Mercedes-AMG E 53 Hybrid 4Matic vs BMW M5: Battle of the PHEV titans

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The new BMW M5 is a direct competitor to the Mercedes-AMG E 53 Hybrid 4Matic, putting out 727 PS compared to 612 PS in the Mercedes. What does each offer?

Mercedes’ AMG division AMG and BMW’s M GmbH have decided to offer PHEV propulsion systems for their top models.

Powerful PHEV systems

Thus, the new Mercedes-AMG E 53 Hybrid 4Matic received a PHEV propulsion system consisting of a 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine with 449 PS and 560 Nm and an electric motor with 163 PS and 480 Nm placed between the combustion engine and the 9-speed automatic transmission, the whole unit delivering 612 PS and 750 Nm.
The 21.2/28.6 kWh net/gross capacity battery gives an electric range of 93-101 km and can be charged at AC stations with 11 kW or optionally at DC stations with up to 60 kW (595 euros). Mercedes does not specify the curb weight of the top AMG version.

The new BMW M5 offers a similar powertrain, with the difference being a twin-turbo V8. The M sports limousine combines the familiar 4.4-liter 585 PS/750 Nm twin-turbo V8 engine that revs up to 7200 rpm with a 197 PS/280 Nm electric motor (effective torque at the drive shaft is 450 Nm, thanks to a transmission pre-gearing), placed between the combustion engine and the 8-speed Steptronic automatic gearbox, resulting in a total of 727 PS and 1000 Nm. The battery has a slightly lower capacity than the Mercedes, with 18.6 kWh net and 22.1 kWh gross respectively, so the electric range is lower, at 67-69 km. The big drawback of the BMW M5’s battery is that it only charges at AC stations with a maximum of 7.4 kW.

The BMW M5 accelerates from 0 to 100 kph in 3.5 seconds, and top speed is limited to 250 kph or 305 kph with the M Driver package. The curbweight has an impressive figure of 2,510 kg.

The Mercedes-AMG E 53 Hybrid 4Matic accelerates from 0 to 100 kph in 3.8 seconds, being only 0.3 seconds slower despite 115 PS less power, and top speed is limited to 250 kph or 280 kph with the AMG Dynamic Plus package.

Integral steering, all-wheel drive, active differential on the rear axle

The BMW M5 comes standard with an M active locking differential at the rear axle, 1.5-degree steering angle all-wheel steering, M adaptive suspension, and switchable all-wheel drive. The driver can switch between all-wheel drive with 4WD Sport mode (activated in M Dynamic Mode or by deactivating DSC) and 2WD rear-wheel drive.

When the engine is started, the car automatically switches into Hybrid mode, which makes power available to both engines. In Electric mode, the BMW M5 will drive on the electric motor unless the kick-down is pressed, while in eControl, the battery is kept at the same level or charged from energy recovered during braking. If the M Driver Professional package is ordered, you have two more modes: Dynamic and Dynamic Plus.

The 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters behind the steering wheel has a Drivelogic function as on other M models, which allows you to adjust shift times. It also has a Launch Control function that works with all modes except 2WD mode.

Unique in this segment is a Boost function that allows lightning acceleration between 30 and 150 km/h. The BMW M5 has a price of 144,000 euros in Germany.

The Mercedes-AMG E 53 HYbrid 4Matic comes standard with all-wheel steering with a steering angle ranging from 0.7 degrees (rear wheels in the same direction as front wheels) to 2.5 degrees (rear wheels opposite to front wheels), variable all-wheel drive, and adaptive suspension AMG Ride Control.

At first glance, the Mercedes-AMG E 543 Hybrid 4Matic is cheaper at 109,242 euros. Still, you have to order an expensive 27,300 euros package because that alone includes the AMG Dynamic Plus package, which raises power from 585 to 612 PS, comes with rear axle limited-slip electronic differential, AMG high-performance composite braking with brake calipers painted in red, additional Race function, and dynamic engine mount. So, the final price is 128,415 euros.

At engine start, the Mercedes-AMG E 53 Hybrid 4Matic starts in Electric mode, and the driver can choose Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Smoothness, Smoothness, Individual, and Battery Hold modes, the latter having the same role as eControl in the BMW M5.

Both the BMW M5 and the Mercedes-AMG E 53 Hybrid 4Matic are available in estate versions.