Mercedes-Benz has taken the wraps off the C350 Plug-in Hybrid in Detroit at 2015 NAIAS.
It's Daimler's second model of this kind after the S500 Plug-in Hybrid and will be followed by eight similar cars programmed to be launched within three years. Unlike the larger hybridized S500 which has a V6 engine, the C350 Plug-in Hybrid mixes up a four-cylinder 2.0-liter gasoline engine (from the C250) with a brushless electric motor.
The conventional engine puts out 208 bhp (155 kW) at 5,500 rpm and a peak torque of 258 lb-ft (349 Nm) while the electric motor generates an additional 80 bhp (60 kW) and 251 lb-ft (340 Nm). This hardware setup grants the greener C-Class with a combined output of 275 bhp (205 kW) and an impressive 442 lb-ft (599 Nm).
An updated 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic gearbox is in charge of channeling power to the rear axle and enables the C350 Plug-In Hybrid Sedan hit 62 mph (100 km/h) from a standstill in 5.9 seconds before topping out at 155 mph (250 km/h) whereas the wagon is 0.3s slower in the sprint and does 153 mph (246 km/h).
Mercedes-Benz has installed a water-cooled 6.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack weighing 100 kg (220 lbs) under the trunk which has slashed 15 liters of cargo capacity so now it stands at 335 liters (sedan) & 350 liters (wagon). A full recharge takes 1h 45min from a 240V/16A source or 2h from a regular household 240V/13A socket and grants the vehicle with an electric range of 19.3 miles (31 km). When running in hybrid mode, both body styles can return an impressive 112 mpg US (134.5 mpg UK or 2.1 liters / 100 km) with corresponding CO2 emissions of 48 g/km.
Mercedes-Benz will start taking orders for the C350 Plug-in Hybrid (to be sold as C350e) in the next few days, with deliveries kicking off in March.