With the launch of the high-performance PHEV version of the Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Performance, the rivalry between BMW and Mercedes goes to a new level. Who builds the most influential luxury PHEV limousine? A parallel between the Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Performance and the BMW M760e xDrive.
The PHEV models were designed as a compromise between the combustion engine and electric models. They aim to provide a good electric range in the city and allow long journeys without the stress of stopping at charging stations. But manufacturers are using PHEV powertrains not only to achieve greater electric range but also to develop high-performance models.
Specifically, Mercedes has a PHEV luxury limousine, the S 580e 4Matic, which offers a WLTP electric range of 116 km. But there’s always an AMG version; in this case, the Mercedes-AMG division offers a high-performance model, the Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Performance, with a much shorter electric range of only 33 km but much more power.
The new Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Performance is also a response to BMW’s new 7 Series PHEV, which is offered as an M Performance version called the M 760e xDrive. Both models are only available in the extended version. Incidentally, the new generation BMW Series is only offered in the extended version with a wheelbase of 3215 mm, only 1 mm shorter than the Mercedes-AMG.
The two models have very similar dimensions: At 5,336 mm long, 1,921 mm wide, and 1,515 mm high, the Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Performance is 55 mm shorter, 29 mm narrower, and 29 mm less tall than the BMW 7 Series. Surprisingly, the BMW 7 Series is more massive than the imposing S-Class and heavier. It is an unpleasant premiere the fact that a BMW is heavier than a Mercedes.
The BMW M760e xDrive is heavier than the S 580 e 4Matic: 2,525 kg compared to only 2,400 kg in the Mercedes S 580 e 4Matic, which has a larger battery. In contrast, the AMG version is heavier, weighing 2595 kg. The extra weight is due to the V8 engine, while the S 580 e 4Matic and M760e xDrive use an inline 6-cylinder engine.
On the other side, the Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Performance has a much more powerful and very different powertrain than the M760e xDrive. If we go strictly by the numbers, Mercedes combines a 4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine with 612 hp and 900 Nm with an electric motor developing 190 hp and 320 Nm resulting in 802 hp and 1430 Nm. By comparison, the BMW M760e xDrive has a 3-liter inline-six engine producing 381 hp and 520 Nm coupled with an electric motor developing 197 kW and 280 Nm, resulting in 571 hp and 800 Nm.
At first glance, the difference between the two models is enormous, 231 hp and 630 Nm! But the performance figures do not reflect this difference in power and torque. The Mercedes-AMG accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.3 seconds, just 1 second faster than the BMW.
In contrast, the M760e xDrive’s 22.1/18.7 kWh gross/net capacity battery gives it a WLTP electric range of 84 km, while the Mercedes-AMG can only go electric for 33 km, having a smaller 13.1 kWh gross capacity battery.
Those who want to go more electric should choose the S 580e 4Matic version, which comes with a larger battery, with a gross/net capacity of 28.6 kWh/21.6 kWh giving it an extended range of 112 km. But with combined power and torque of 510 hp and 750 Nm, this version takes 5.2 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h.
Mercedes S 580 e 4Matic offers a clear advantage when we go to the charging station. It is the only model which can charge at DC stations with up to 60 kW. BMW M 760e xDrive and Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Performance offer charging at AC stations only, up to 7.4 kW and 3.7 kW, respectively.
Returning to the Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Performance, the powertrain is entirely different from the BMW M760e xDrive. In the BMW, the electric motor is located between the combustion engine and the 8-speed automatic transmission while the power is transmitted to all four wheels.
The AMG model uses an electrified rear axle (P3 Hybrid system) with the electric motor located at the rear axle and connected to the rear differential via a two-speed automatic transmission. The twin-turbo V8 combustion engine transmits power to the rear axle via a cardan shaft, and a multi-disc clutch transfers torque to the front axle when needed. Mercedes says the management of the hybrid system is designed so that the battery is never fully discharged, so the electric motor runs continuously.
But the design with the electric motor located at the rear axle and the battery mounted above the axle dramatically affects boot volume. It is only 305 liters in the Mercedes-AMG as opposed to 525 liters in the BMW M760e xDrive. And this considerable difference comes as the BMW’s 28.6 kWh gross battery capacity is more than double that of the Mercedes-AMG’s, which has only 13.1 kWh gross.
But even if we compare it to the S 580e 4 Matic version, which has a similar propulsion system to the M760e Xdrive, the Mercedes’ boot is much smaller: only 350 liters. In contrast, the S 580e’s battery has a slightly larger capacity: 28.6 kWh gross compared to 22.1 kWh gross in the BMW.
We have yet to learn about prices. We only know that the Mercedes S 580 e costs 135,553 euros, and we expect the BMW to cost about the same or a few thousand euros more. In contrast, the Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Performance will cost around 200,000 euros, considering the AMG GT 4 doors coupe cost 199,015 euros.
|Mercedes S 580 e 4Matic||Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Performance||BMW M760e xDrive|
|Engine type, no. of cylinders||L/6, turbo||V8, bi-turbo||L6, turbo|
|Max. output/revs (PS/rpm)||367/5,500-6,100||612/5,500-6,500||381/5,200-6,250|
|Max. torque (Nm/rpm)||500/1,600-4,500||900/2,500-4,000||520/1,800-5,000|
|Max. output (PS)||150||190||197|
|Max. torque (Nm)||480||320||280|
|Combined power (PS)||510||802||571|
|Combined torque (Nm)||750||1430||800|
|L x w x h (mm)||5,289 x 1,921 x 1,503||5,336 x 1,921 x 1,515||5,391 x 1,950 x 1,544|
|Kerbweight (kg) kg||2,400||2,595||2,525|
|Boot volume (l)||350||305||525|
|Battery capacity (brutto/netto)||28.6/21.7||13.1||22.1/18.7|
|AC/DC charge (kW)||11/60||3.7||7.4|
|Acceleration 0–100 km/h s||5.2||3.3||4.3|
|Top speed (km/h)||250||250||250|
|Fuel consumption (l/100 km)||0.6||4.4||1.1|
|Electric range (km)||112||33||84|
|CO2 emissions (g/km)||14||100||25|