— After skipping the 2018 model year, the plug-in hybrid version of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan will return for the 2019 model year with increased battery capacity and almost certainly more all-electric range. The outgoing S-Class plug-in hybrid started just shy of $100,000, but you have nearly two years to save up for its successor — which doesn't hit U.S. dealers until the middle of the 2019 calendar year.
Related: 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Preview
The 2019 S560e sedan, which follows the 2015-17 S550e, suits up similarly to the refreshed 2018 S-Class sedan, which is on sale now. (All are still based on the current generation of Mercedes' flagship sedan, which has been around since late 2013.) The automaker says the S560e's battery remains the same size as the S550e's unit, but capacity is now 13.5 kilowatt-hours, up from 8.7 kwh before.
That bump should significantly increase all-electric range over the S550e's mere 12 miles — a figure bested, if only slightly, by the rival BMW 740e — but we may not have U.S. EPA figures for quite some time. Mercedes estimates 25 miles of all-electric range for the S560e overseas but notes that "U.S. range and overall electric motor specifications will be announced at the time of launch."
Beyond the electric range, S560e runs on gasoline as a traditional hybrid, combining Mercedes' turbocharged V-6 with a 90-kilowatt electric motor and new nine-speed automatic transmission, the latter up from a seven-speed unit in the S550e. Mercedes estimates the S560e hits 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, a few ticks ahead of the S550e's 5.2 seconds. EPA mileage figures are still pending, of course, but the S550e managed 26 mpg combined once the all-electric range was gone — around 25 percent better than the non-hybrid S550 sedan at the time.
Mercedes promises increased trunk capacity in the S560e, whose battery is dimensionally smaller despite its increased capacity. Cargo volume is still pending, but we'd welcome any increase over the S550e 9.45 cubic feet of space — 42 percent less than the regular S550's unencumbered 16.3 cubic feet.
Like before, the S560e has a haptic accelerator pedal that can recommend when to take your foot off the gas to coast ahead of a gradient, intersection or other area that calls for less power. Once you're off the gas, an Eco Assist program determines whether to charge the battery or coast freely based on traffic and battery-charge levels.