We have the first details about a new luxury sedan from Mercedes-Benz that will function as a diesel/electric hybrid. The story, with pics, inside.

Mercedes-Benz plans to begin sales of its first diesel/electric hybrid luxury sedan during 2011.  The company did not reveal more detailed plans about the scheduled market release for the Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTec.

The announcement to release the E 300 BlueTec comes on the same day Daimler introduced a plan to double spending on technologies related to alternative fuels.  Mercedes-Benz has been authorized to spend €2 billion over two years for research and development of new batteries and more efficient combustion engines.

As a hybrid, the car uses 4.1 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers (68.9 mpg imp / 57.3 mpg US).  Emissions will be held at 109 grams of CO2 per kilometer.  The car will use a 204 PS (150 kW / 201 hp) four-cylinder diesel engine paired with a 15-kiloWatt electric motor to combine for a total output of 224 PS (165 kW / 221 hp).  All-electric driving will be capable for short distance, though a specifc range was not given.

"Efficiency is a core element of our development strategy that we are implementing consistently in line with the formula - refined performance with simultaneously low consumption," said Daimler board member Dr. Thomas Weber.  "And this enables us to fulfil the high expectations of our customers - exceptional environmental sustainability without sacrificing safety, comfort and dynamics."

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