New for 2016: The Mercedes C350e Plug-in Hybrid

Here’s something that I amazingly missed from earlier this year.  Mercedes is deploying a plug-in hybrid C-Class, the C350e.   The C is Mercedes’ most popular and affordable model in the US of A, and offering a PHEV model means they have something to stop share loss to the Lexus luxury hybrids.  Needless to say, we probably won’t see the diesel hybrid variant.

 

With a range of 20 miles in purely electric mode, local emission-free driving is now a reality. Its four-cylinder gasoline engine, in conjunction with a powerful electric motor, gives it a total system output of 275 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. This allows the new C350e plug-in hybrid to deliver the performance of a sports car while still offering exemplary fuel consumption. In addition, the standard AIRMATIC air suspension and convenient Pre-Entry Climate Control system that can be controlled via the internet create a truly exceptional level of driving and climate comfort. The C350e plug-in hybrid will be available in U.S. dealerships in the fall.

 

Prof Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, puts it this way:

 

“The plug-in hybrid is an investment in the future of Mercedes-Benz and we believe it will become established as the successful technology for maximum efficiency coupled with powerful dynamic performance. We will be launching ten new plug-in hybrid models up to 2017.”

 

Following the C300 BlueTEC Hybrid, the C350e plug-in hybrid is the second hybrid model in the new C-Class and the second Mercedes-Benz model to feature plug-in hybrid technology. Thanks to the combination of combustion engine and electric drive, hybrid drive systems deliver impressively low fuel consumption with high performance. The electric motor is able to replace or support the combustion engine in a variety of situations, while making practical use of energy generated while braking by converting it into electric energy and storing it.



The C350e plug-in hybrid uses the most advanced form of hybrid technology currently available. Its electrical energy storage unit is a high-voltage lithium- ion battery with a total capacity of 6.2 kWh, which can be charged from an external power source to effectively contribute to the low consumption and emission figures. The battery is water-cooled, weighs around 220 pounds and is mounted in a sheet-steel housing underneath the rear axle in order to maximize crash safety, driving dynamics and trunk space.

 

Thanks to an intelligent on-board charging system, the battery can be quickly recharged at a wallbox, at one of the growing number of public charging points or even charged via a standard domestic socket.

 

Despite the space taken up by the battery, the C350e plug-in hybrid Sedan still offers a trunk capacity of 11.8 cubic feet.

 

PHEV economy coupled with a powerful four-cylinder engine

In the new Mercedes-Benz C350e plug-in hybrid, the hybrid drive concept is combined for the first time with an efficient four-cylinder gasoline engine. From a displacement of just under two liters, it produces 208 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Its direct injection system with spray-guided combustion uses electronically precise controlled multiple injection and fast multi-spark ignition to deliver outstanding performance coupled with high efficiency and exemplary emissions. The electric motor of the C350e plug-in hybrid has an output of up to 80 horsepower and delivers 251 lb-ft of torque. Overall, the C350 plug-in hybrid offers a total system output of 275 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque.

 

7-speed automatic with additional clutch

The hybrid module of the standard 7-speed automatic transmission 7G-tronic Plus incorporates both the electric motor and an additional clutch between the combustion engine and the electric motor. When driving in all-electric mode, this decouples the combustion engine from the drive train. It also offers the possibility of moving off using the combustion engine with the performance of a wet start-up clutch. In this case, the clutch is a substitute for the torque converter.

 

You probably noticed the video above featuring Lewis and Nico.  Mercedes-Benz is using an exceptional campaign to show the benefits of its Plug-In Hybrid technology. Both the C 350 e and the Mercedes AMG Petronas Team’s current F1 car embody the headline ‘Success has two sides. More electricity. Less fuel. ‘Both the racing car and the series model are the product of ground-breaking, new technologies. The campaign shows how Mercedes-Benz brings innovative hybrid technology from the race track to the street so everyone can experience it.
The international campaign consists of six print motifs and a TV commercial. In the print motifs, the C 350e presents itself far away from the city on forgotten streets which run through a prohibited area. The streets are rough and dusty – the perfect testing ground for hybrid technology. Here, the benefits of the C 350e come to the fore: efficient, dynamic and comfortable. Extreme perspectives bring the benefits to the fore in the motifs. The print campaign will run until September 30th, 2015.

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Sebastian James

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