The electrification of the modern car marches on and Mercedes-Benz is busy adding new models to this cause all the time. In fact the the company’s expertise in this field goes as far back as 1982, at the same time as it was launching the Mercedes-Benz 190, Mercedes-Benz presented the first concept vehicle with a hybrid drive in which the battery was charged by a two-cylinder horizontally opposed engine. In news earlier this week the firm announced that it will launch no fewer than ten hybrid cars before 2017.
Following the launch of the S500 Plug-in Hybrid last year (of which you can read a driving impression by clicking here), the C350 e is the second model to feature the progressive drive concept. Under the new Mercedes-Benz nomenclature, an “e” replaces the words Plug-in Hybrid.
Mercedes-Benz’s modular hybrid concept, which is scalable to allow it to be transferred to a large number of model series and body versions as well as left and right-hand drive variants. The versatility of the system was displayed with the launch of the Concept V-ision e.
Concept V-ision e
The Concept V-ision e, which was first seen at the Geneva Motor Show, showed the development potential of the modular plug-in hybrid technology. The twin power source of petrol engine and electric motor delivers a system output of 245 kW with torque of up to 600 N.m. Mercedes’ claims consumption of less than 3,0 litres/100 km with an all-electric range of up to 50 kilometres.
The first model to sport the new “e” is the Mercedes-Benz C350 e. This plug-in hybrid is available in either the saloon or estate variant shapes. It boasts a certified consumption of just 2,1 litres/100 km and an all-electric range of up to 31 km. Its four-cylinder petrol engine, in conjunction with an electric motor, gives it a total system output of 205 kW with a system torque of 600 N.m. The C350 e has not yet been confirmed for South African introduction.
The S500 e will be launched locally in the fourth quarter of 2015. With total output of 325 kW and 650 N.m of torque, the S500 e will accelerate from 0-to-100 km/h in 5,2 seconds while boasting an all-electric range of up to 33 km. The certified consumption is 2,8 litres/100 km, which is equivalent to emissions of 65 g CO2/km.
“Plug-in hybrids are a key technology on the road to the local emission-free future of the automobile,” emphasises Prof Dr Thomas Weber, member of the board of management of Daimler AG and responsible for group research and Mercedes-Benz Cars development.
“Plug-in hybrids offer our customers the best of both worlds; in the city they can drive in all-electric mode, while on long journeys they benefit from the combustion engine’s range. In addition, hybridisation makes the combustion engine more efficient and brings with it a special type of dynamic performance – making driving an absolute pleasure.”
All current hybrid and electric drive vehicles from Mercedes-Benz Cars:
- 2012: smart fortwo electric drive
- 2012: E300 BlueTEC Hybrid
- 2013: SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive
- 2013: S400 Hybrid
- 2013: S300 BlueTEC Hybrid
- 2014: C300 BlueTEC Hybrid
- 2014: B-Class Electric Drive
- 2014: S500 Plug-in Hybrid
- 2015: C350 e