In a first for South Africa, the Mercedes-Benz plant in East London has begun production of the C 350 e plugin hybrid.
The C 350 e develops a total power output of 205kW and a massive 600Nm of torque, which is the combined power from the 155kW turbo-charged 2.0 litre internal combustion engine and a further 60kW from the electric motor.
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.
Using the electric motor alone will give you a range of around 31kms which isn’t going to get you to the office and back, but it will definitely help the environment in slow moving traffic, or on your endless endeavours at Sandton City to find a parking in the week before Christmas.
With all this environmental-friendliness, they manufacturer claims a very optimistic 2.1l/100km, but we will give you more insight into those actual numbers when we get the vehicle on test.
Charging the electric motor can be done through an installed wall-box unit and takes around 1h45min, which is pretty quick. You can also charge via a standard domestic socket which will take you an extra 15mins.
This hybrid is no slouch showing off a 0-100km/h time of just 5.9s and a top speed of 250km/h.
Interestingly, when applying light braking, the electric motors act as a form of braking as well as an alternator to charge the batteries. If more braking is required, then the disc brakes come into operation.
The AIRMATIC air suspension is fitted to the C 350 e as standard.
Included in Mercedes-Benz’ hybrid line up is the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, S 400 HYBRID, S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, C 300 BlueTEC HYBRID and S 500 e and now the C 350 e, the latest hybrid model to come from Mercedes-Benz. In the years to come the main emphasis will be on plug-in hybrids. Mercedes-Benz is also a leading player in the field of purely electric mobility.
Locally, the S 400 HYBRID, S 500 e and the C 350 e are now available.
The Mercedes-Benz C 350 e is packed with features and standard options and comes in at R804,900 and includes the six-year/100 000 km PremiumDrive maintenance plan.