Yesterday from Detroit Mercedes-Benz introduced its C350 Plug-in Hybrid which adds to a modest but growing assortment of electrified vehicles.
The vehicle uses a 1.9-liter turbocharged inline-four that’s slightly smaller than the Mercedes gas-only C300 4MATIC sedan. Its electric motor – specific kilowatt output currently unknown – is part of the seven-speed automatic transmission. The C350’s combined output is 275-horsepower, which can move this four-door from 0 to 60 in 5.9 seconds.
With its 6.2-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery, the C350 can reach a top speed of 80 mph when operating in electric mode. When the gas engine kicks in, the speedometer can go as high as 130 mph.
The C350 can drive emissions-free for up to 20 miles, according to Mercedes, although we shall see what the U.S. EPA rates it as in this market
Four driving modes (electric only, E-save to maximize the battery’s charge, hybrid and charge) let drivers adjust the powertrain setup for a range of mpg. Fuel economy estimates have not yet been released from the EPA.
Mercedes will begin selling the 2016 C350 to California-emissions states this fall; no estimated price has been published.
The C-Class PHEV now adds to the luxury brand’s electrified line-up which includes a modest variety of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric cars.
One of these is the E400 Hybrid, and another – M-B’s new EV with powertrain help from Tesla and just recently starting sales – is the B-class Electric Drive. In the spring, the opulently appointed S550 Plug-in Hybrid will be added to Mercedes’ top-of-the-line S-Class.
Later this year, a plug-in hybrid crossover in the ML-Class will arrive. And for 2016, a plug-in hybrid from the less expensive C-Class will join the flock.
Like several automakers, Mercedes-Benz has discovered the benefits of electrified drive for meeting government mandates, and is catering to a growing market while attempting to retain core attributes of the brand.