The world of luxury cars is embracing sustainability and eco-consciousness with the introduction of all-electric and plug-in hybrid options. So of course, car magazines are having a field day testing these new products. In a new review, Top Gear pits the BMW i7, an all-electric limousine, against the Mercedes-Benz S580e, a plug-in hybrid, to determine which one reigns supreme as the ultimate luxury green machine.

Power and Performance

Photo by Mercedes-Benz

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz S580e 4Matic plug-in hybrid boasts an impressive total of 510 horsepower from its combination of an inline-six gas engine and a potent 148-hp electric motor. This hybrid option offers more power than the V8–powered S580 4Matic while still delivering genuine electric range, boasting 46 miles.

On the other hand, the BMW i7 embraces all-electric power, generating an impressive 536 horsepower and a staggering 549 lb-ft of torque. Equipped with two electric motors providing torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, the i7 draws energy from a substantial 101.7 kWh (usable) battery pack, capable of covering up to 300 miles on a single charge.

Ride Comfort and Handling

Top Gear’s review reveals that the BMW i7 showcases extraordinary suspension insulation, resulting in a quieter, more cushioned, and supple ride compared to the Mercedes-Benz S580e. The i7 demonstrates exceptional road manners, making it a truly enjoyable vehicle for both drivers and passengers. In contrast, while the S580e provides a comfortable and luxurious ride, Top Gear concedes that the i7 sets a new standard in the luxury sedan segment, surpassing the S-Class in terms of overall driving experience and passenger comfort.

Interior and Luxury

Inside the BMW i7, Top Gear found a playful and relaxed take on luxury, setting it apart from the more conventional and classic interior of the Mercedes-Benz S580e. With a focus on creating an immersive rear-seat experience, the i7 aims to redefine luxury for its occupants. The i7’s interior design, materials, and technology all combine seamlessly to create an environment that exudes modern opulence. While the S-Class interior remains sumptuous and opulent, Top Gear’s evaluation indicates that the BMW i7’s cabin has an edge in terms of innovation and redefining luxury norms.

Photo by Mercedes-Benz

Top Gear’s Verdict

After thoroughly evaluating both vehicles, Top Gear concludes that the BMW i7 emerges as the new champion in the luxury sedan world. Despite the S580e’s impressive performance, it falls slightly behind the i7 in terms of overall driving dynamics and rear-seat experience. However, Top Gear acknowledges that the Mercedes-Benz S580e remains an exceptional choice within the S-Class lineup, offering a perfect balance between luxury and green technology. With its significant electric range and powerful hybrid powertrain, the S580e is an enticing option for those seeking both performance and sustainability.

Of course, a more accurate test would have been between the BMW M760e and the S580e, but maybe they are saving that for the next review. You can read their full review here.