Meet the Mercedes C350 plug-in hybrid, a model that promises V6 levels of performance coupled with ultra-low economy figures and usable EV-only range. Just unveiled at the Detroit auto show, the C350e (as it will come to be known) has a claimed zero to sixty time of 5.9 seconds (in sedan guise) and an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph or 249 km/h.
The chosen internal combustion engine is the same 2.0-liter unit that powers the C250 model. It puts out 208 hp and coupled to the electric motor, the combined figure is raised up to 275 hp – torque is good too, rated at 600 Nm or 442 lb-ft.
Opt for the estate version, and the performance numbers take a slight hit: sixty comes up in 6.2 seconds and top speed drops slightly to 153 mph or 246 km/h.
Now for the important bits: economy, range and emissions. Firstly, the C350e can return a claimed 112 mpg US (2.1 l/100km or 134.5 mpg UK), while putting out just 48 g/km. EV-only range, provided by the 6.2 kWh battery pack, is also usable, at 19.3 miles or 31 km – don’t expect to ever reach this in the real world, where actual numbers for such vehicles are realistically as much as 30 percent lower.
Worth noting is that the extra hybrid bits don’t infringe on cargo space in the boot. The system only eats up a meager 15 liters, which brings the totals to 335 and 350 liters respectively for the sedan and wagon.
Sales begin immediately with deliveries slated to commence in the spring.