 63 E Performance. With 13.1 kWh, it offers more than twice as much energy and is supposed to provide a purely electric range of 33 kilometres. Charging, by the way, takes place with a maximum of 3.7 kW.

However, the focus of the PHEV powertrain is less on electric range than on performance anyway – which is why the battery is also “designed for fast power output and absorption and not for the longest possible range”. Even if the battery itself does not seem particularly large for plug-in hybrids, it is a complex special development: to ensure that the battery maintains its performance level even under heavy load – with maximum power output during acceleration and frequent power consumption during recuperation in the braking zones – each of the 560 cells is cooled directly. For this direct cooling, not only millimetre-thin cooling modules had to be developed, but also an electric high-performance pump.

With 590 kW of system power and 1,430 Nm of system torque, the sedan sets “new standards in the segment”, according to the Mercedes release. Acceleration is 3.3 seconds to 100 km/h and the optional top speed is 290 km/h. A special suspension with AMG-specific roll stabilisation and rear-axle steering are designed to ensure “a wide spread between driving dynamics and comfort”, AMG says. Prices are not yet known.


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