Mercedes-Benz Malaysia has expanded its facelifted W222 S-Class range in the country to two models with the introduction of an EQ Power variant of the luxury sedan. The Mercedes-Benz S 560 e plug-in hybrid now joins the petrol S 450 L, which debuted last August, in the local line-up.

The variant has been a while coming – the car made its debut in Frankfurt in September 2017, and was a logical candidate for entry into the market, given the company’s push on the hybrid front. It made its market debut in Europe in October last year, but even at that juncture there was little suggestion made of it becoming a range offering here, and things were not aided by the slowdown of the company’s heavy EQ branding exercise in recent times.

Its arrival means that there is finally a hybrid successor to the pre-facelift S 400 h, but the plug-in direction makes it a significant technical advancement over the old car. The S 560 e’s hybrid drive system combines a 3.0 litre turbocharged V6 petrol engine offering 362 hp (367 PS) and 500 Nm and an electric motor with a rated output of 121 hp (90 kW) and 440 Nm.

Total system output is rated at 469 hp (or 476 PS) at 5,500 to 6,000 rpm and 700 Nm. Performance numbers include a top speed of 250 km/h and a 0-100 km/h time of five seconds.

The electric motor is housed together with the torque converter and clutch within the transmission, which is a reworked nine-speed 9G-Tronic Plus automatic for the hybrid application. Performance-wise, the car has a claimed all-electric range of around 50 km, and though the workable mileage is expected to be lower under real world conditions, it’s still a notable increase over the 30+km range offered by the pre-facelift W205 C 350 e and W213 E 350 e.

Aiding the improvement in operating range is an increased capacity 13.5 kWh lithium-ion battery (compared to the 6.2 kWh unit in the earlier two hybrids), which features 37 Ah lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt (Li-NMC) cells instead of the previous 22 Ah lithium-iron-phosphate (LiFePo) units.

Despite the increase in energy content, the unit – built by Daimler subsidiary Deutsche Accumotive – is smaller than its predecessor, and this helps increase the available boot space to 410 litres from 395 litres previously. It is however less spacious than the S 450 L’s 530 litres.

The car features a water-cooled onboard charger with a capacity of 7.4 kW, and the battery can be charged from 10% to 100% SoC (status of charge) in around 1.8 hours with a Mercedes Wallbox at full power. With a conventional domestic power socket running at 230V/13A 3.0 kW single-phase supply, charging to full takes around six hours. Through a typical 230V/16A 3.7 kWh single-phase public charging outlet, it will take just under four hours.

The S 560 e comes equipped with ECO Assist, which provides driving recommendations to the driver by taking into account numerous factors (among them, traffic situation, navigation data and information from the car’s radar and stereo camera), offering coasting and recuperation prompts to promote more economical driving. The system takes into consideration the charge level of the battery and the traffic situation before computing the right course of action.

Standard fit items on the hybrid mode include pre-entry climate control, which allows owners to preset their preferred temperature prior to departure via the Mercedes me service, as well as heated/ventilated front and rear seats.

Styling-wise, the hybrid features the same design cues that were introduced with the facelift, including a new three-louvre radiator grille as well as new front/rear bumpers and updated tail lamp graphics. Unlike the S 450 L, which arrived in AMG Line trim, the Malaysian-spec S 560 e is dressed in Exclusive trim (along with a Night Package) and rides on 19-inch multi-spoke alloys.

Equipment-wise, the list on the S 560 e follows that seen on the S 450 L, but adds on a few items. Nappa leather upholstery (and high-gloss brown burr walnut wood trim) goes on, as does wood trim on the steering. The car also gets Energising comfort control and a massage function for the rear seats, along with the automaker’s Magic Vision Control adaptive wiper/washer system.

This features a novel washer system, where a series of laser-cut holes along the entire length of the blade integrates the washer into the blade, allowing a more precise – and economical – spray of water along the path taken by the blade.

The car also features a Chauffeur package, which offers a host of adjustment and setting options through a chauffeur position (and easy-adjust head restraint) front-passenger seat and a power-retractable footrest on the front passenger side. The S 560 e comes specified with executive seats at the rear.

Elsewhere. it’s par for the course. The headlights are Multibeam LED units with Ultra Range high beam, and the car comes with an Air Balance package. Likewise infotainment, with COMAND Online and COMAND touchpad controller to be found. As before, there’s a rear-seat entertainment system linked to a 13-speaker Burmester surround system, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto support and smartphone integration are also on the list.

Driving assistance and safety systems include Distronic active distance assist, the adaptive cruise control system now able to slow down for curves and junctions and is operable at speeds of up to 210 km/h. Also on are Active Steering Assist, Active Braking Assist, a 360-degree surround view camera as well as a tyre pressure monitoring system.

According to MBM, the available colours for the car follow the seven shades in place for the S 450 L, these being Selenite Grey, Obsidian Black, Iridium Silver, Magnetite Black, Diamond Silver, Cavansite Blue and a designo shade called Diamond White Bright.

The Mercedes-Benz S 560 e is priced at RM658,888 (estimated, on-the-road without insurance), the hybrid tax incentives making it RM41,000 cheaper than the S 450 L AMG Line. It costs RM60,000 more than the pre-facelift S 400 h, which went for RM598,888 in its last AMG Line iteration back in 2017. The Wallbox, meanwhile, is priced at RM7,745, inclusive of cable.

The S 450 L, priced at RM699,888, will continue to be sold alongside the new PHEV variant. It was also announced that the S 560 e can be financed at just RM6,588 per month, with a number of packages available under the Agility Financing programme.